When people have done wrong things, it is important for them to recognise that fact. Otherwise, they will not confess their evil deed to God, and they will not ask him to forgive them. Instead they will continue with the same evil behaviour and they will offend God even more.
Israelís people offended God when they demanded a king for their nation. They were not trusting God to defend them, and they were not accepting his rule over their lives. That was why Samuel asked God to act against them. They needed to see clearly that they had acted wrongly.
In Israel, the harvest of wheat is in May and June of each year. The weather is usually dry during that part of the year. Rain falls only rarely then. So, Samuel was asking God to do something that did not normally happen.
The effect of a storm during the harvest would be to damage the harvest. The people would lose some of their grain. They had already harvested another grain, called barley, so that was safe. Perhaps they had also harvested some of the wheat already. However, the heavy rain would spoil the wheat that was still in the field.
The storms in Israel are often very powerful. The Bible often uses storms as word-pictures for the power of God and his word. See, for example, Psalm 29 and Job chapter 37. So, the people recognised this storm as an act of God. They understood that they should not have demanded a king. They were afraid of God, because he had acted against them. They were afraid of Samuel, because God had answered his prayer in such an impressive manner.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.