Once again we are launching into a conversation on holiness and the type of worship God accepts.
If you have missed the previous postings of our conversation they can be found…
In our previous discussions we have established that Grace isn’t just about forgiveness. It is about change. I am afraid while many are on board with the forgiveness part they are not on board with the change part.
There are two illustrations from the Old Testament that help us understand this mindset which is unacceptable to God and the mindset He desires us to have. Today I will share the first illustration. This is the story of two kings…
I Samuel 15
1Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroya all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’ ”
4So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. 5Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.
7Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calvesb and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
10Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11“I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
12Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
16“Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
17Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
20“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”
What are your thoughts as you read this passage? What do you see in Saul?