1 Samuel 15 Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord.2 Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
What did Saul do wrong?
10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.” 13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” 15 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak on.” 17 So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? 18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”
22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness (arrogance) is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
Do you know of people who say, well I do this for God, but are living in disobedience? Or perhaps only obeying him half way? Is this you?
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
Saul is a tragic story. God chose Saul as the first king of Israel. If you read Saul, you notice God changed Sauls heart. The Spirit of God came on him in power. The people recognized him as Gods anointed. The first battle, God gave him victory. God did many things in his life but his reign became a disaster. He lost his right to rule as king. The same God who made him king took it back from him.
1 Samuel 16 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?
You can have a great history with God and become rejected. As far as usefulness, fruitfulness, you can experience the blessing of God in your life and lose that blessing. You’ve been called by God to service and see that blessing working in your life, moving with great power, and still end up bankrupt and empty.
There are many great examples of great works that are carnal. It is possible to engage in ministry, but doing it in an agenda separate from God. Your personal agenda. Most undiscerning people won’t know for years. You can stay in office like Saul for many years and end up barren and bankrupt. Saul’s disqualifications from kingship took place in 2 circumstances.
The Amalek were not just a pagan group. They were relatives of Israel, descendants of Israel. Isaac fathered Esau and Jacob whom were different from each other. You know the story of how Jacob stole the birthright from Esau. Esau was an outdoor hairy wild hunter. Esau had Eliphaz, and Eliphaz had a concubine named Timna. Amalek was their child and grandson of Esau. (Genesis 36)
In the line that should have been, the Amaleks were supposed to be the Israelites (the blessed of God) had it not been for Esau giving up his birthright. The Amaleks are a picture of the flesh. The human constitution that we humans have. They should have been part of the blessing of God, but in rebellion became cursed. The old flesh fights against the spirit, and the biggest battle we face is in ourselves, the flesh fighting with the spirit. IT is a clear picture of declaring war on that which should have been blessed by God, but wasn’t. –The flesh.
The Amaleks are the Edomites. When they appear, you see they are at war with the purposes of God. The first time they are confronted, Moses is instructed to hold a staff in his hand, and Joshua was to avail over the Amaleks. This was teaching that the victory over the enemies of God is never won, it is received and appropriated by faith.
Deutoronomy 25 17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, 18 how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.
Saul had the opportunity to utterly destroy everything about the Amalek, but he took the king alive, and the best of the sheep, cattle and everything that was good. Generally speaking, he carried out the instructions, but he didn’t follow them completely.
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
What is this sign of life that I STILL HEAR OF, where God demanded death?
Is there something in your life that’s lives that God has sentenced to death? Things that God has condemned, but we have reprieved because “This is good, it’s not right, but I like it”.
Colossians 3: 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
Do not be naïve about your potential for sin. God says to declare war to these things, put them to death. It is true that we are not under condemnation because we are in Christ, but it is also true that we are in combat with an old nature that is alive and seeks to pull us down. Every day that old nature is looking for an opportunity to sin. (Romans 7)
What are the things in our life? Probably the secret things we kept hidden away, saying this is good. Not a good, but we enjoy it. A secret sin. Paul talks about sexual immorality, lust, all forms of self-indulgence. Temptation is common to man, the questions is, are we putting them to death, these things in our life. Have we made a covenant with our eyes not to look at a woman, to turn away?
Mathew 5 29-30 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
The agents of sexual arousal are sight and touch. In the context of lust, is what are you looking at, what are you doing with your hands? Cut your hand off, or plucking your eye out. Block the computer, don’t be around it. Go out of your way to be out of the situation.
We live in a day where we want to be free to be ourselves, you might thing, this doesn’t apply to me. Don’t kid yourself. Saul was the same way saying “I’ve obeyed the Lord”.
The moment self-justification surfaces, it indicates something is wrong. I did obey! We justify thinking God can use our sin to teach others. Or steal, and think well, we can give more money to the Kingdom.
What are examples of justifying sin?
We have to be ruthless and bring our minds to the authority of God, not what looks good to us. What are we holding on to? Is it lust? Is it greed? Is it reputation? Do not be interested in your reputation because you will want to maintain it, enhance it, and protect it. Be of no reputation. These are things which are idolatry. What are the signs of life where God has sentenced death? In your home, life, work, church?
Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience and obscures your sense of God. Takes off the relish of spiritual things, that for you is sin.
What’s wrong with this TV show? Does it take off the relish of spiritual things? Does it weaken your conscience?
What Saul did was selective obedience. He was obedient only to a point. He said, this thing is too big for me, so I will stick it in a corner and keep it because I enjoy it anyway, and put it away for now and deal with it later and I will obey you in other ways.
If we’re going to see revival, we have to be merciless with sin and self-indulgence.
23 … Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” 26 … for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
There’s a repentance that comes with an integrity to God, and a repentance that comes from being found out. Most decent people say sorry when they are caught red handed or caught sinning. Sorry for what? Gods never fooled by that. When Samuel said, “Oh I have sinned” in verse 24, God didn’t say, oh, good for you, you can remain king. God is not naïve. It was Samuel who put the king of Amalek to death.
Why is this important? Years later Saul died in a battle with the Philistines. 1 Samuel 31 says he was wounded. His sons was killed in battle. He told his armour bearer to kill him but he didn’t. It says he fell on his own sword.
2 Samuel 1 4 And David said unto him, How went the matter? I pray thee, tell me. And he answered, That the people are fled from the battle, and many of the people also are fallen and dead; and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also. 5 And David said unto the young man that told him, How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son be dead? 6 And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. 7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I. 8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite. 9 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. 10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.
Here is Saul, years later, wounded, almost dead, and he asks this man, who he is. He was an Amalek. What Saul refused to destroy came back to destroy him. Who put the crown on Sauls head? God did. Who removed it?
Revelation 3 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Sin will take your crown. Sin does not show up overnight. You hold on to something and it seems harmless, you think its ok, I can handle it, and it grows and it grows and you kid yourself of the seriousness of sin until the thing that you kept alive and have not declared war on will at the right moment put the sword thorough you and kill you ant take your crown.
David was not perfect, but he was very different from Saul. David was a good shepherd. When a bear came, he knew that if he didn’t deal with that bear who took a sheep would be back to take another. Same with the lion. His father would probably say, if you see a lion, bring the sheep home, don’t mess with the lion. He destroyed them both. When confronting Goliath, he told Saul, if God delivered me from the lion and the bear, he will deliver me from the giant.
In the secret private world he proved himself to God. Now in the midst of 2 armies, in public with a man twice his size was given the victory once again.
Saul kept alive the things he thought did not matter. Little things. Because Saul disobeyed in the little areas, that disobedience came back to destroy him. Sin, like a virus goes on spreading its evil work. Saul’s sin grew long after his life time. Hayman tried to destroy all the Jews, in the book of Esther. He was the Adolf Hitler of that day. Hayman was an Amalekite. Centuries later, King Herod who heard about Jesus from the wise men, resolved to kill all the Jewish children to keep the new king from rising. Heron was an Edomite, who were Amalekites. Saul had a chance to wipe out this great evil in the world.
You can be sure, if you do not DECLARE WAR WITH SIN in your life, that sin which is your favorite, that sin that you want to keep put away and tame, it WILL come back not as your friend, but to destroy you.
Numbers 32: 23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
There was a story of a showman who raised a baby snake and trained it to wrap him in it, and just when the crowd would gasp, the snake would release him. One day, the snake did not let go, his bones started cracking and right when the other trainers stepped in to free them man, it was too late. The snake that he raised since birth killed him.
We may think sin is our friend, so we keep it alive thinking we can tame it. We say to ourselves, all in moderation. We keep it stashed away in our closet for a rainy day. It can be drugs, alcohol, pornography, or an old family heirloom that seems harmless but can have a generational curse. One day, as soon as it gets a chance, it will take your crown of life. Sin is not your friend. It is patient, it can wait many years, working in you and through you. The instruments of sin are not your friends. They are designed to take your life. The wages of sin is death. Kill that sin before it kills you.