Do not be afraid. You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart (1 Samuel 12:20).
The Israelites blew it (again). They wanted to be like the nations around them, so they harangued the prophet Samuel to give them a king.
It would be an understatement to say God wasn’t happy about their decision. You can almost hear His voice choke with emotion in chapter eight when He says, “They have not rejected you (Samuel), but they have rejected Me from being king over them.”
So, Saul became Israel's first king. But Samuel made sure Israel understood they had stepped into dangerous territory. “You’ve done all this evil,” he said. And then he followed with this exhortation “Yet, do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.”
In other words, “Okay, guys. You really, really blew it. Yes, God is angry. But don’t be afraid. His mercy is greater than His anger, His compassion deeper than His displeasure. Don’t let your guilt or remorse keep you from turning back to Him. Repent, and press on to serve the Lord."
What Samuel said to Israel, the Holy Spirit says today to you and me.
Sure, we've blown it (again). But God is still a loving and merciful Father. His mercy remains greater than His anger, His compassion deeper than His displeasure.
That is why we can return to the Lord -- for He will abundantly pardon the repentant one.