Samuel walked up to King Saul without fanfare. “The LORD had me anoint you as Israel’s king. He has a mission for you to carry out for Him. He has decided to punish Amalek for the time they fought against His people as they fled Egypt. You are to completely destroy ALL of the people and animals of the Amalekites.”
Samuel awoke a few nights later to the unmistakable voice of God. “I deeply regret making Saul king over My people. He has not carried out the command I gave him.”
Samuel rolled out of bed and fell to his knees. “LORD Jehovah, don’t take Your vengeance out on Your people for one man’s disobedience. Please, set up another in Saul’s place.”
He wrestled in prayer the remainder of that night.
After sunrise Samuel set out to find Saul. He went to the area near the former city of the Amalekites and found a soldier walking home. “Do you know where the king is? I need to talk to him.”
The man pointed toward Mount Carmel. “King Saul went to Carmel and made a monument to himself to celebrate our tremendous victory over Amalek. He went back to Gilgal after that.”
That knot in Samuel’s gut returned when he saw the smile on Saul’s face.
Saul walked right up to the prophet. “It’s a great day, man of God. I have carried out the LORD’s command.”
Samuel pointed at the animals in the valley. “Where, then, did that good-looking flock come from?”
Saul spun around, then looked back at Samuel. “They saved the best of the herd to sacrifice to God. Everything else is gone.”
Samuel stared into Saul’s eyes. “When you were small in your own eyes God had me anoint you king over His people. I brought you one simple command from God: utterly destroy ALL that belongs to Amalek. Why, then, did you collect spoil from the battle?”
Saul cleared his throat. “But, we did destroy the people. Only Agag, their king, is alive. The people are the ones who took animals which they’re about to sacrifice to the LORD your God here in Gilgal.”
A dust cloud rose from where Samuel stabbed his staff in the ground. “Obedience to God is worth far more than ANY sacrifice. Your rebellion and stubbornness are as bad as witchcraft and idolatry. God has rejected you as His king because you have rejected His command.”
King Saul fell to his knees. “I have sinned. I feared the people more than I feared God. Please, pardon my sin so I may worship the LORD with you.”
Samuel looked down at Saul. “God is not a man to be bargained with. He will not change his mind. I won’t return with you to worship Him.”
Samuel felt a tug on his robe when he turned to leave. The tearing sound made him stop. He saw a piece of his robe in Saul’s hand. “So the LORD has torn Israel’s kingdom from you and given it to one after His own heart.”
Saul stared at the fabric, then, up at Samuel. “Please, I have sinned. Honor me before the elders and the people so I may worship the LORD your God once more.”
Samuel took a deep breath. “Very well, I will do it for the LORD and His people.”
I am so glad I was born on this side of the cross. Aren’t you?
Saul was placed in a high position he never asked for, and likely never wanted, only to be lambasted for performing his duties at 90%. If a leader today performs at that level he’s hailed as a huge success.
What we see here is the true heart of God in action before grace took effect. Total obedience is what it takes to live up to God’s high standard. One mistake, one slip, one disobedient act is all it takes to displease the Holy God of creation.
Even if you don’t know exactly what He demands of you the rules are the same. 100% one hundred percent of the time is the standard that will get you on His good side.
That’s why God came down as one of us. He knew we’d never be able to attain that standard on our own. Jesus Christ is the name of the person He became. Jesus Christ is the only man who ever lived up to God’s perfect standard.
If Jesus hadn’t died on the cross He’d still be walking around today.
He didn’t die to pay for His sins since He didn’t have any. He died to take the sins of all people on Himself so we’d be able to come to God. When we accept this gift of God He sees us as if He’s looking at Jesus.
The transaction that took place that day is one of divine adoption. God adopted us into His family when Jesus’ life blood pooled at the foot of the cross.
Only when you profess your inability to reach God on your efforts and take Jesus’ sacrifice as your substitute will God look at you as His child.
King Saul rationalized his situation into believing he’d done enough to please God. He was wrong.
Don’t repeat his mistake.
For those of you who’ve taken that step of faith don’t use your adoption as an excuse to live any way you please. Sure, you’ll always be in God’s family, but, don’t come before Him with muddy clothes.
You are a child of the King of kings. Act like the royal family member you are. One day you’ll rule with Jesus Christ. Show yourself worthy of that calling, now.
There’s only one place I know of where you’ll find God’s standard to live by. Read your Bible regularly. Take it in like you take oxygen into your lungs. Don’t live life without it prince or princess.
Your heavenly Father is counting on you to carry His message to a dying world about His amazing gift of grace.
I’ll see you later. Wade