This is not Samuel’s last public address, but it does sound very much like Joshua’s farewell address, especially Joshua 23:1-13. Samuel reminds them of all that God has done for them, and reminds and rebukes them for their lack of loyalty to the Lord. The unseasonable storm of verses 17-18 are not punishment for wanting a king, rather a sign of the Lord’s displeasure at their lack of faith, trust and loyalty to Him.
Nevertheless, Samuel warns that all will be well with them and their king as long as they “do not turn aside from following the Lord.” Here, “king” refers to present and future, as verse 25’s warning of them and their king being swept away is prophetic of their fate. The “empty things” of verse 21 refers to idols and idol worship.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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