Saul's Disobedience

Samuel has done what Israel requested but God tells him to warn them again:

I Samuel 12:
:6 And Samuel said unto the people,
        It is the LORD that advanced Moses and Aaron,
        and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
:7     Now therefore stand still,
        that I may reason with you before the LORD
        of all the righteous acts of the LORD,
            which he did to you and to your fathers.
:8     When Jacob was come into Egypt,
            and your fathers cried unto the LORD,
        then the LORD sent Moses and Aaron,
            which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt,
            and made them dwell in this place.
:9         And when they forgat the LORD their God,
            he sold them into the hand of Sisera,
                captain of the host of Hazor,
            and into the hand of the Philistines,
            and into the hand of the king of Moab,
            and they fought against them.
:10       And they cried unto the LORD, and said,
                We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD,
                    and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth:
                but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies,
                and we will serve thee.
:11       And the LORD sent Jerubbaal,
            and Bedan,
            and Jephthah,
            and Samuel,
            and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side,
            and ye dwelled safe.
:12   And when ye saw that Nahash
            the king of the children of Ammon
        came against you,
        ye said unto me,
            Nay; but a king shall reign over us:
        when the LORD your God was your king.
:13   Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen,
        and whom ye have desired!
        and, behold, the LORD hath set a king over you.
:14   If ye will fear the LORD,
            and serve him,
            and obey his voice,
            and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD,
        then shall both ye
            and also the king that reigneth over you
        continue following the LORD your God:
:15   But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD,
            but rebel against the commandment of the LORD,
        then shall the hand of the LORD be against you,
            as it was against your fathers.

God wants His people to remember His mighty works. Remember that it is God that fought their battles for them. It is God that brought them out of Egypt. It is God that led them to the land of milk and honey. When their fathers forsaked God and served others they were overcome by their enemies, but when they asked God to deliver them He was there. We do well to remember also. Let God fight our battles. Go to God in prayer and praise. He is willing and able to take care of us. We must remember that His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His. We must trust in Him and quit trying to always figure out our own deliverance like Israel requiring a king.

God must really love His people, look what did for Israel:

:20 And Samuel said unto the people,
        Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness:
        yet turn not aside from following the LORD,
            but serve the LORD with all your heart;
:21   And turn ye not aside:
        for then should ye go after vain things,
        which cannot profit nor deliver;
            for they are vain.
:22   For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake:
        because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.
:23   Moreover as for me,
        God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you:
            but I will teach you the good and the right way:
:24   Only fear the LORD,
        and serve him in truth with all your heart:
            for consider how great things he hath done for you.
:25   But if ye shall still do wickedly,
            ye shall be consumed,
            both ye and your king.

Even though God identifies their desire for a king as wicked He still gives them a way to recover; if they serve the Lord with all their heart and not turn aside God will not forsake them because it has pleased God to make them His people. "Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you." (:24)

God's truths have not changed:

Matthew 22
:37 Jesus said unto him, 
        Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
        and with all thy soul, 
        and with all thy mind.
:38    This is the first and great commandment.
:39    And the second is like unto it, 
            Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
:40    On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

However, Saul stops listening to God and does his own "good looking works," he was disobedient.

In chapter 13 of I Samuel in Saul's second year Saul amasses the first standing army of Israel (3000 men). Saul has a son, Jonathan, who lead 1000 men to attack a garrison (outpost) of the Philistines in Geba and defeated them. But Saul made it known that he had smote the garrison of the Philistines (looks good). Afterward the Philistines gathered together 30 thousand chariots, 6 thousand horsemen and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude (13:5). Well, there are only two thousand in Saul's army in Michmash where the Philistines have camped against-a bit outnumbered. When the men of Israel saw this they didn't go to God, they ran and hid in caves. Some even went west across the Jordan to Gad while Saul retreated to Gilgal far away from the army. Both cities are situated just north of the Dead Sea and Gilgal is about 13 miles east of where the Philistines have camped. Here Saul makes a big mistake which costs him the kingdom. He sees that his people are scattered, and he is afraid also, so he offers a burnt offering and a peace offering to the Lord. This is in contradiction to what Samuel had told him to do which was; wait until Samuel came. He did not trust the Word of the Lord.

I Samuel 13
:13 And Samuel said to Saul,
            Thou hast done foolishly:
            thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God,
                which he commanded thee:
            for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
:14       But now thy kingdom shall not continue:
            the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart,
            and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people,
                because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.

Afterward, Jonathon, in Chapter 14, takes his armourbearer and goes up against the Philistines while dear old dad is hanging out back in Geba under a pomegranate tree. (Ok, so why did God tell us he is under a pomegranate tree? It is a symbol of luxury and fertility in the east.) God is with Jonathon and they (God, Jonathon and his armourbearer) start them a running and when the Israelites see that the Philistines are on the run they join the fight. I will cover this in greater detail next week.

Saul's mind is far from God at this point and he selfishly commands the people to not eat until he is avenged--until the battle is over which causes the men to become weak and so they fall upon the spoil and eat meat with the blood they are so hungry. Jonathan wasn't with the people when Saul made this decree and he eats honey (which has the consequence of death by the decree of the king). When it is found out the people press Saul to save him because Jonathan had "wrought with God this day" (14:45).

Saul continues to be disobedient and do things that look good or blame others for his disobedience. In Chapter 15 he was instructed to utterly destroy Amelek along with all of the people and spoil. Yet they keep back the best of the sheep and oxen and even King Amelek they saved alive. God tells Samuel what Saul has done and when Saul and Samuel meet up Saul says he has done what he was commanded. Well, Samuel calls him on the carpet. Saul's excuse was that the people took of the spoil.

I Samuel 15
:22 And Samuel said,
        Hath 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 hearken than the fat of rams.
:23       For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
            and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
        Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD,
        he hath also rejected thee from being king.

:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death:
    nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul:
    and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

For Saul to be obedient is more important than the sacrifices. Rebellion and unbelief always get people in trouble. If we reject the Word of God we reject Him.

God gave him many chances to follow Him but he let his pride and senses knowledge keep him from believing and trusting in God.

Let us be humble to exalt God and meek to learn His will.