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Saul's Disobedience

1 Samuel 15:1-35
1 Samuel 15:1-35
1 Samuel 15:1-35
1 Samuel 15:1-35

1 Samuel 15

15:1 And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

10 The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the Lord all night. 12 And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” 13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” 14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”

17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”

24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may worship the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Saul Disobeys the Lord

1 One day, Samuel told Saul:

The Lord told me to choose you to be king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord: 2 “When the Israelites were on their way out of Egypt, the nation of Amalek attacked them. I am the Lord All-Powerful, and now I am going to make Amalek pay!

3 “Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”

4 Saul sent messengers who told every town and village to send men to join the army at Telaim. There were 210,000 troops in all, and 10,000 of these were from Judah. Saul organized them, 5 then led them to a valley near one of the towns in Amalek, where they got ready to make a surprise attack. 6 Some Kenites lived nearby, and Saul told them, “Your people were kind to our nation when we left Egypt, and I don't want you to get killed when I wipe out the Amalekites. So stay away from them.”

The Kenites left, 7 and Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur, which is just east of Egypt. 8 Every Amalekite was killed except King Agag. 9 Saul and his army let Agag live, and they also spared the best sheep and cattle. They didn't want to destroy anything of value, so they only killed the animals that were worthless or weak.

The Lord Rejects Saul

10 The Lord told Samuel, 11 “Saul has stopped obeying me, and I'm sorry that I made him king.”

Samuel was angry, and he cried out in prayer to the Lord all night. 12 Early the next morning he went to talk with Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to Carmel, where he had a monument built so everyone would remember his victory. Then he left for Gilgal.”

13 Samuel finally caught up with Saul, and Saul told him, “I hope the Lord will bless you! I have done what the Lord told me.”

14 “Then why,” Samuel asked, “do I hear sheep and cattle?”

15 “The army took them from the Amalekites,” Saul explained. “They kept the best sheep and cattle, so they could sacrifice them to the Lord your God. But we destroyed everything else.”

16 “Stop!” Samuel said. “Let me tell you what the Lord told me last night.”

“All right,” Saul answered.

17 Samuel continued, “You may not think you're very important, but the Lord chose you to be king, and you are in charge of the tribes of Israel. 18 When the Lord sent you on this mission, he told you to wipe out those worthless Amalekites. 19 Why didn't you listen to the Lord? Why did you keep the animals and make him angry?”

20 “But I did listen to the Lord!” Saul answered. “He sent me on a mission, and I went. I captured King Agag and destroyed his nation. 21 All the animals were going to be destroyed anyway. That's why the army brought the best sheep and cattle to Gilgal as sacrifices to the Lord your God.”

22 “Tell me,” Samuel said. “Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn't want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. 23 Rebelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping idols or asking them for advice. You refused to do what God told you, so God has decided that you can no longer be king.”

24 “I have sinned,” Saul admitted. “I disobeyed both you and the Lord. I was afraid of the army, and I listened to them instead. 25 Please forgive me and come back with me so I can worship the Lord.”

26 “No!” Samuel replied, “You disobeyed the Lord, and I won't go back with you. Now the Lord has said that you can't be king of Israel any longer.”

27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the edge of Samuel's robe. It tore! 28 Samuel said, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today, and he will give it to someone who is better than you. 29 Besides, the eternal God of Israel isn't a human being. He doesn't tell lies or change his mind.”

30 Saul said, “I did sin, but please honor me in front of the leaders of the army and the people of Israel. Come back with me, so I can worship the Lord your God.”

31 Samuel followed Saul back, and Saul worshiped the Lord. 32 Then Samuel shouted, “Bring me King Agag of Amalek!”

Agag came in chains, and he was saying to himself, “Surely they won't kill me now.”

33 But Samuel said, “Agag, you have snatched children from their mothers' arms and killed them. Now your mother will be without children.” Then Samuel chopped Agag to pieces at the place of worship in Gilgal.

34 Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah. 35 Even though Samuel felt sad about Saul, Samuel never saw him again.

The Lord Chooses David To Be King

The Lord was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel.

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.

Saul Is Rejected as King

15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “I was the one the Lord sent to anoint you as king over his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord says. 2 Here is what the Lord of hosts says: ‘I carefully observed how the Amalekites opposed Israel along the way when Israel came up from Egypt. 3 So go now and strike down the Amalekites. Destroy everything that they have. Don’t spare them. Put them to death – man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel, and donkey alike.’”

4 So Saul assembled the army and mustered them at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 5 Saul proceeded to the city of Amalek, where he set an ambush in the wadi. 6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away with them! After all, you were kind to all the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites.

7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, which is next to Egypt. 8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people with the sword. 9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised and worthless.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned away from me and has not done what I told him to do.” Samuel became angry and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

12 Then Samuel got up early to meet Saul the next morning. But Samuel was informed, “Saul has gone to Carmel where he is setting up a monument for himself. Then Samuel left and went down to Gilgal.” 13 When Samuel came to him, Saul said to him, “May the Lord bless you! I have done what the Lord said.”

14 Samuel replied, “If that is the case, then what is this sound of sheep in my ears and the sound of cattle that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They were brought from the Amalekites; the army spared the best of the flocks and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord our God. But everything else we slaughtered.”

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait a minute! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul said to him, “Tell me.” 17 Samuel said, “Is it not true that when you were insignificant in your own eyes, you became head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord chose you as king over Israel. 18 The Lord sent you on a campaign saying, ‘Go and exterminate those sinful Amalekites! Fight against them until you have destroyed them.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Instead you have greedily rushed upon the plunder! You have done what is wrong in the Lord’s estimation.”

20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the Lord! I went on the campaign the Lord sent me on. I brought back King Agag of the Amalekites after exterminating the Amalekites. 21 But the army took from the plunder some of the sheep and cattle – the best of what was to be slaughtered – to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

22 Then Samuel said,

“Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices

as much as he does in obedience?

Certainly, obedience is better than sacrifice;

paying attention is better than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have disobeyed what the Lord commanded and what you said as well. For I was afraid of the army, and I followed their wishes. 25 Now please forgive my sin! Go back with me so I can worship the Lord.”

26 Samuel said to Saul, “I will not go back with you, for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel!”

27 When Samuel turned to leave, Saul grabbed the edge of his robe and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to one of your colleagues who is better than you! 29 The Preeminent One of Israel does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.” 30 Saul again replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel. Go back with me so I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel followed Saul back, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

Samuel Puts Agag to Death

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me King Agag of the Amalekites.” So Agag came to him trembling, thinking to himself, “Surely death is bitter!” 33 Samuel said, “Just as your sword left women childless, so your mother will be the most bereaved among women!” Then Samuel hacked Agag to pieces there in Gilgal before the Lord.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, while Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day he died Samuel did not see Saul again. Samuel did, however, mourn for Saul, but the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over 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
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Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
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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