Samuel Speaks for God
1 Samuel 12; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 603-615
God is glad He made me His child.
“For the sake of his great name the Lord . . . was pleased to make you his own” (1 Samuel 12:22).
Have you ever wanted to do something, even if it made your mom, dad, or teachers sad? The people of Israel did that to God.
The people of Israel decided that they wanted a king to lead them instead of God. They wanted to be like everyone else around them. So they went to Samuel and asked him to let God know they wanted a king.
Samuel talked to God. And God gave them Saul. When Saul led Israel to a victory in battle, the people were ready to celebrate having their king.
“Let us go to Gilgal,” Samuel said to all the people. “We can crown the king and make a sacrifice to the Lord.”
So Samuel, King Saul, and all the people gathered for the celebration. They sacrificed offerings and worshipped the Lord. Then Samuel, now an old man with gray hair, called for quiet and began his speech.
“God has done as you asked,” Samuel said. “He has given you a king to be your leader. And what about me? I was your leader since my youth. Tell me: Have I ever cheated you? Have I ever stolen from you?”
“No,” the people answered. “We can honestly say that you did not cheat us or hurt us.”
“Good,” Samuel replied. “Now stand here and listen. I am going to remind you of all the good things God did for you and your fathers and grandfathers when the Lord was your king.”
Samuel reminded them of how God had sent Moses and Aaron to lead the people from Egypt. And the people remembered.
“Remember how Israel forgot about the Lord and worshipped idols?” Samuel continued. “The Lord allowed them to become the slaves of Sisera. What did the people do then?” “They asked the Lord to save them,” some of the people said.
“They promised to serve the Lord,” others replied.
“This happened again and again,” Samuel reminded them. “Many times Israel forgot the Lord and worshipped idols and became slaves. Each time they said, ‘We did wrong; we are sorry. We will serve You, Lord.’ And each time the Lord forgave them and saved them.
“Now,” Samuel continued, “you have asked for a king. And the Lord has given one to you. You will not always like what your king asks you to do. Respect your king, but always be faithful to God.
“Now look and see what the Lord is about to do. It is harvesttime. I will pray to God for thunder and rain. This is to show you what an evil thing you did when you asked for a king instead of letting God lead you.”
Samuel called out to the Lord. That same day the thunder rolled overhead and the rain fell in great sheets. The people huddled together, cold, wet, and frightened.
“Save us,” they cried to Samuel. “We were wrong to ask for a king.”
“Don’t be afraid,” Samuel tenderly replied. “For the sake of his great name the Lord . . . was pleased to make you his own” (1 Samuel 12:22).
The people began to feel better. Just knowing that God was glad He chose them to be His people made them feel warm inside.
“You did wrong,” Samuel said, “but you are still God’s people. I will pray for you. And I will still be here to teach you how to follow ‘the way that is good.’ Remember always to serve the Lord with all your heart. Don’t worship idols.”
Then God’s chosen people felt better. They promised again to remember the good things God had done for them.