Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
1 Samuel 15:34-35 (NIV)
Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
1 Samuel 15:34-35 (MSG)
Samuel left immediately for Ramah and Saul went home to Gibeah. Samuel had nothing to do with Saul from then on, though he grieved long and deeply over him. But God was sorry he had ever made Saul king in the first place.
“Then Samuel went to Ramah, but Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, for Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.” -AMPLIFIED
Saul finally acknowledges his disobedience to Samuel in verse 24 and 25 of 1 Samuel 15. “Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” -(AMP)
Samuel picked up on the fact that Saul was not truly repentant; for his attitude had not changed. Saul continued to blame others for his sin and disobedience. We will see who Saul was elevating and glorifying in a moment.
Samuel’s response to Saul was a resounding, “NO!”. He refused Saul’s request. “No, I can’t come alongside you in this. You rejected God’s command. Now God has rejected you as king over Israel.” -(MSG)
Yet, Saul continued to plead and grovel. We find that as Samuel turned to leave Saul’s presence Saul grabbed hold of the hem of his garment and pulled; tearing a piece off of it. Samuel looked at him and delivered God’s message, “God has just now torn the kingdom from you, and handed it over to your neighbor, a better man than you are. Israel’s God-of-Glory doesn’t deceive and he doesn’t dither. He says what he means and means what he says.” -1 Samuel 15:28-29 (MSG)
Saul does not even acknowledge Samuel’s prophecy; God’s message. Instead, his focus is still on himself. Once again he admits that he has sinned, but he never once takes responsibility for that sin. Let us look at what he said to Samuel, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” -1 Samuel 15:30 (AMP)
Once again we see him agree to the fact that he had sinned, but he never once made an effort to right the wrong. The crux of the matter is found in his words, “…please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel…” Pride was more important to Saul than obeying God. His attitude was, “It is all about ME!” (He was in for a rude awakening!)
Notice Saul’s next words to Samuel, because I feel that they hold great significance of the state of Saul’s spiritual walk with God. Saul said to Samuel, “…go back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” Notice he did not say, “the Lord our God”, but “the Lord your God”. Saul had allowed his relationship with God to slide and he no longer put God first. In fact, his “EGO” had become an idol in his life.
Pride is abhorrent to God and He will not tolerate it. There are many verses in the Bible that caution that we do not allow pride to rule in our lives.
* “When pride comes [boiling up with an arrogant attitude of self-importance], then come dishonor and shame, but with the humble [the teachable who have been chiseled by trial and who have learned to walk humbly with God] there is wisdom and soundness of mind.” -Proverbs 11:2 (AMP)
* “For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself.” -Galatians 6:3 (AMP)
* “Everyone who is proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting and exceedingly offensive to the Lord; be assured he will not go unpunished.” -Proverbs 16:5 (AMP)
* “But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].” -James 4:6 (AMP)
We find Samuel reluctantly going back with Saul to worship God. Once they had done so Samuel called for the soldiers to bring Agag, the king of the Amalekites. Foolish man that he was, Agag came willingly because he thought that he was safe. Samuel understood the need of whole and complete obedience to God. He had done what Saul should have done in the first place. “Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel cut Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.” -1 Samuel 15:33 (AMP)
Then Samuel went to his home and Saul went to his home in Gibeah. They did not see each other for a very long time after this incident. But we find Samuel grieving deeply over Saul and his refusal to follow God’s commands.
Saul had messed up royally. He not only failed to obey God; he put “Self” in God’s place. He had essentially made himself into a god; usurping God’s rightful place in his life. Pride took over and he deceived himself into believing that he was “SOMETHING” when he was actually just a man being used by God. Oh, let us beware of the sin of pride!
“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” -John C. Maxwell
Lord, I know that this life does not center around me, but you. Forgive me for the sin of pride. Help me to have the correct attitude. Self-righteousness is not what you are looking for in your children, but humility. It’s all about you, Lord! Take your rightful place in my life. I submit to you and your will.