"If you are returning to the LORD with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your heart to the LORD and serve him only …” (v3). After experiencing defeat, the deaths of wicked priests, and God’s power to bring judgment, the Israelites were “lamenting” (v2). Rather than just grieve over sin, Samuel urged them to get rid of their idols, change their ways, and “direct their hearts” to follow God. Then they would experience the blessing of being His people.
“We have sinned against the Lord” (v6). Repentance means that we turn away from sin and turn in God’s direction. Then His Spirit helps us to live in a new way.