Saul Sins Again
April 3 - Nº 93 1 Samuel 15
One day Samuel came to Saul with a message from God. “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘It is time to punish the Amalekites for what they did to My people when I brought them out of Egypt (See Exodus 17:14-16 and Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Go fight against them and annihilate them. Destroy everything that belongs to them. Don’t let a single person or animal live.’” So, Saul mustered 210,000 soldiers and set up an ambush against the city of Amalek. He warned the Kenites to leave their territory so they wouldn’t be destroyed in the process since they had shown kindness to the Israelites. After they left, Saul attacked the Amalekites. He defeated them—but not completely. Saul and his men destroyed everything that they considered worthless, but they kept the best things for themselves. They captured the king named Agag, but they didn’t kill him. God was angry. “I regret that I made Saul the king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions,” He told Samuel. Samuel was grieved, too. He prayed all night. The next morning, he looked for Saul who had just left the city of Carmel. He had gone there to erect a monument of himself to celebrate what a great king he was. When Saul saw Samuel coming, he said, “The Lord bless you. I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” “Then why do I hear sheep bleating and cows mooing?” Samuel asked. “Oh, the men saved the best livestock so we could sacrifice them to the Lord,” Saul replied. “But we totally destroyed the rest.” “Stop talking!” Samuel demanded. “Let me tell you what God thinks. He gave you a job to do. He told you to kill these extremely sinful people—and not to let any person or animal live! Why did you not obey Him? Why have you done evil against Him?” Saul tried to justify his actions by insisting he had killed everyone except Agag, the king. And he had kept only a few of the best animals, so that he and his army could sacrifice them to God. Samuel replied, “God wants obedience more than He wants a sacrifice! You rejected His command, so now He has rejected you as the king over His people.” Saul admitted his sin, but he blamed it on the soldiers. “They wanted to keep Agag and the animals alive. Forgive my sin in listening to them,” he begged, “and come back and worship with me.” Samuel turned to walk away. When he did, Saul grabbed onto his robe, and it ripped. “The Lord has ripped the kingdom of Israel away from you today just like you ripped my robe,” Samuel informed him. He will give it to someone better!” “Please come worship with me,” Saul insisted. “I want to worship your God.” (It was obvious that Saul did not know God personally.) Samuel went with him. Then Samuel asked Saul to bring King Agag to him. Because of all the evil deeds the Amalekite king had committed—especially against the Israelite women—Samuel put Agag to death. That was the last time Samuel ever visited Saul.
Do you always obey God completely? Or do you hesitate when He asks you to give up something that you value? Or question Him when He asks you to do something you don’t want to do? Saul was able to justify his incomplete obedience in his own mind. But God looks at incomplete obedience as complete disobedience!