1 Samuel 15
Samuel, speaking on God’s behalf, tells Saul his days as king are over. Why was Saul rejected? It’s fairly obvious, but the extent he goes is overwhelming.
Saul didn’t finish the job.
Amalek’s destruction was imminent. (Why did God order mass destruction?) and Saul refuses to follow through for various reasons. Especially for a man responsible for overseeing Israel, this is a terrible rebellion.
It should be noted that God did show mercy to the Kenites. Much like God remembers Amalek’s leaning as enemies of Israel — present and past — He orders Saul to preserve Kenites for their kindness.
Saul leaves a criminal alive.
For reasons that escape me, Saul decides to leave Agag, the current leader of the Amalekites, alive. You would think killing the leader would be a high priority. Did Saul seek further power?
Saul shows personal preference to what is “good.”
We’ve discussed this a couple of times now, that people have a general idea of what’s good that often contradicts God’s ways. We like things that make life convenient for ourselves. Saul picks out his favorite stuff to keep for himself, later telling the party-pooper Samuel that he intended to sacrifice it all. Yeah right, dude. And I order a Diet Coke because I’m watching my figure.
Saul likes himself. A lot.
This isn’t explained either, but Saul, probably excited about his recent military victory, decides to set up monuments to himself around the area while Samuel is looking for him. I find it interesting that Saul’s successor David’s laments for sinful behavior in the Psalms are still standing 3000 years later, and it’s impossible to locate these monuments Saul erected.
Liar liar, tunic on fire.
It’s not the first time Saul fibbed to Samuel’s face. Saul makes sure he gets the first word in, hoping Samuel will bite. Samuel is a prophet, so he kind of has the upper hand. The sheep and cattle meddling about don’t help Saul’s argument either.
Saul justifies and blame shifts his disobedience.
In a position where he could have easily said, “Sorry, bro,” he begins constructing an argument about why he didn’t follow through. He even blames his men, who he had full jurisdiction over.
Saul repents only after getting caught.
People involved in habitual self-destructive behavior often make excuses, refusing to admit they have a problem because the consequences aren’t obvious outright. “It’s my body, it’s my life,” and similar arguments are often employed. Saul knew what he was supposed to do, yet found the command inconvenient. When he’s finally caught, he says sorry, but it’s too late to apologize. It’s too late.
Some practical application to this list:
When God asks you to do something, do it.
Finish the job; don’t leave a foothold for further damage. Would you exterminate “most” of the pests in your home, or have the doctor eliminate “most” of the cancer?
God’s idea of good trumps humans’ ideas. There are several reasons why the Bible has lasted for millenia while governments with noble intentions have risen and fallen. God’s standards are good and will last for eternity
Get over yourself. As a Christian, your position is now a servant. Jesus didn’t wax how special He was. Why should you?
Let’s be honest. Transparency and integrity go a long way. It’s possible that the Lord would have allowed Saul to hang onto the scepter a little longer to reprove his obedience if he’d been straight with Samuel. Don’t jeopardize your current position — shoot straight with people around you.
Own up. If you’re in the wrong, it’s important to admit it, both for your personal sanity and for the sake of not looking like a jerk to your peers.
Why wait? It might be time to make some adjustments. I’m finishing up this blog at an auto repair shop in Hayward, and my car is at a critical point to get a tune-up. Had I waited much longer, I’d be dealing with some damage and a much higher price tag. Your heart and mind need to be maintained. Do what you need to do to keep them running in top shape.
You don’t want to be on the receiving end of a rejection, especially if it’s something God has called you to do. God is certainly gracious and merciful, but why continue to gamble?