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Study In 1 Samuel Presentation 14. Saul’s Disobedience God’s Rejection Chapter 15v1-35 Presentation 14.

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Presentation on theme: "Study In 1 Samuel Presentation 14. Saul’s Disobedience God’s Rejection Chapter 15v1-35 Presentation 14."— Presentation transcript:

1 Study In 1 Samuel Presentation 14

2 Saul’s Disobedience God’s Rejection Chapter 15v1-35 Presentation 14

3 Samuel is sent by God to Saul with orders for battle. There are points in history when God brings his righteous judgement to bear upon the nations [ Gen18. 20-21 Sodom and Gomorrah]. Saul was commanded to destroy the Amalekites. Does this reveal a bloodthirsty God? No!. The Amalekites were not only the sworn enemies of God's people but the sworn enemies of God's purpose [Ex. 17.8ff, Deut.25.17-19, Jud. 3.13.] Saul is not being incited to gratuitous violence but called upon to be God's instrument of judgement. The judgement of God is not indiscriminate you will notice that the Kenites, a nation who had shown kindness to Israel, are spared judgement. Introduction Presentation 14

4 Obeying God The Amalekite people had been placed under a religious ban. Like the city of Jericho, cf. Josh. 6.17-21. It involved the irrevocable giving over of persons and things to the Lord often by totally destroying them. Saul however, was selective in his obedience this God's command. Note: "Moderate obedience is a euphemism for disobedience". God asks us for obedience but has made us with a capacity to disobey. By doing so we violate our commitment to him. Recognising this God has refused to turn us into automen. Presentation 14

5 Obeying God Jesus made it quite clear at the end of his ministry that obedience and not words reflect the quality of our love for him cf. Jn. 15. 10-14. Despite a bad press often given to Puritan writers, it is impossible to read them without sensing their love for God. Why should this be? Here is the answer one historian provides. “The Puritans were men sure of God, sure of his will, sure of the absolute duty to act in his sight and for his approval. Nothing else mattered by comparison. Consequences were of no account. Obedience alone held the secret of freedom, courage, peace, power, happiness and salvation”. F. J. POWICKE Presentation 14

6 Recognition Wanted Saul never really loved God and that lack is reflected in his behaviour. Instead of destroying all the Amalekite’s possessions he kept back the best for himself. Note too, that Saul spared the life of Agag the Amalekite king. Why? One of the kudos of Middle Eastern monarchs lay in the number of defeated kings they could parade before their guests at royal banquets. This may have been one reason. Presentation 14

7 Recognition Wanted Does Saul know deep down that his disobedience was not something of which God could approve and so he attempts to distract attention from his disobedience by building himself a monument v12? Here is an insecure man who is longing for recognition [God was not about to give it] and so he resorts to congratulating himself. What a terribly pathetic picture - Saul is reduced to blowing his own trumpet. Presentation 14

8 Recognition Wanted If we live for the sake of obtaining a good opinion of others and make this our main object and ambition, we shall of necessity concentrate more upon outward appearances than upon inward reality. As a result the views of other people become our conscience. And so our own conscience atrophies and dies from disuse. “The man who is concerned most of all about his public appearances before men is never much concerned about his private attitude before God”. M. L. JONES Presentation 14

9 Recognition Wanted Saul, when challenged by Samuel, quickly justifies his disobedience [v15, 20, 21], instead of confessing and forsaking his sin. After all, he’d responded to God's call to battle and if his soldiers had failed to observe total obedience, their behaviour was excusable because a religious purpose lay behind it - the animals they had spared were to be sacrificed to God! Pull the other leg Saul! Presentation 14

10 No Substitute For Obedience Samuel tells Saul that he had become too big for his boots in v17. Saul has lost his earlier humility. It’s frightening to see how position and power can change a man and convince him he is above accountability. Saul believed that God could be bought, with religious ritual. Samuel disabuses him of that notion in v22 ‘obedience is better than sacrifice’. God's attitude to worship that is not married to obedience is found elsewhere Isa. 1v12-17, Jer.6v19-20. God will never accept formal ritual in place of heart obedience. Saul pays the price of disobedience. In chap 13 his house had been rejected. In chap 15 Saul's person is rejected. Presentation 14

11 No Substitute For Obedience Saul no longer has a part to play in God's purpose! If people can’t be trusted with the stewardship of God's work, it is taken away from them. How did Saul respond to rejection v24, 25? Not in genuine repentance for it still attempts to shift the responsibility for the sin to others and is more concerned with publicly losing face than with having dishonoured God. Agag thought he had escaped the judgement of God. His confident language echo's that. Samuel left Agag in no doubt that judgement had come! Presentation 14

12 Trajectory For Tragedy Saul and Samuel part company. These two men would never work together again. The separation would publicly signal to Israel that Saul was no longer God's man. Saul's rejection grieved Samuel. There is no pleasure in seeing men go wrong. God grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel. This human language must not suggest to us that God thought he had made a mistake rather it suggests that Saul's end need not have ended in tragedy. Presentation 14

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