Saul had his. Commission, “Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all” (v.3). His orders were plain and clear. Amalek, like Jericho, was to be entirely devoted to destruction, “And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent “ (Jos 6:17:).
Neither his feelings nor reason must stand in the way of the fultilment of the divine purpose ,(Hab 2:4) “ but the just shall live by his faith.”
When we have the Lord’s bidding to go, even though it should be on the water, it is left up to us to obey, “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come.” (Mt.14:28.
We see Saul as being disobedient, “But Saul spared Agag, and the best of the sheep and all that was good” (v.9). The command was spare not, but he spared. Saul allowed his eye to govern his actions, so he walked not by faith but by sight, (1.Jh. 2:16) tells us “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Saul had his eyes on the things of the world.
His natural instincts, as a judge of and dealer in cattle, overruled the direct Word of God; so he spared the best, and utterly destroyed the vile and the worthless.
It is always easy to devote to God that which we do not want. Will He be pleased with the vile and the wretched while we spare the best for our own purposes ? Self can get us into a lot of trouble.
Whenever self interest is allowed a place in our service for the Lord it is sure to be at the cost of faithfulness to Him. (Mt 25:15) “And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.”
We can always find reason for Self-Justification. This is a very sad and uncheerful occurrence in the life of Saul. May we take this as a warning against self-deception, (Jer. 17:9) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The Lord said to Samuel in (v.11.) “Saul hath not performed my commandments.” And when Samuel met Saul, after he had been triumphantly setting up a monument of his victory, he add with the up most self-satisfaction, “I have performed the commandment of the Lord” (v.12,13).
At the same time the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen that he had spared as spoil were a solemn mockery in the sight of God.
Like the crowing of the cock to Peter, they might have reminded Saul of his sin.
This was not all. When Samuel charged him with “not obeying the voice of the Lord, ” he answered, “Yea, I have obeyed” (v.20).
It is sad in the extreme to be seeking at any time to persuade ourselves that we are right with God when He had declared that we have “turned back. ” “Be not deceived, God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7).
The eyes of the Lord are upon us, as they were on Saul, watching whether we are faithful to Him and His Word, ( Jer 32:19) tells us this about the Lord “Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:”
Every act of disobedience is an act of rebellion against God, (Lk. 15:21) “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”
Am I worthy to be called my Father’s son, yes for Christ gave his life for us.
In the coming days let the Presence of Christ go with you. If sometimes your will grows weak, let the Lord’s power lead you into a greater consecration to him,
If sometimes the world with its subtle temptations, comes in upon you, let His unselfish service drive out the motives that belong only to the far country,
If sometimes you are discouraged and in despair, let His smile rest upon you and His strong words say to you, “Be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world.” Yes we are worthy to be called the sons of God by the blood of Christ.
Let us always be ready to give our confession to Christ. Samuel had to be true to Saul, although he was deeply grieved at his failure, and had spent the whole night in “Crying unto the Lord” (v.11). “To obey is better than sacrifice, ” he said, and “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (v.22, 23).
Saul discovered that the secret, selfish motives of his heart had blossomed and brought forth fruit that was sure to grow fearfully bitter, so he confessed, “I have sinned : I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord: because I feared the people and obeyed their voice” (v.24).
He feared the people, and the fear of man ensnared his soul, (Pr. 29:25) “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”
Are there not multitudes of people with gifted lives around us that are wrecked and mined for the service of God through the very same reason, the fear of man. “Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shalt die?” (Isa. 51;12).
Any back boneless soul can be a coward. Let us put on the armour of God, and ye shall be able to stand in the evil day (Eph. 6:13).
Never forget that Rejection can happen to us,“Samuel said unto Saul, “Thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king” (v.26).
To reject God’s Word is to be rejected of God, (II.Ti 2:12) ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:” He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar.”
Saul’s seeming repentance and confession had come too late. The guiding presence of God was cut, Saul’s life was now a drifting wreck.“The Strength of Israel will not lie” (v.29).
He abideth faithful. He cannot deny Himself. What a vain show our life must be if it is not lived for the gIory of God, (Mk.8:36) “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
SauI may still retain the favour of the people, but, the Spirit of God had departed from him, “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him,” (chap.16:14).