I Samuel 15
Thursday, 27th July 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
God loves us, He sees us as the best, even though we are full of sins and wickedness, but God never gives up on His children. Samuel continued to talk to Saul in chapter 15, even though Saul didn’t listen, but Samuel still to speak to him. Samuel and Saul had a very special relationship, Samuel was like a spiritual father to Saul. Without Samuel there would be no Saul, Samuel helped Saul to hear the Word of God and to walk in the Way of God. Samuel helped Saul to experience God.
V1-3 ‘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. 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. 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.’”’ Without God, Saul would not have experienced signs and wonders, Saul knew Samuel was from God but at the same time he could not leave the worldly desires, so Saul was full of confusion. God’s appointed destiny for Saul was to destroy the Philistines and protect the Israelites. But here why did God ask Saul to completely destroy the Amalek?
Deuteronomy 25 tells us that the Amalekites treated the Israelites wrongly and sinned against God when they were in the wilderness. The Israelites were led by God, they were the army of God, therefore when the Amalekites fought against the Israelites they were fighting against God. God already told the Israelites to destroy the Amalek. Do we really listen to God and remember what God has done for us? Do we take God’s business become our business? Samuel reminded Saul that if he wanted to receive peace and honour in his land, he must first honour God and seek to the Will of God.
V7-9 ‘And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 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.’ Saul attacked the Amalekites, but he didn’t destroy them completely as instructed by God. Saul thought he was being compassionate, but he didn’t seek God’s Will and he didn’t carry out God’s instructions.
When we carry out the Work of God, do we also have confusion inside us? Saul did not completely listen to God in the beginning, he used the attitude of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to carry out his own will. God already gave us clear instructions but we have our own thinking and own mind to carry out the Work of God. When we chose the worldly desires and not the Will of God, then we will walk into destructions. We only carry half of God’s instructions, we only listen to half of God’s Word, at the end, God’s presence will leave us.
V10-11 ‘Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, “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.’ God regretted that He anointed Saul as the king of Israel. He was sad and disappointed. This king chose not to listen to God’s Will and not to follow God’s instructions. When God chose a king, He would not allow the king to do whatever he wanted to do. When Samuel anointed Saul, he immediately taught the people the laws, because the king must do what God wants him to do. A king stands between God and people, the king brings God’s Will to people so people can follow God’s Will. The king is only a channel connected between men and God.
V14-15 ‘But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” 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.”’ Samuel was giving Saul an opportunity to repent, but Saul only tried to blame the people for his mistakes. He was making excuses and pushing all the responsibility back to Samuel and to the people. So finally Samuel was angry. Saul didn’t repent even until his end, God continued to give him opportunities to see his mistakes but he still wouldn’t humble himself and repent.
V22-23 ,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. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.” Saul made the people his God, he saw the people more than he saw God and therefore God rejected him. Even until the end he didn’t repent, he was prideful and he could not see his own mistakes.
V30 ‘Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”’ Saul seemed to have repented but it was only on the surface; inside his heart, he still wanted Samuel to do a show for him, to show people how faithful he was to God. Do we really listen to God? Do we really allow the Holy Spirit to convict ourselves for sins, for righteousness, and for judgement? Saul was relying on the people, he was afraid of the people, and he didn’t have the reverence for God. We must not be like Saul, let us only rely on God.