1 Samuel Chapter 15 1/4
In the coming few editions, I will be talking about certain verses in this chapter.
I think you will find many decisions made here reflect those we make ourselves on our own spiritual walk. I consider this chapter one of those critical passages that sometimes elude us until the Lord reveals it.
The story is about some conversations between the Prophet Samuel and King Saul around obedience to a particular set of instructions. We are also expected to obey the teachings of our day.
The previous chapters show Samuel already challenging Saul about presumptions and overstepping his boundaries of Office. Despite being King, when it came down to the nuts and bolts of faith in God, Saul appeared to be an unbeliever. We are called to be Kings in a similarly dissimilar way, Priest/Kings, so I am sure this chapter will mean something to us all.
V1-3. Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be King over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. 2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
Here we have the basic outline of Saul's task; to utterly destroy every living Amalekite and specific animals they had.
Upon the Israelites Walk of Faith out of Egypt many years earlier, the Amalekites attacked them in the most cowardly of ways, picking off the feeble and weary who weren't fully capable of protecting themselves. (Deuteronomy 25:18). Amalek's father, Satan, and his demons do the same to us today; waiting until we are weary and feeling feeble, and then pouncing without mercy to kill, steal and destroy our faith and belief, and inheritance.
The Lord gave the Amalekites sufficient time to repent of their brutality, as he did with Egypt and so many other Israel-haters over time, and as he does with all people in every era. The Lord's mercy is extra-ordinary, (hyphen added for emphasis), and we cannot help but rejoice at that same mercy we experience in our lives.
The Lord through Samuel laid out a simple set of instructions — to utterly destroy and spare not. It is from this kind of 'apparent' inhumanity that such people as Richard Dawkins make their money, preferring not to seek God or try to understand the bigger picture of the spiritual world around us which God rules and Satan wished he could.
Saul was instructed to slay everything. That meant the the beautiful and ugly, the precious and the refuse, the royalty and the street sweepers. All humans were to die as, if left alive and brought into the camp, they would also have brought sin and idolatry with them. Even the children and babies weren't spared. They appear to have had the sins of their fathers from those cowardly attacks being visited upon them.
When we read the New Testament's simple set of instructions to us today (Colossians 3:3-9), we find we are also required to utterly put off or slay the internal enemies of our Christian Walk of Faith.
We must look at those Israelite battles to see how emphatic God is when it comes to putting to death those Amalekites within us. They are the sneaky sins and habits of disobedience we are reluctant to toss away, but which prevent us from reaching that highly esteemed level of Others May, You Cannot! The level of Gideon's 1%.
Today's prayer: Thank you Lord for your abundant mercy, and how you even give mortal enemies a chance to repent of their ways. Thank you that I have these battles to read about so I can reflect on my own walk of faith to see if I am as obedient as I think I am. Please help me be obedient above all things.