Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.5. Samuel’s Witness and Warning
1. His witness to his own integrity (1Samuel 12:1-5)
2. His warning (1Samuel 12:6-15)
3. Heaven’s answer (1Samuel 12:16-19)
4. His words of comfort (1Samuel 12:20-25)
What a scene! The man of God, the man of prayer, now advanced in years, stands before them. “I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day.” Here was not a Nazarite who had failed like Samson, but one who had lived out his Nazariteship in the fullest sense of the word. What unselfish service he had rendered and how he loved his own people! In all this he is a type of that greatest servant who came in the fulness of time not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many. His witness to his own integrity reminds us also of Paul’s words in the Epistle to the Corinthians (2Corinthians 11:6-9; 2Corinthians 12:14-17). The whole nation acknowledged Samuel’s integrity. A brief historical retrospect follows in which Samuel points out their sin of forgetting Jehovah. (“Bedan” in verse 11 should be “Barak.”) Their present condition was like that of their fathers, unbelief and disobedience.
It was the time of the wheat harvest. Samuel prayed for a witness from heaven upon his words. Then it thundered and rained. It never thunders and rains in Palestine at that time of the year (May and June). A guilty fear seized upon them and they requested intercession. This reminds us of that coming harvest, the end of the age (Matthew 13:39). Then Jehovah will thunder in judgment and the repentance of the people of Israel will follow. However true repentance did not take place here when Samuel prayed. Beautiful are his words of comfort. How he manifests the work and character of a true prophet! Here is also the assurance for Israel. “For Jehovah for His great name’s sake will not forsake His people, because it hath pleased Jehovah to make you His people.” His gifts and calling are without repentance.