I Samuel 15. I Corinthians 9: 24-27
In I Samuel 15, we see a graphical illustration of the disqualification of a believer whom God personally chose and anointed. Saul was mightily anointed and empowered but he disqualified himself. It is important we understand all these failures which are also present in David, yet he did not disqualify himself. We don’t have to be Saul, we can right some of our besetting sins. God does not judge us by our performance but by attitude towards Him. Based on the above texts we need attitudinal changes like David exhibits when there are failures. Saul was giving every opportunity to be God’s man.
Amalek was the grandson of Esau Gen. 36:12. Esau his father was a godless man, immoral (secular), he married pagan Hittite wives, also married an Ishmaelite. He took the purity of the line of God and mixed it with paganism (secularism). He sold his birthright which would have made him a priest for his generation and a mediator between his generation and God. Esau got oral blessings from the death bed of Isaac and never cared about the birthright afterward. He got the double share of the earthly blessing of the firstborn, his reason was then who cares about being a religious man and a priest when all material blessings are in place. He was carnal and does not want to retain God in his reasons. Amalek is an embodiment of Esau. He carried the old bitterness of his father. The Israelites were soft target on coming out of Egypt. The city of Amalek is situated in what is known as the Negev today. They have not learnt the ark of organized and guerilla warfare necessary in the rugged mountains of the Sinai.
In examining this command to “exterminate” the Amalekites you may ask why? It is because the flesh is something like cancer cells in the body, that must be completely destroyed. The flesh is incurable evil, malicious, deceitful and “pernicious” (i.e. destructive, having power of killing, injuring, deadly). The flesh does not broadcast the Destroyer, instead appears enticing and noble.
Saul destroyed all the people, captured and spared Agag, who was the worst of all, this was a custom in those days to spare the Kings of captured territories and used them as symbols of prowess and strength. They were kept alive for personal egos. (One king in the Bible chopped off the thumbs and the big toes of the seventy kings he had captured. He kept them under his table and threw them crumbs. Without thumbs, they would not be able to grasp things. Without big toes, they would not be able to stand straight but would sway. He treated them like pet dogs. Incidentally, Judges 1:6-7 indicates he received payment in kind.) Spared the best of sheep, oxen, the fatlings, lambs and all that were good in the eyes, but destroyed all things worthless. Economic consideration is foremost in Saul thoughts.
The Kenites have been dwelling with the Amalekites for about 400 years but a word from Saul was enough to separate them from the fleshly Amalekites
In vs 10 Samuel proclaimed the word of the Lord to Saul but we see Saul response in vs 13 rationalizing God’s word and never accepting responsibilities. His response was logical and beautiful but they are the works of the flesh. Typically, the flesh obeys God’s words as long as it costs nothing to the flesh. The flesh is more interested in economic empowerment.
- Why is Samuel grieved at the failure of Saul, vs. 11? He publicly anointed Saul and declared to the people that “This is the king God has given you “This he did when he saw Saul fair and handsome with a beautiful face. In those days in the Mideast facial appearance is very important. Some aspect of flesh is still found in the prophet. This was also manifested in his choice of Eliab over David.
- What Lessons can we learn from the Kenites?
In vs 17: Samuel says of Saul (Chpt 9.21), Though you were little in your own eyes, God still chose you
- Can we point out issues of flesh in Vs. 17 and Saul weaknesses?
- Mention ways by which a man may know whether he is walking in the flesh or in the Spirit.?
- When in the Old Testament Sacrifice is ordained, why is Samuel saying obedience is better than sacrifice? What is obedience? (Sacrifice of our will, rights and though processes)
In vs. 25 – 31, what were the attitudes of Saul to Samuel proclamation?
- He wants honor before the elders of Israel, rather than a genuine acceptance of God’s word
- Why did Samuel follow Saul to worship God after the proclamation, vs.31? Samuel was ready to allow God to work out His plan and purpose, this Saul did not understand
- What is the context of the phrase the “The strength of Israel will not repent”?
The many years of conflict with the David is a manifestation of the fact that the flesh will always think the plan of God can be thwarted.
- vs 32, shows that our attitude towards the flesh should be utterly ruthless without mercy
- God and Samuel had emotional hurt over the affairs of Saul, what was Saul attitude towards all the happenings?
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