THE PROBLEM OF SELF WILL

Have you ever been taken to the wood shed?

Been put in your place or been ‘brought down to size’?

Saul, king of Israel did and he had it coming!

In 1 Samuel 15, God has told Saul to take the troops and whoop up on the Amalekites for waylaying the Israelites when they escaped Egypt.

God gave explicit instructions to destroy everyone along with all the livestock.

Guess who once again can’t follow some simple instructions!

Saul brings back King Agag as a prisoner and the best of the livestock.

Not only that, he sets up a monument to himself!

God sends Samuel to confront Saul and of course there is an excuse.

Isn’t there always an excuse when we try to justify our actions?

Saul acts all buddy- buddy with Samuel, proclaiming how that he did just what the Lord had instructed and Samuel wisely asks:

“What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

Saul comes up with a good one by declaring that they are for the purpose of offering the Lord the best sacrifice!

Oh really? Sounds like such a noble motive doesn’t it?

This is where Saul gets nailed with the truth of what he has done.

Samuel tells him that to obey is better than sacrifice. Rebellion and arrogance are sins and God will remove Saul as king.

Saul, knowing he is in a no- win situation, starts to back track, trying to appease God and Samuel with an apology in a feeble show of repentance that seems more sorry that he was caught than a genuine desire for forgiveness.

There will be no changing of God’s mind on this matter and Samuel rebukes Saul by stating that fact. God is not a human that He changes his mind, nor does he lie.

Samuel never sees Saul again but grieves deeply for him.

God regrets that He had ever installed Saul as king.

God knew and had told the people who begged for a king, that this is how it would be, but nonetheless, a loving father doing what he has to do does not mean that it doesn’t break his heart to do it.

Oh the lessons in this passage would take up too much space to draw out and I do not do this justice.

I am sad and humbled as I leave us with this thought in the words that Samuel inspired by God, spoke to Saul:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:22,23

 
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