1 Samuel 12

Samuel speaks to all the Israelites for the last time

1 Samuel said to all the Israelites, ‘I have done everything that you asked me to do. I have given a king to you to rule over you. 2 Now, you have a king to be your leader. I am old and my hair is grey. My sons are here with you. I have been your leader from the days when I was young until now. 3 Here I am. I have not done any wrong things. If I have, you must tell the Lord and his anointed king. I did not take anyone's cow or donkey. I did not rob anyone. I saw the wrong things that people did. But I never let them give money to me to say that I did not see them. If I have done any of those things, I will make it right.’

4 The Israelites answered, ‘You have not robbed any of us. You have not done bad things to any of us. You have not taken any money from anyone.’

5 Samuel said to the Israelites, ‘The Lord has heard what you have said today. The Lord's anointed king has also heard that I have not taken anything from anybody.’

They replied, ‘He has heard.’

6 Then Samuel said to all the people, ‘The Lord chose Moses and Aaron. He brought all your ancestors out from the country called Egypt. 7 You must stand up now. Then I will show you what you are doing. I will tell you again about all the good things that the Lord did. The Lord did these things on behalf of you and your ancestors. 8 He sent Israel's people to Egypt. Then they shouted to the Lord for help. So the Lord sent Moses and Aaron to them. They took your ancestors out of Egypt and they brought them to live here. 9 But your ancestors forgot the Lord their God. Sisera led an army from the town called Hazor. He fought against the Israelites. The Philistines and the king of Moab also fought against the Israelites. The Lord let these enemies win the fight. The Israelites became their slaves. 10 Then the Israelites asked the Lord to help them. They said, “We have sinned. We left the Lord and we worshipped the false gods, the Baals and the Ashtoreths. Save us from our enemies and we will worship you.” 11 So the Lord sent Jerub-Baal (Gideon), Bedan (Barak), Jephthah and Samuel to you. The Lord saved you from all your enemies. Then you lived safely.

12 But then you saw that Nahash, the king of the Ammonites, was coming to attack you. So you said to me, “No. We want a king to rule us.” But the Lord your God was your king. 13 Now here is the king that you chose. He is the man that you asked for. The Lord has made him your king. 14 You should give honour to the Lord. You must do the things that give pleasure to him. You must obey the Lord. You must not do anything against his rules. You and the king who rules you must obey the Lord your God. 15 You might not obey the Lord. You might do things against his rules. If you do, he will fight against you. He will do to you what he did to the Israelites in past times.’

16 Now stand where you are. See the great thing that the Lord will do. 17 The wheat is now ready to bring in. I will pray. The Lord will send storms and rain. Then you will know that you did an evil thing against the Lord. You asked for a king.

12:17They took in the wheat in the months of May and June. They did not have storms or rain in Israel at this time of the year.

18 Samuel prayed to the Lord. That day the Lord sent storms and rain. All the people were afraid of the Lord and of Samuel. 19 All the people said to Samuel, ‘We are your servants. Pray to the Lord your God on our behalf. Do not let us die. We have sinned many times in past days. Now we have sinned again. We asked for a king.’

20 Samuel said, ‘Do not be afraid. It is true that you have sinned. But do not turn away from the Lord. Obey the Lord with all of your mind and body. 21 Do not worship idols. They cannot help you. They cannot save you. 22 The Lord does not change his mind. He decided to make you his own people. He will not leave you. 23 As for me, I will not stop praying on your behalf. I will sin against the Lord if I stop. I will teach you the good and the right things to do. 24 You must give honour to the Lord. You must do everything that he asks. Remember the great things that he did on your behalf. 25 But if you continue to sin against God, he will remove you and your king.’