And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
Here again is another reminder of the importance of obedience to God. Samuel recounts to Israel their history of blessing and rebellion. Now, they do openly what they have already done secretly in the depth of their hearts. They wanted a king like all the other nations and they rejected the King of Glory (v.12-13).
We have also rejected our King. We do it in the subtle ways we try to cover our sin and appear that we are still committed to God. We live out our sinful life with every act of disobedience we perform. We vacillate in our relationship to God, while He is always constant. Our lives parallel this sinful, rebellious nation so clearly. We will do anything to have another reign over us before we will allow God His rightful place in our lives. And in doing so we display such arrogance … such defience … such disregard for the One who has blessed us.
But as tragic as this chapter is God’s love and forgiveness is ever present. There is no end to the loving, forgiveness of God even when we openly reject Him as our King (v.12). There are only two things God desires of us: 1) to reverence Him and 2) to serve Him. We are even told how to accomplish this faithfully: for consider how great things he hath done for you (v.24). He is still waiting to forgive … still waiting to bless … still waiting to be wanted – how tragic that for most of us He continues to wait.