Samuel prayed to God, and God sent thunder and rain that same day. The people were greatly afraid and in awe of God and of Samuel.
Then all the people begged Samuel, "Pray to your God for us, your servants. Pray that we won't die! On top of all our other sins, we've piled on one more - asking for a king!"
Samuel said to them, "Don't be fearful. It's true that you have done something very wrong. All the same, don't turn your back on God. Worship and serve him heart and soul!
Don't chase after ghost-gods.
There's nothing to them. They can't help you. They're nothing but ghost-gods! God, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. God took delight in making you into his very own people.
"And neither will I walk off and leave you. That would be a sin against God! I'm staying right here at my post praying for you and teaching you the good and right way to live.
But I beg of you, fear God and worship him honestly and heartily. You've seen how greatly he has worked among you!
Be warned: If you live badly, both you and your king will be thrown out."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)