1 Samuel 12:16-25 16 “Now, therefore, present yourselves and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes. 17 Isn’t the wheat harvest today? I will call on the LORD and He will send thunder and rain, so that you will know and see what a great evil you committed in the LORD’s sight by requesting a king for yourselves.” 18 Samuel called on the LORD, and on that day the LORD sent thunder and rain. As a result, all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. 19 They pleaded with Samuel, “Pray to the LORD your God for your servants, so we won’t die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves.” 20 Samuel replied, “Don’t be afraid. Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the LORD. Instead, worship the LORD with all your heart. 21 Don’t turn away to follow worthless things that can’t profit or deliver you; they are worthless. 22 The LORD will not abandon His people, because of His great name and because He has determined to make you His own people. 23 “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. 24 Above all, fear the LORD and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you. 25 However, if you continue to do what is evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”
We’ve all suffered through some type of buyer’s remorse. We bought a car that turned out to be a lemon. We sunk our entire saving’s account into a house that turned into a money pit. Buyer’s remorse is one of the more painful stings, because we are normally stuck with a daily reminder of that foolish purchase. The prayers of I Samuel 12 are for those who realize they made a huge mistake.
The people of Israel pleaded for a king, but they discovered the power they left behind in their God through a miracle of rain and thunder from the prophet Samuel. We are too often like the Israelites, and we assume that welcoming a little sin or adjusting our lives to be more in line with the world around us will bring nothing but good things in the future. They didn’t understand that a little lie can turn into a great deception. A little lust can destroy a marriage relationship. A little greed can turn into a mound of debt.
When you discover the sting of sin and experience remorse over the path you have taken, don’t shrink back in fear. Instead be a person of faith who comes before God in prayer.
First, draw near to God in worship. Samuel didn’t start by laying a guilt trip on the people. Instead He started off by saying, “Even though you have committed all this evil, don’t turn away from following the LORD. Instead, worship the LORD with all your heart.”
The antidote to the pull of sin is the worship of the King. Come before God in prayer and in song and even in corporate worship. Praise God for the benefits of salvation, the blessings He has given to you, and the beauty of His creation. When you fall into sin respond by praising God for who is and what He has done. Worship God with all your heart.
Second, walk away from sin in repentance. Samuel spoke next on the importance of not turning away to the worthless and then being faithful to the good and right way. This is the language of repentance. Repentance is turning away from the deadly path of sin and onto the path of righteousness.
Repentance is more than confession of sin. It is confessing your sin first but then continuing to walk in the right direction away from sin and toward God. Paul gave us 2 illustrative examples of repentance in Eph. 4. Those who steal repent by giving graciously to those in need. Those who use humor to tear people down and puff up self should speak in away so they build up every person they see.
When you have buyer’s remorse over your sin – respond by praying in worship. Exalt God for who is and then run away from sin and toward His glory that you proclaimed in your worship.