In 1978 a documentary aired called Scared Straight . Scared Straight was about a group of teen-age kids who had trouble with the law. These marginal offenders were sent to Rawhay Penitentiary, in Rahway, New Jersey a maximum security prison which houses some of the worst and most hardened criminals.
The teens selected for this program were placed in a room with a select group of these criminals. The criminals were serving life sentences. They proceeded to warn the teens about the life of prison. They related to them how difficult it was to survive behind bars in very graphic terms. The objective of this program was to so frighten these juvenile offenders that they would be scared into obeying the law. They would be literally ‚ÄúScarred Straight.‚ÄĚ
As you might guess this program saw mixed results. For some the sights, sounds, and message was enough to curb their lawless activities. But for the majority, though initially sobered, the warnings and dread soon faded. A study of this program in the 1980‚Äôs questioned the effectiveness of this and other deterrent programs.
That is similar to the effect that Samuel's message had on the people of God in our passage.
For a transcript of this sermon in .DOC format follow the outside web link.