June 28, 2022

1 Samuel 15:10-21 (HCSB)
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, 11 “I regret that I made Saul king,  for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My instructions.”  So Samuel became angry and cried out to the Lord all night. 12 Early in the morning Samuel got up to confront Saul, but it was reported to Samuel, “Saul went to Carmel  where he set up a monument for himself. Then he turned around and went down to Gilgal.”  13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said, “May the Lord bless you.  I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” 14 Samuel replied, “Then what is this sound of sheep  and cattle I hear?” 15 Saul answered, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God,  but the rest we destroyed.” 16 “Stop!” exclaimed Samuel. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” “Tell me,” he replied. 17 Samuel continued, “Although you once considered yourself unimportant,  have you not become the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel 18 and then sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and completely destroy the sinful Amalekites. Fight against them until you have annihilated them.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the Lord? Why did you rush on the plunder  and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” 20 “But I did obey the Lord!” Saul answered.  “I went on the mission the Lord gave me: I brought back Agag, king of Amalek, and I completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 The troops took sheep and cattle from the plunder—the best of what was set apart for destruction—to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.” 22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord  take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness  and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.

Mark Jenkins
1 and 2 Samuel highlight a significant transition in Israel’s history. 1 Samuel is a time under poor spiritual leadership…but God is in control…He has a plan. The people wanted a king. Even though they had the King of Kings, God allowed their request. Saul, Israel’s first king, had successes and failures, but as with all human kings, he failed… Here, because He forgot who put him in power…God. In chapter 15, God gave a direct order to “destroy everything.” Saul destroyed everything that had no value but kept the Amalekites' king and the best of what they had. Verse 10 says it all, “I regret that I made Saul king.”  Saul, like we often do, heard what he wanted to hear…go and destroy was a definitive order. Saul determined that keeping some of the good stuff “to sacrifice to God” was ok. But God is more concerned with our obedience. God wants us to study His Word, to understand Him…He wants a relationship with us in a way many of us find difficult to understand.  In the end, Saul’s decisions caused God to reject him as king. Read, study, and fall in love with God’s Word and follow as He leads!

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