Archive for March 9th, 2015

1 Samuel 15

1 Samuel 15 has Samuel giving Saul a word from the Lord to “go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them”.  Pretty clear direction – Saul is to lead his army and wipe out the Amalekites.  He has 200,000 men on foot and 10K from Judah and they head to the city of Amalek and prepare to destroy them.  They attack but “Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them”.

This is where Saul makes a bad choice.  He was told to wipe out the enemy, but decides to let their king live as well as taking the best of the spoils of the land.  God is not pleased with Saul’s disobedience. The Lord tells Saul “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments”.  Saul got close didn’t he?  He attacked and killed most of the enemy.  He only took the good spoils which the people of Israel could benefit from.

But Samuel is told to confront Saul who tells him “I have performed the commandment of the Lord”.  It was a lie, and Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear”.  Saul may have done what he thought was right, but it was not obedience to God’s direct command which makes it disobedience.  God is not interested in our interpretation of what obedience is.  He is only interested in having us do exactly what He directs.  No need for us to spin it our own way.  That doesn’t work for God.

So Samuel asks Saul “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord”?  His way was not God’s way.  And then Samuel tells Saul “to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry”.  There is only one option – complete obedience to God’s direction.  Saul missed it.  Samuel takes things into his own hands and “Samuel hacked Agag to pieces”.  Saul didn’t get the job done, but Samuel did.  And “Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel”.  Disobedience disqualifies us from being in God’s good graces.  We cannot live that way.

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