King's Business - 1915-04



ner can always invent a good construction for his vilest deeds, and Saul tried to make out that the act of grossest disobedience was in reality an act of devotion. It is not uncommon for rebels against the holy will of God to decorate the gratification of their own lust with a pretense of religion or devotion to God. Why Saul and the peo­ ple really spared the cattle is evident from the context; they destroyed what was worthless and what they did not care for, but what was of any value they saved for themselves (vs. 9, 19). To give a part of one’s ill-gotten wealth to the service of uod will not set one’s disobedience right with God. v. 16. “Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night.” Samuel did not venture to tell Saul what. he thought of his actions, he did something infinitely better, he told him what God Himself had said. And Saul listened, Samuel always commanded respectful attention because men had learned that he spoke, not his own mind, but the mind of God. Men would be ready to give more respectful attention to our utterances if they could have the same confidence in us that we were »giv­ ing them, not our own guesses and specu­ lations and opinions but the very word of God. The trouble with some of us is that . we are not at all sure that the Lord has said to us what we try to tell to others. v. 17. “And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israelf” Samuel began by recalling to Saul’s mind the wonderful grace of God toward him. It is well when we rebuke sin, especially the sin of our conduct toward God, to begin by bringing to men’s minds what God has done for us that ought to demand our gratitude toward Him and our obedience to Him. The Bible constantly enforces our duty toward God and our guilt in disobey­ ing God by bringing to our attention God’s goodness toward us (cf.. 2 Peter 2:2). It was when Saul was humble (“Little in his

own eyes’’) that God exalted him and made him the head of the tribes of Israel and anointed him king over Israel. It is al­ ways the man who humbles himself that God exalts (Luke 14:11). vs. 18, 19. “The LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD?” Jehovah had ap­ pointed Saul to a very high place and he had repaid God by gross disobedience. What ingratitude 1 But not so great as ours; when we disobey the God who has made us His own heirs (Rom. 8:17). Sam­ uel might well ask, “Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD?” And God is asking of each one of us who in any matter is not doing exactly what: He bids us to do, “Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD?” Saul’s commission had been to utterly de­ stroy the Amalekites, and fight against: them until they were “consumed.” The Amalekites were a type of the flesh and God will have us have no mercy whatever on the flesh. We should make no pro­ vision whatever for it (Rom. 13:14). It must be put to death, the death of the cross (Gal. 5:24 cf. Gal. 3:13). Samuel swept away all Saul’s sophistries with a single question, “Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord?” ; and then emphasized the awfulness of Saul’s sin by telling him what he had done was “Evil in the sight of the LORD.” It had not been evil in the sight of those who were with Saul, rather it had been excellent in their sight and •excellent in Saul’s sight up until this time, but many of the things which are excellent in our own sight are abom­ ination in the sight of the Lord (Luke 16:15). v. 20. “And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me." Saul has no good answer to Sam­ uel’s question and therefore dodges it, but his own statement of what he had done

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