First Samuel 15:1-35
Saul Fights the Amalekites

Saul has been king for 25 years

Second year of reign is recorded in chapter 13 - rejection of his dynasty
23 years later in his 25 year here in chapter 15 - rejected as king

Amalekites were still around in David's day: 1 Sam. 27:8; 30:1 2 Sam. 8:12
Hezekiah fought them in 1 Chronicles 4:43

Amalekites fought against Israel after their deliverance from Egypt in Exodus 17:8

God told Moses that the Amalekites needed to be destroyed:Exodus 17:16; Dt. 25:17-19; Num. 24:20

"Totally destroy" is "HEREM" in Hebrew. it is the command to destroy as an offering. "Utterly Destroy" or Heherim o curs in 15:3, 8, 9 (2x), 15, 18, and 20

God overthrows societies by these means:
1) Impersonal as with the Flood of Noah or at Sodom
2) Personal as with Joshua at Jericho or here with Saul.

Amalekites were descendants of Esau Gen. 36:12
Haman the Agagite of Ester 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5; 9:24 was an AMalekite according to Josephus and to his name, "Agag-ite"

Kenites where from Abraham's son Midian through Keturah (Genesish 25:2)
The Kenites had helped Israel in Ex. 18:9, 10, 19 and Numbers 10:29-32

Saul Demonstrated Selective obedience. He used his own judgment to kill or to spare.

When Moses defeated the Amalekites he built an altar to God (Ex. 17:15-16)
Saul defeated the Amalekites and built a monument to himself.

 

15:13
Saul claimed to have obeyed
Saul may have said he was partially obedient
In God's eyes partial obedience is disobedience

Saul justified his sin instead of confessing it. Similar to Adam in Gen. 3:12 and Aaron in Ex. 32:22-23

Saul saw himself with ultimate authority which led him to make bad decisiioins
We can see ourselves as ultimate authority in:
1) our lives, 2) our ministries, 3) our families, 4) at work, 5) at church
We must always realize we are under God's authority. We can not pick and choose when and what we obey.

15:20
Saul still claims obedience

15:21
Saul then blames the people
As a leader Saul took th eprivelages of leadership but failed to take the responsibility.
What kind of military leader is he if he can not control his men.

Saul calls Yahweh "your God" which shows his heart and attitude toward God

God's desire is for obedience and reality.
Saul wanted to give him sacrifice and ritual
Obedience is self-sacrifice or the sacrifice of our wills to his.
Sacrifice is the sacrifice of something other than ourselves to replace our obedience and self-sacrifice.

Witchcraft tries to control events and the future.
Self-will does the same thing. Self-will is rebellion against God's will in an attempt to control things you should not control.
Thus, rebellion is the same thing as witchcraft (divination)

Arrogance (self-will) is replacing God with self. This is idol worship.
Thus, arrogance is idol worhip.

The Hebrew does not have the word "like" as the NIV does when it says, "rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry."
The Hebrew says, "rebellioin is divination and arrogance is idolatry."

Rebellion tries to control future and events with self-will.
Arrogance replaces God's will with self which is idol worship.

15:24
Saul says, "I have sinned"
The word "sinned" is "abarti" and it means to pass over or to overlook.
Saul says he has overlooked some of the smaller details of God's word.
What God called rebellion, Saul called an oversight.

Saul was guilty of treason.

Genuine repentance is always met with forgiveness.
But, repentance does not remove the loss created by sin and the ramification it set into action
The Jews will still be suffering for Saul's disobedience 600 years later when Esther and the Jews deal with Haman.

"gave into them" is literally "obeyed them"


15:27
"to grasp the hem" was an expression that signified supplication. It was like falling at someone's feet and asking for mercy.
The hem also identified Social status of the person who wore it.
David cut Saul's hem off his garment and showed he was taking his position and authority from Saul for himself. David then felt bad and asked for forgiveness.
Here in 15:27 Saul grabs Samuel's hem as as sign of begging for a second chance (or, third, or fouth. . .) but it backfired on him and became a sign.
What Saul intended to be a sign of supplication became a sign of having torn off Samuel's (and God's) authority.
Saul was left holding the torn hem that was a symbol of Samuel's social status as a prophet of God.
Saul had ripped off Samuel's status, which was his sin from the beginning.
Saul was rejected by God because he had rejected God's word.

Repentance is available but once the line is crossed it is too late and there is no going back.

15:32-25
"Bring Agag" -
1) This was evidence of Saul's disobedience
2) Samuel executes him instead of King Saul since Saul has been rejected and failed to execute his mission. Samuel does Saul's work.

Samuel's words to Agag rhyme in the Hebrew.