"Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt.
He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and
best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
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."
- First Samuel 15:7-11
Saul Combines His Half-Hearted Obedience with Self-Service
In fulfillment of the Lord’s plan and promise to punish the Amalekites for attacking Moses and the Israelites as they left Egypt God tells Samuel to commission Saul for the total destruction of the Amalekites. Since Israel is a covenant partner with the Lord, they have to treat the enemies of the Lord as enemies of themselves, just as the Lord treats the enemies of Israel as his enemies.
Saul obeys Samuel and the Lord by moving his troops into the wilderness area of northwest Sinai near the border with Egypt. The command is for complete annihilation of the Amalekites, in the Hebrew hrm, which is the complete giving over of things or people to the Lord, often for total destruction.
But, when Saul attacked out the command from the Lord and his prophet his efforts were only half-hearted, because Saul began to spare and keep “everything that was good.” Saul is leading all of the Israelite troops to commit the sin that Achan did at Jericho when he took the bars of gold and the Babylonian garment from the plunder that was to be hrm by Joshua and his troops. Achan’s sin brought judgment on Israel and ultimately led to Achan being stoned.
God spoke to Samuel of his regret for having made Saul the king because Saul turned away from the Lord’s will to fulfill his own will. In his anger Samuel prayed to the Lord through out the night before he went to meet Saul and reject him as the king of Israel.
"In this manner heretics either wrest plain and simple words to any sense they choose by their conjectures, or else they violently resolve by a literal interpretation words which imply a conditional sense and are incapable of a simple solution, as in this passage." - Tertullian
It is interesting that Agrippa II understood that for him to believe Paul’s message and accept Paul’s teaching as truth, he would have become a “Christian.” Acts 26:27-31
Do I obey and serve God ONLY when it is to my advantage?
Do I find ways to compromise obedience and trust in God when it is difficult or
involves something I do not want?
I will obey full heartedly and I will not use my faith as a tool for self-service.
"Evildoers are snared by
their own sin,
but the righteous shout
for joy and are glad."
- Proverbs 29:6
A map detailing the location of the Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem today.
(click on image for larger size)
The golden menorah prepared for use in the next Jewish Temple. In this photo it sets in a clear plastic case a few blocks west of the Western Wall Prayer Plaza. It is from the Temple Institute which can be seen here and here.
See this same Menorah here.
(click on image for larger size)