This chapter starts with a command from the lord and seems as though everything is going to be good and encouraging, then it takes a turn in the other direction. God issues a very specific command for King Saul to fulfill. He says to go and destroy the Amalekites. Not just beat them and take over, but kill everything and everyone. This is a very heavy and harsh command.
Initially it looks like Saul is going to fulfill this command well, but after defeating the Amalekites he takes the king captive instead of killing him, and he picks through all of the livestock for the best and destroys the rest. This was not what God commanded Saul to do. God visits Samuel again and tells him that He regrets making Saul king because he has turned from Him.
Saul became selfish and instead of living within Gods will and following what God commanded, he did what he thought was better, and would be more beneficial.
How often do you have clear instruction from God (The great commission, The great commandment, Love your neighbor…) but instead of acting in obedience you act on your own selfishness and do what you think is better?
Samuel approaches Saul about this disobedience. What is incredible about this is that Saul responds in the same way that I have found myself responding many times, and you may have found yourself responding this way. Verse 15 Saul says that the animals that they decided not to kill were spared so that they could be sacrificed to God later. Saul tries to cover up his disobedience by making it seem like there was good intention. The problem is that all of that is totally driven by a self-serving heart.
Verse 22-23 Samuel lays out that it is OBEDIENCE that God wants and values. What we may think is better or more useful does not really matter. If God gives us clear direction, He wants total obedience. Saul later admits that he was wrong and he disobeyed out of fear, which is selfishness.
What is God revealing to you today that He wants you to be a part of through your obedience to Him?
Are you focused on yourself or are you focused on God and what He is doing, and how you can be part of it?
By: Dakota Gragg