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Saul's Disobedience

1 Samuel 15:1-35

War against the Amalekites

1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one whom the Lord sent to anoint you king of his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord Almighty says. 2 He is going to punish the people of Amalek because their ancestors opposed the Israelites when they were coming from Egypt. 3 Go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Don't leave a thing; kill all the men, women, children, and babies; the cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”

4 Saul called his forces together and inspected them at Telem: there were 200,000 soldiers from Israel and 10,000 from Judah. 5 Then he and his men went to the city of Amalek and waited in ambush in a dry riverbed. 6 He sent a warning to the Kenites, a people whose ancestors had been kind to the Israelites when they came from Egypt: “Go away and leave the Amalekites, so that I won't kill you along with them.” So the Kenites left.

7 Saul defeated the Amalekites, fighting all the way from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt; 8 he captured King Agag of Amalek alive and killed all the people. 9 But Saul and his men spared Agag's life and did not kill the best sheep and cattle, the best calves and lambs, or anything else that was good; they destroyed only what was useless or worthless.

Saul Is Rejected as King

10 The Lord said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I made Saul king; he has turned away from me and disobeyed my commands.” Samuel was angry, and all night long he pleaded with the Lord. 12 Early the following morning he went off to find Saul. He heard that Saul had gone to the town of Carmel, where he had built a monument to himself, and then had gone on to Gilgal. 13 Samuel went up to Saul, who greeted him, saying, “The Lord bless you, Samuel! I have obeyed the Lord's command.”

14 Samuel asked, “Why, then, do I hear cattle mooing and sheep bleating?”

15 Saul answered, “My men took them from the Amalekites. They kept the best sheep and cattle to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have destroyed completely.”

16 “Stop,” Samuel ordered, “and I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul said.

17 Samuel answered, “Even though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lord anointed you king of Israel, 18 and he sent you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you had killed them all. 19 Why, then, did you not obey him? Why did you rush to grab the loot, and so do what displeases the Lord?”

20 “I did obey the Lord,” Saul replied. “I went out as he told me to, brought back King Agag, and killed all the Amalekites. 21 But my men did not kill the best sheep and cattle that they captured; instead, they brought them here to Gilgal to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God.”

22 Samuel said, “Which does the Lord prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him. 23 Rebellion against him is as bad as witchcraft, and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. Because you rejected the Lord's command, he has rejected you as king.”

24 “Yes, I have sinned,” Saul replied. “I disobeyed the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of my men and did what they wanted. 25 But now I beg you, forgive my sin and go back with me, so that I can worship the Lord.”

26 “I will not go back with you,” Samuel answered. “You rejected the Lord's command, and he has rejected you as king of Israel.”

27 Then Samuel turned to leave, but Saul caught hold of his cloak, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today and given it to someone who is a better man than you. 29 Israel's majestic God does not lie or change his mind. He is not a human being—he does not change his mind.”

30 “I have sinned,” Saul replied. “But at least show me respect in front of the leaders of my people and all of Israel. Go back with me so that I can worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with him, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

32 “Bring King Agag here to me,” Samuel ordered. Agag came to him, trembling with fear, thinking to himself, “What a bitter thing it is to die!” 33 Samuel said, “As your sword has made many mothers childless, so now your mother will become childless.” And he cut Agag to pieces in front of the altar in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and King Saul went home to Gibeah. 35 As long as Samuel lived, he never again saw the king; but he grieved over him. The Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king of Israel.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome