THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
1 SAMUEL 15:10-23
"But the fearful, and unbelieving
… have their part in the lake
which burneth with fire…"
DISOBEDIENCE IS UNBELIEF
Saul’s failure to commit Amalek to destruction in 1 Samuel 15 was the trigger that led to his rejection as king of Israel. While two of Saul’s important campaigns produced victories, there were also some very serious lapses because of his personal deeds. It is entirely possible that the Ammonite victory gave Saul a false sense of self-sufficiency, for on at least two occasions, he made decisions without consulting the LORD. The LORD’s assessment of Saul was that "he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments" (1 Sam 15:11). This means Saul was no longer a follower or a servant of the LORD. Turning his back pertains to spiritual relations such as to turn away from God or to apostatize. Saul finally lost the throne because of his failure to obey God’s Word concerning Amalek.
When the LORD commanded Saul to go and smite Amalek, God meant to utterly destroy or commit to destruction all of Amalek. Saul deliberately disobeyed God’s Word on the pretext of promoting God’s work. Samuel reproved Saul for disobeying the Word of the LORD. This shows the importance of God’s Word over sacrifices and offerings.
Saul’s "repentance" was unacceptable in the eyes of God. Saul cried, "I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me" (1 Sam 15:30). What really mattered to him was to retain man’s esteem of him. For him, the support of men was more crucial than reconciliation with God. Saul was more concerned about his loss of honour and reputation with the people, than his sin against God.
THOUGHT: Is my heart obedient to the LORD?
PRAYER: "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God" (Ps 68:1-2).