Lessons on what NOT to do from the life of Saul

1 Samuel 15:1-3
1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD.
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt.
3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'”

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:

  1. Is God good, just, and righteous? How could He be when He commands one group of people to completely wipe out another?
  2. How does God view partial obedience?
  3. 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.

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3 thoughts on “Lessons on what NOT to do from the life of Saul

  1. Jim Woodell says:

    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).

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