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Demanding 2
Posted on August 23, 2010

Recently we have been looking at Saul in 1 Samuel 28, the last sad chapter in this first King of Israel’s life. I stated that there was a pattern of Saul not trusting God. The pattern reemerges in 1 Samuel 15. In verse 3 Saul is given his marching orders. He is to “go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” Fairly clear. So Saul goes on his divine mission. A few verses later we read, “Saul and the people spared Agag (the king of Amalek) and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.”


If you are like me, you may notice that Saul did not do what God had commanded him to do through Samuel. He went on the mission but did not carry it out as outlined by God. Half done is not done. In verses 13 – 23, Samuel confronts Saul. If it were not so tragic it would be humorous. It is worth taking some time to read. Saul claims obedience, then he blame shifts, telling Samuel that it was the people not him, and tries to cover it over by claiming it was done in the name of worship. Samuel and God are having none of it. Saul was more concerned about how the people were going to react to him than obeying what God told him to do. Trust here would have been to do what was unpopular, what he feared, and then to trust God for the outcome. But as with the sacrifices, Saul did not trust God’s heart, direction, and involvement. So he acted. He did what he thought was best in the situation. The result, he was cut off from being king, the Holy Spirit was removed from him and replaced with an evil spirit to torment him, David was anointed king in his place in the next chapter, and Saul never saw Samuel again. Radical consequences.


I have done all kinds of mental gymnastics in my life to justify my partial (therefore complete) disobedience. It is an exhausting and futile exercise. Like Saul I will not speak or take a stand because I am afraid of what people will say of me, or I will try to couch my hedging in spiritual language. Make it sound noble. Does not work. The reality is that we are to obey. Period.


PS. One of the things that we really covet is your prayer for this ministry. We send out on Mondays a weekly intercession request. If you would commit to pray for us please click here to join our intercession team.


Comments
entered at August 23, 2010 09:51:PM by KK
Infants and children being hacked to death. It's difficult to move past this.

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