Once King Saul opened up the door to pride, he quickly headed down a slippery path. In 1 Samuel 10, we learn that God had given him a new heart. In 1 Samuel 13, instead of obeying God, Saul grows tired of waiting for Samuel to arrive and takes it upon himself to offer up the sacrifice to God. He takes on the office of a priest, an action that was not permitted by God. Saul attempts to justify his actions but Samuel tells it to him straight. Saul disobeyed God and there would be a price to pay. His descendants would never sit on the throne.
1 Samuel 15 opens up with Samuel giving Saul a message from the Lord. Saul is to completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation. He is to not only kill all of the men but the women, children and all of their livestock as well. Why? Because they had opposed Israel when they came out of Egypt and now God's judgement was falling upon them.
Interspersed amongst the Amalekites were the Kenites. The Kenites had actually befriended the Israelites when they entered the Promised Land so they were warned to move away from the Amalekites or they would be destroyed. The Bible tells us the Kenites did just that. (1 Samuel 15:6)
The Bible tells us that Saul spared the life of Agag, the Amalekite king and he kept the best of the livestock. He also only destroyed the Amalekites within a certain perameter. In other words, he only went so far and that would come back to haunt Israel during the reign of King David but that's another story.
Then the Lord said to Samuel, I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command. Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night.
1 Samuel 15:10-11
Early the next morning, Samuel goes to find Saul. When he inquires after Saul, he is told that Saul went to Carmel to set up a monument to himself ! Then Saul headed off to Gilgal.
When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. May the Lord bless you, he said. I have carried out the Lord's command!
Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear? Samuel demanded.
It's true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle, Saul admitted. But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.
1 Samuel 15:13-15 (NLT)
Now there is a lot going on here but I want to focus on how Saul referred to God. In verse 15 Saul addresses God as "your God". He is called "my God" (Saul's God) nor is He even referred to as "our God", meaning the God of Saul as well as Samuel's. Lest you think this is unique to the version of the Bible I quoted, it is not. I have looked it up in the KJV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV, the NRSV and even the Complete Jewish Bible and in all instances it either thy God or your God. I believe this is significant and reveals the state of Saul's heart. As far as Saul was concerned, God was not his God. He was the God of someone else.
What about you? Is God your God... or do you view Him as being theGod of someone else?
He's my God and I pray to always be attentive to being his willing and obedient son! K., Thank you an extremely important one word variation in Saul's response, making all the difference in the world!
That "your" is so easily slipped over, and yet so unnatural when you think about it.
Would we say to our brother or sister, "your father" or "your mother"?
I don't believe so, unless we were making a point of distancing ourselves.
Your OT storytelling (and message-highlighting) skills are great
A lot can be learned from the account of Saul, in the OT. God does indeed require obedience. Saul was anointed of God, yet later rejected. Saul didn't even realize that the anointing, and spirit had left him. Pride and willful disobedience caused his rejection. Many today will say it can't happen now, we are in a different covenant. Yes, we are. But God stays the same. I would not be so presumptous regarding.
We should learn from their examples. Good blog. God bless