In the 15th chapter of Samuel, Saul is explaining to Samuel why he did not obey the instructions of God. God had specifically told Saul to “Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed.” (vs.18b). But Samuel disputes Saul, telling him that he did obey God. Saul replies, “Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” (vs. 20 & 21)
Here is Samuel’s crushing reply: “Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”
The Bible doesn’t state this, but I sense that Saul was quite proud of himself. He truly believed that God would be pleased that he had brought the best of the “spoil,” the King, the sheep and oxen. He brought these as a sacrifice to God, but it was not what God had asked him to do. And because of his disobedience, the Lord rejected him and would not place him as king.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Friday, July 31