v 7. Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors.
Samuel’s reminder seems to have one single theme running right through; God has given you leaders in the past, and all went well until you forgot and rebelled! Then there were more disasters, you pleaded with God and He gave you fresh leaders, you were rescued – then things went downhill again, and so on. In fact that is the story line of much of the Old Testament. Samuel foresees the possibility of that happening all over again and so warns the people about God’s inevitable judgement if they fail to worship Him again in the future. (And, as you probably know, they did fail; disaster overtook the nation until even Jerusalem was flattened and the people were taken away into captivity.)
One of the incentives to remaining faithful in our walk through life with God is to reflect on the way He has blessed us in the past. We often do that as we share in a Communion Service; we remember that Jesus went to the cross to rescue us and put back into a right relationship with God. History is not a dry-as-dust academic subject, it carries with it powerful reminders of God’s dealings with us in bygone days. It tells us that God has been faithful and that He promises to be the same in the days ahead – so trust Him, follow Him, obey Him, honour Him, worship Him, serve Him! All of this is close to the surface in what Samuel has to say to the people. He certainly doesn’t see that having a King is the answer to all their ills; there is always the human tendency to fall over the edge into the abyss of selfish idolatry. I sense Samuel wagging his finger and warning them all.
Maybe we all need that constant reminder of God’s faithfulness.