Summary: "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live."
Don’t Ignore the Bible
In the chapter of 1 Samuel 15 we read that King Saul of Israel receives a Word from God to destroy the entire Amalekite nation, including women and children. The Amalekite people were like terrorists to the young Israelite nation as they escaped Egypt. (Exodus 17:8; Exodus 17:14-16; Deuteronomy 25:17-18) God tells us that these people had "no fear of God." And through Moses, God promised that He would eradicate these people from the earth. 300 years later God is ready to make good on His promise through Saul. I'm sure God wanted the Amalekites to repent and turn their hearts to Him. In Ezekiel 33:11 God says this, "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live." He repeats Himself in 2 Peter 3:8-9 "But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent."
The Amalekites won't turn their hearts to God. They don't fear Him, and they continue to terrorize His people. So Saul receives the Word to destroy them and everything they own. And really he's all too willing to obey this command as the Amalekites have been a terror for hundreds of years. But Saul doesn't completely obey God. He keeps what he wants. He takes prisoners, livestock, and precious items. He fails to obey what God commanded him to do.
1. If you ignore God's Word you will find yourself in difficult situations without God’s help
Saul found himself in a difficult situation when Samuel confronts him on his disobedience. Saul ignores God’s Word when Samuel tells him to completely eradicate the Amalekites and all their possessions. Saul wasn’t given any wiggle room in the instructions. God is always specific about His instruction and expectation.
Now go and completely destroy[a] the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”
When God tells us what He wants us to do, or not do, He expects obedience from us.
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
God tells us how He wants us to live. If you don’t know His Word, then you don’t know what He has shared with you. Ignorance is not bliss. God will not give you a pass for not knowing His expectations. This is why you have His Word in your hands.
Saul had the audacity to tell Samuel that he “obeyed the command of the Lord”.
Do you have the same audacity this morning, or do you agree with Paul?
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
The Bible records Jesus as saying “I tell you the truth” over 75 times.
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, youcould say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”