WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 13
SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 15
BY: Jeremy Witt
Today’s chapter is one that should be in a soap opera. We are told in verse 1 what should happen, and then we read of what actually happens and see the twist of what is to come. From God’s vantage point, this will be the “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Saul who was anointed and chosen by God will be disobedient, and God will remove His hand of blessing upon Saul. Why would God do this? Because Saul who was once humble and obedient has become focused on other things and not the purposes of God.
Notice in verse 3 what the LORD specifically tells Saul to do. Wipe this group of people out along with their property. Why would God do this? The back-story of the Amalekites is in Exodus 17:8-16, Numbers 24:20, and in Deuteronomy 25:17-19. Go back and read Deuteronomy 20:16-18 and Joshua 6:17-18 regarding
What do we know about these people? Essentially they were raiders who attacked other nations and carried off their wealth, animals, and in some cases, people. They were the first to attack the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land. The Amalekites continued this practice to this point in 1 Samuel. You could say that they were guerrilla terrorists, and God was protecting the Israelites’ future by getting rid of them. This destruction was necessary to protect the Israelites, the people, and their property.
Everything went as planned until verse 8. Do you notice what it was? Then read verse 9 as it only gets worse. Humanly speaking, it makes perfect sense to do what Saul did. Notice that they destroyed only the worthless or defective animals. Spiritually speaking, it was “partial obedience” but that means full disobedience. When we only partially obey God, we are essentially fully disobedient. God expects of His people to be fully obedient.
This moment ultimately cost Saul everything. In verse 10, we see God’s response to Samuel concerning Saul. Samuel’s response in verse 11 shows his feelings towards Saul. Samuel was the mentor and spiritual mentor to Saul. He cared deeply for him and wanted him to succeed as we see that Samuel cried to the LORD all night.
Verses 12-16 is an interesting section. Samuel is looking for Saul, and when he finds him, Saul acts as if he did everything the LORD had commanded. Verse 14, in my opinion, should be read with great sarcasm in Samuel’s voice. Maybe he had a parental tone to a disobedient child. Oh really! It’s funny you say that, because I hear these animals making noises, so did you obey the LORD? Did you really? That is the Jeremy translation of how Samuel spoke. Then verse 16-19 catches Saul’s attention. Notice his reply and attempt to say that he was obedient in verse 20. In his defense, he blamed his troops and said the animals were for sacrifice to the LORD your God. Notice that he does not say, “my God” or “our God.”
Verses 22-23 teaches us what the LORD desires. Obedience matters more than sacrifice. Each one of us needs to have these things burned into our brains.
Verse 24 shows us Saul’s admittance of sins and notice who he feared most. It was the people! Saul feared the people more than he feared God. So here is where we apply this to ourselves. Who do we fear most? Whose words do we listen to most? Are we more concerned with God and His word or what people think of us? Does the way that we live show our obedience to God or are we more like Saul and being partially disobedient?