Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 15:10-12 (NIV)
Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “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. Early 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.”
1 Samuel 15:10-12 (MSG)
Then God spoke to Samuel: “I’m sorry I ever made Saul king. He’s turned his back on me. He refuses to do what I tell him.” Samuel was angry when he heard this. He prayed his anger and disappointment all through the night. He got up early in the morning to confront Saul but was told, “Saul’s gone. He went to Carmel to set up a victory monument in his own honor, and then was headed for Gilgal.” By the time Samuel caught up with him, Saul had just finished an act of worship, having used Amalekite plunder for the burnt offerings sacrificed to God.
“Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned away from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” Samuel was angry [over Saul’s failure] and he cried out to the Lord all night. When Samuel got up early in the morning to meet Saul, he was told, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up for himself a monument [commemorating his victory], then he turned and went on and went down to Gilgal.” -AMPLIFIED
That day that Saul went up against the Amalekites would end up being the turning point for him and not in a good, positive way either. Saul failed to do what God had instructed him to do; which was to destroy the Amalekites and all their belongings. His choice’s that day would break Samuel’s heart and affect the nation of Israel. In the end; God would reject Saul as king.
Saul had this foolish notion that by partially obeying God’s directive he would be safe, but he would quickly find that God expects complete and whole obedience. Then too, Saul had a problem of blaming others for his actions. In this case, he blamed his men for not killing or destroying all the animals and belongings of the Amalekites. (Each of us are responsible for making our own choices and we cannot blame others for those choices.)
To top it all off; Saul went to Carmel and set up a monument to himself; commemorating his great victory. (Pride of “SELF” has taken over his mind.) Saul completely ignored the fact that he once thought of himself as inadequate. It was God who had brought him thus far. It was God who had enabled and equipped him. But for God, he was just like everyone else. Saul is going to quickly find out that there are always repercussions to sin. (It is important for each of us to realize that our actions always have consequences. If we choose to disobey God and do our own thing we must accept the outcome of those choices.)
“Although Saul is given great victories, God rejects him, regretting that Saul was ever chosen as king. Several reasons are given for why Saul was judged for listening to his own counsel rather than trusting in God’s. First he takes the priest’s role as his own and carries out a ritual sacrifice. Later his hungry soldiers break the dietary regulations from the law of Moses by devouring meat and blood together. Finally Saul does not destroy every aspect of the Amalekite kingdom as God commanded.” -(VOICE)
When confronted with his sin, instead of acknowledging it at first, Saul defends himself and blames others. Samuel pointedly speaks these words of truth that we all need to hear and understand, “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. For 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.” -1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NIV)
Saul had failed his test. He had failed his people. He had failed his God. He even failed himself. If only he had remembered this decree given by God, “Now listen, Israel, listen carefully to the rules and regulations that I am teaching you to follow so that you may live and enter and take possession of the land that God, the God-of-Your-Fathers, is giving to you. Don’t add a word to what I command you, and don’t remove a word from it. Keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you.” -Deuteronomy 4:1-2 (MSG)
We too must be careful that we are faithfully following God’s instructions for us. We do not want to be like Saul, who because of his choices lost out on God’s best for his life.
“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.” -1 Peter 1:14-16 (MSG)
“Just as a servant knows that he must first obey his master in all things, so the surrender to an implicit and unquestionable obedience must become the essential characteristic of our lives.” ~ Andrew Murray
Lord, I do not want to follow in the footsteps of Saul; in disobedience. Help me, Lord, to do what you have called me to do wholly and completely. Obedience is what you desire. I humbly accept your authority in my life, Lord. You are God; which puts you in charge. I am your servant and I meekly submit to your desires.