Summary: Saul gives us a great example of what a follower of God should not do. We can learn a great lesson from this mans life. God can work with anything except disobedience.
Intro: Saul, if he were alive today could be the star of a reality TV show. It would be titled “What not to do when relating to God.” As we look at Saul’s life we can see pin-holes of greatness. However the little bits of light are later consumed by complete darkness. Ultimately if you continue to read 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel, he loses the ability to hear from God and his very life.
1 Samuel 9.2 tells us Saul was a choice and a handsome man. There was no body better looking in all Israel. He was taller than any of the rest of his people. You could say he had a kingly look about him. Saul’s problem is that he did not have a kingly character.
Warren Wiersbe captured the character of Saul with his statement.
“Saul had a habit of substituting saying for doing and of making excuses instead of confessing sins. No matter what happened, it was always somebody else’s fault.”
Saul’s first and most tragic flaw in this chapter is also his most fatal.
I. Disobeyed God’s word (1 Samuel 15.1-11)
A) God’s clear instruction (1 Samuel 15.3)
According to Gen 36.12, 15-16; Heb 12.14-17 the Amalekites descended from Esau, the unbelieving brother of Jacob. They were the enemy of the Hebrew peoples. Amaleks army attacked the Hebrew people from behind shortly after they left Egypt. The Hebrew army led by Joshua supported by Moses prayer and empowered by God defeated the army of Amalek. God then declared war on this people.
Some people question God condemning this and other groups of people in the Bible. Is it possible that people lean more to sentiment than spiritual truth and God’s word?
1 Samuel 15.18 calls them sinners. God often was long suffering with the nations that were wicked and rejected Him. However, he promises in His word to curse those that curse Israel.
Even the new testament says that you are for or against the Lord. If you stand against him then you will stand in judgment.
I’m not passing judgment just preaching God’s word. If God’s word through His Holy Spirit causes conviction in your heart I would counsel you to confess your sin.
1 Samuel 15.6 Saul is careful to protect some descendants of the Midianites. Moses wife Miriam came from this clan. How sad it is he was not careful to obey Gods word and will.
B) Saul’s clear insubordination
Saul was called to defeat and destroy everything and everyone of the Amalekites. They had fallen under God’s ban. And every man woman and child, animal and possession were to be totally, 15.3 utterly destroyed.
I would like to draw your attention to 1 Sam 15.9 Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the rest. How can we say something is best if God has condemned. How can we live a lifestyle that God has condemned. How can we devote our lives to things God condemns. Its clear that we can only do that if we turn a deaf ear and a hard heart to God’s word just as Saul did.
Isaiah 5.20 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil”
Saul had decided his way was better. We are in a world today filled with people that know better than God. Christians and non-christians alike. You say Brother bill that aint so!!!
I say it is for if we don’t obey we act as if we can do better than God.
II. Disregarded His responsibility (1 Sam 15.12-15)
A) A monumental disaster.
1 Sam 15.12 Saul set up a monument for himself. In ancient times in the Middle East they would raise monuments to the victorious king. That monument often would have the imprint or carving of the victors hand print on the stone.
As King Saul was responsible to give God the credit that the victory only came by God’s hand.
B) A monstrous ego
1 Sam 15.13 Saul proclaims that he has carried out the commands of the Lord. All the while the evidence of his disobedience is heard in the ears of Samuel. We find that in God’s economy anything short of complete obedience is disobedience.
C) A miserable alibi
1 Samuel 15.16 finally Samuel gets enough of Saul’s excuses and says STOP!!!
Samuel confronts Saul with the reality of his sin of disobedience.
Why Saul did you not do what God said?
Does Saul step up and be the big man does he take responsibility for his actions?
No he makes excuses. I say that excuses are like armpits, everyone has a pair and all of them stink!!!
Dr Adrian Rogers An excuse is just the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.
So Samuel gives him the famous lines