That’s It! I’ve Had It!

This is a pic of my grandson Nate expressing how we all feel when we behold the glory of God’s handiwork!

I Samuel 15

This is the “straw that broke the camel’s back” chapter for Saul. Saul’s disobedience is just too much this time. This time it’s not just stupid disobedience as we’ve seen so far but true arrogance, pride and lust for wealth & power. Samuel told Saul very plainly to pursue and utterly destroy the Amaleks. For they hated Israel and were determined to destroy Israel. “Now put to death both man and women, child and infant, on and sheep, camel and donkey,” v3. Very clear. A barbarous commandment to us today, but a clear command from God for these times in Israel and to Saul.  Saul destroys most of the Amaleks and the spoil but not all. “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good…” v9.  I’m reminded of the proverb, “there is a way that seems good to man, but the end is the way of death.” The end of the chapter intimates that Saul entered some kind of agreement with Agag, the king. It is also revealed that Saul listened to the urgings of his soldiers to let them keep the best of the spoils and livestock.

Even God has just so much patience

This was it for God (I’m speaking in human terms). He determined to remove Saul as King and He gave Samuel a word to pass on to Saul. Samuel harshly rebuked Saul. He responded that he had preserved the best of the livestock to sacrifice to God. But God knew his heart. This is where the familiar passage came from, “it is better to obey than sacrifice,” v22. Samuel told him that God has rejected him as king. This is where Saul fell to his knees and repented with (seemingly) great remorse. This is where the contrast between Saul’s repentance and David’s repentance are starkly different. Saul says, “I have sinned, but PLEASE HONOR ME NOW BEFORE THE ELDERS AND MY PEOPLE AND BEFORE ISRAEL,” v30. There it is. We see into Saul’s heart.  We see what is important to him. To be highly esteemed by people is more important than to be humble before God. Samuel scolds Saul by saying “though you were little in your own eyes” when you were made king, now you think you can make your own rules and usurp God’s sovereignty. Lord, Make me mindful of areas of my life where I fear the opinion of people more than I esteem the commandments of God.  May there be no areas of compromise. May there be no excuses of sacrifices and religious activity to influence the opinions of others but rather simple, straightforward obedience to You.