The Lord [said] . . . “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.”
God gave instructions to attack the Amalekites because they had ruthlessly attacked his people coming out of slavery from Egypt (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Setting up an ambush, Saul attacked Amalek with great speed and force. Saul’s army gobbled up territory without much pushback. They destroyed the Amalekites and took their King Agag alive.
Saul looked at the Amalekites’ good livestock and decided to keep them alive too. What could be wrong with that? Saul simply believed he could make better decisions based on his knowledge of war than on God’s knowledge of obedience.
When Samuel came, he was shocked to see two things: alive animals and an alive King Agag. And because of this, God had said he was greatly disappointed with Saul.
Israel’s first king had chosen his world over God’s world. The Amalekites were not the only ones who dishonored God as he worked to lead his people. Saul too had worked against God and tried to take advantage for his own gain.
No wonder Samuel cried out to the Lord. Maybe both the Lord and his prophet cried together that night.
My Lord and God, help me to obey you instead of going my own way. I need godly people to speak into my life. Open my ears and heart to your wise counsel today. In Christ’s name, Amen.
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