In my devotional reading this morning I read of King David’s confession, repentance and humility after his affair with Bathsheba and the ordered murder of her husband (II Samuel 11,12). No excuses or alibis, just a contrite and repentant heart.
What a contrast with the chump Saul.
We met his son Jonathan (last week’s Champ) who was unafraid to explore ways of allowing God to use him. Now let’s look at his father.
While Jonathan was blazing a trail with his entrepreneurial faith and confidence in God… his father was back in camp sitting under a pomegranate tree looking at circumstances and not God.
This weak king had already angered God and his spiritual mentor Samuel. While waiting for Samuel’s visit to bless his army before they attacked the Philistine’s overwhelming army, he grew frightened. He finally decided he’d have to make the animal sacrifice himself.
Confronted by Samuel he made excuses for his lack of trust in God’s instructions. The circumstances almost made disobedience a necessity he claimed. It wouldn’t have happened if Samuel had arrived earlier.
Soon after his son had defeated the Philistines, Saul again is drawn by God into a battle with the Amalekites. God will settle accounts with this nation that would not help Israel when they came into Canaan. God says, “Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.” I Samuel 15:3 NLT
God’s instructions were perfectly clear and impossible to misunderstand. He should have known better and he did. God is not pleased with Saul, and will anoint the young shepherd boy whose heart He knew intimately… David.
When Samuel met Saul the next day he said, “If you’ had obeyed God’s command, then I would not be hearing all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle.” I Samuel 15:14) Saul immediately responds with a shift away from his guilt (the army did save the best of the animals) and then his ‘disobedience rationale’ (we are going to sacrifice them to the Lord). I Samuel 15:15
Like saying, “I stole $35,000, but I’m going to tithe $3,500 to God.” Or, “The bank made an error in my favor… Yes!. They’ve made plenty off of me.” None of our excuses for sin cut it with God.
Saul lost his position and we always lose our fellowship with God.
Ponder Samuel’s words to this wayward king. “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?” I Samuel 15:22
What indeed? Keep your ears open and your heart pure.