Lessons From King Saul: Saul’s Disobedience (1 Samuel 15:1-35)
In this lesson from our study of King Saul we will look at his disobedience in the matter of the Amalekites. Many times you are told to read the bible putting yourself into the passage, this is an excellent passage for doing just that. As we look at Saul’s disobedience and how he tried to cover it up we will see the same steps that all of us have done many times before in our own disobedience. Therefore let us look what happened to Saul and see if we can avoid the same mistakes in the future.
What was Saul commanded to do?
Samuel came to Saul and told him that the Lord wanted him to destroy the Amalekites. In verse 3 we see that they were to kill all of them including the women and children. Also they were to destroy all of their livestock. Many have a problem with this and ask how could God do such a thing.
God is simply performing judgment upon the children of Amalek because of what they had done to the children of Israel many years earlier. In Exodus 17:8-16 the Amalekites were the first group to attack Israel when the left Egypt. The Lord God tells Moses that he will have war with them from generation unto generation. In Deuteronomy 25:17-19 we see the manner in which the Amalekites attacked Israel. They attacked from the rear and picked off those who were feeble first. God is not unjust and he will always reward the evil doer but as in many cases he does it many years later.
In verses 8-9 we see that both Saul and the people do not perform the commandment of the Lord. They did it half way.
Saul’s response when questioned by Samuel:
When Saul was questions by Samuel he told Samuel that he did what the Lord commanded. This is like the child who was told to take out the trash and only took out the trash in the kitchen not the trash in the bathrooms.
When Samuel asked Saul about the animals, Saul blamed the people (verse 15). Note how in the verse he said “the people” spared the best of the sheep, but he said “we have destroyed the rest. Saul takes credit for the good part and wants to pass the blame for the bad part. This is just like kids when they do something as a group everybody wants to get credit for the part that went right but nobody wants the blame for the part that went wrong.
Even after Samuel tells Saul the plain simple truth in verse 19 Saul still blames the people verse 21.
What were the consequences of Saul’s disobedience?
In verse 23 we see that God rejected Saul from being king. In verse 28 we see that the kingdom was to be rent and given to someone else. The interesting thing is that after the consequence was given then Saul wanted to take the blame and repent. This is just like with us once the punishment comes then we are willing to own up to it and take the blame. But for Saul it was too late.
The real reason why Saul sinned!
In verse 24 we see the real reason that Saul disobeyed. It was because he feared the people. Remember he feared the Philistines in chapter 13 when he got impatient and sinned. Here again the fear of his own men cost him dearly. Proverbs 29:25 is an excellent verse for this. We must remember to not let the fear of men keep us from obeying the commandments of God.
Lesson From King Saul: Disobedience (1 Samuel 15:1-35)
1) What was Saul commanded to do to the Amalekites in this chapter?
2) Why was God’s judgment so harsh concerning the Amalekites?
3) Did Saul do what he was commanded to do?
4) What was Saul’s response when he was questioned by Samuel?
5) What was the consequences for Saul’s actions?
6) What was the real excuse for Saul’s disobedience and how does this connect to the previous lesson in this series?