The above is a Scripture some who oppose Christianity point to in order to illustrate the “meanness” that exists within the Christian God. I admit – this command to wipe out the Amalekites is pretty tough.
Saul, Israel’s first king, was commanded by God to completely wipe out the Amalekites from the face of the earth in retribution for their attacking Israel in Exodus 17. This including killing “men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys” – everything. That’s really tough.
And Saul obeyed God … sort of. Actually he only carried out part of God’s command – the part that made sense to him. The rest I guess he determined God had been mistaken about, and he decided to disobey.
In the end, Saul paid for it dearly. A valuable lesson is learned therein.
There are a few fundamental questions dealt with in this lesson:
- Is God good, just, and righteous? How could He be when He commands one group of people to completely wipe out another?
- How does God view partial obedience?
- What are the consequences of partial obedience?
If this lesson on 1 Samuel 15 sounds interesting to you, listen here:
For more, visit westcoastwitness.com’s Sermon Archive.
A good follow-up to Saul’s disobedience is to see how the remaining Amalekites fit into future problems for the Children of Israel (for instance, it was an Amalekite that finished Saul off on the field of battle).
That’s in the sermon – and there’s more to it than that too.
Shucks! I might have known I can’t get one up on you!! Stay after it and I will be learning more and more. Good stuff. Love you bud.