Samuel warns them repeatedly to serve God with all their heart, to serve Him faithfully. He warns them to not turn aside to empty things. God will bless and prosper them and deliver them from their troubles, like this king coming against them. But these empty things can neither profit nor deliver them.
The Lord will never forsake His people. He has chosen them. He cannot lie.
He also loves His children and will defend and protect them. He will remove the leprosy from among them. If sin is spreading, He will do what it takes to protect the remnant. He will keep His people Israel. He will keep His church. He will come for a spotless bride, not for everyone who ever raised their hand in a service. He will come for those who served Him with all their hearts and served Him faithfully, who gave their lives over to Him to fill with His Spirit to transform them with the righteousness of Christ.
Empty things can’t do that. Having success with education, business, family, it all profits nothing. You can turn to money, doctors, insurance, experts, technicians, the wisdom of the world, it can’t deliver you. They can offer the illusion of deliverance. But it’s just a temporary fix and probably caused some other problem along the way.
When people turned to the ways of man or science to save them from the pandemic, they were turning to empty things. None of those things actually could be relied on to fully protect and save.
Could God be relied on? Is God reliable? Can you answer that in the affirmative? If you can’t say He is reliable, then you don’t know Him. His name is faithful and true (Rev. 19:11)!
What if you had chosen to trust and obey and not forsake gathering? What if you had chosen to show hospitality? What if you had refused to obey fear and just did the opposite of what fear and the voice of man was telling you to do, not because of some position where you thought you knew better about what was going on, but because you refuse to obey anyone or anything other than God! Would God have been faithful? Of course. He can’t not be faithful.
Can we know that no trouble will ever come our way? No, we’ve gone over that. But we can know that He is always good and always loving. We can trust that if we’re walking with Him, He’s on our side. He’s for us. He will defend us, answer our prayers, work out His salvation and His good purposes in our lives, whatever that looks like. That’s what we want, not our way and our decisions of what good and perfect looks like at all times. We want God’s good and perfect will for us. How do we know that’s what we want? Because God’s will is for us to be with Him now and forever!