Summary: What is your excuse to God...do you make excuses or own up to your failures?
Our Passage: 1 Samuel 15
1. 1One day Samuel said to Saul, "I anointed you king of Israel because the LORD told me to. Now listen to this message from the LORD! 2This is what the LORD Almighty says: ’I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. 3Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.’"
a. Some of us might wonder why God would command the complete destruction of a nation, all the way down to women, children and animals. It seems very harsh. It would have been considered harsh even for that day and age. Only rarely did God command everything to be destroyed.
b. A key word we can see in verse two, “I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek.”
i. It is reminiscent of the term that Jesus uses to describe the final judgement. Every man will give an account of himself before God.
ii. It is as if God is saying, “I have decided it is time for Amalek to face my judgment.”
iii. Judgment is God’s prerogative. He is the only one who can judge. He judges rightly. Every one of us is due to appear before His judgment seat. Some of us may arrive there sooner than others of us, but we will all appear there.
iv. In the case of Amalek, this nation brutally attacked the Israelites while they were traveling through the country on their way to the chosen land, even though they had offered to pay for the water they drank from Amalek’s wells.
1. You might say…that is a pretty tough judgment…after all, these are the great grandchildren of Amalek. How can they be guilty for what he did?
v. No matter what the reasoning, God is still just. No man may stand before Him righteous. Every man is guilty…the bible says, “All have sinned.” All of us deserve the same penalty for our rebellion against God. “the wages of sin is death.”
1. If you stood before God, at your judgment, what would you say to Him when He asks you why you should be allowed to spend eternity with Him? (pause)
2. You and I have only one reply if we are honest…I deserve the same fate as the Amalakites. Every one of us have rebelled against God, we have done our own thing.
3. The only answer that would suffice would be, “You sent your son Jesus to die in my place, that is the only reason I am here.”
4. And yes, Jesus died in your and my place and now our sin has been put away, and forgiven, cast as far as the east is from the west.
c. Ok, lets get back to the text and see what happens to King Saul:
2. 4So Saul mobilized his army at Telaim. There were 200,000 troops in addition to 10,000 men from Judah. 5Then Saul went to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. 6Saul sent this message to the Kenites: "Move away from where the Amalekites live or else you will die with them. For you were kind to the people of Israel when they came up from Egypt." So the Kenites packed up and left. 7Then Saul slaughtered the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, east of Egypt. 8He captured Agag, the Amalekite king, but completely destroyed everyone else. 9Saul and his men spared Agag’s life and kept the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.
a. This passage describes what happens. Saul goes out and attacks the Amalekites, but does his own thing. He keeps the best of the animals, the good stuff and he takes their king as his prisoner. In verse 9, it says, “they kept the best of the sheep and cattle, everything that appealed to them.” We will have to look deeper to understand why.
3. 10Then the LORD said to Samuel, 11"I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has again refused to obey me." Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the LORD all night.
a. Did you hear God’s words to Samuel…Saul has failed in the loyalty test and the obedience test (again). This has brought about a series of consequences that will profoundly affect the nation of Israel as well as king Saul.
b. I also feel it is necessary to show you a brief picture of a prophet. Samuel was moved so deeply that he CRIED OUT to the Lord all night.