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Saul on being anointed king was instructed by the prophet Samuel to destroy all of the Amalekite people for they greatly hindered the children of Israel when Israel came out of Egyptian slavery. This is taking place many generations after Israel had came into the promise land. 1 Samuel 15:1-3 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. 3 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. Saul is instructed to destroy all the people and their livestock. 1 Samuel 15:4-9 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Saul disobeys the words of the LORD and spares the king and the livestock.
1 Samuel 15:10-13 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. 12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. Saul now lies to the prophet saying ‘I have performed the commandment of the LORD’. 1 Samuel 15:14-15 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Notice how Saul blames his disobedience on ‘the people’. Saul says we saved the best to sacrifice to the LORD. 1 Samuel 15:16-21 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. Samuel said to Saul, when you were little in your own sight, the LORD anointed you king over Israel.
This is key, when we are ‘little in our own sight ‘ we cling to the things of the LORD. But if we get bigheaded pride creeps in, we start to think we know better than the LORD. We begin to think the LORD didn’t mean what HE said-this is a grave danger. (ref. Pr 3:7 Be not wise in thy own eyes.) 1 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. TO LISTEN AND TO OBEY AND IS BETTER THAN SARIFICE. 1 Samuel 15:23-26 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. 24 ¶ And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD. 26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. Because Saul rejected the word of the LORD, he was rejected from being king of Israel. In this setting of scripture we get an important biblical precept, the LORD is more pleased with obedience than with sacrifices. Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: The LORD considers us to be a treasure to HIM if we obey HIS VOICE. The ALMIGHTY doesn’t desire sacrifices of animals, rather that we would perform HIS will and obey HIS VOICE. HE desires that we would adopt HIS attributes into our lives, attributes of love, mercy and kindness. The life of Abraham is a study in obedience to GOD. Abraham was told by the LORD to get up and leave his native land for a destination unknown.
Abraham believes GOD and leaves his homeland. Abraham is later promised a son in his old age. Abraham waited for twenty-five years before this happened. A promise that took twenty-five years to come true, yet Abraham did not waiver in unbelief. Then after having received the son of promise, Isaac, Abraham is commanded by the LORD to sacrifice his son. Abraham again does not waiver in unbelief, but fully intends to carry out the wishes of the LORD. Abraham is the father of faith because he always believed and was obedient. Thus Abraham is called ‘the friend of GOD’. James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Righteousness is equated with belief in GOD; belief is equated with obedience. Belief and obedience combined is defined as faith. Romans 4:9 Faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. Romans 2:8-11 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. Obedience unto GOD is equated to performing good. Now let’s to turn our attention to Jesus CHRIST. The apostle Paul makes a statement about the LORD that I have always found puzzling. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Jesus learned obedience by the things that he suffered? Wait a minute - I would have thought Jesus was always obedient to the FATHER?
Matthew 3: 13&16-17 ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. The FATHER was ‘well pleased’ with HIS beloved SON. Jesus learning obedience by the things which he suffered, must have a deeper meaning. Heb 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. The sacrifices of animals to cover sin was insufficient, it had to be repeated year after year on the Day of Atonement. It temporally covered the sin but it didn’t cure the disease of sin. Let’s read the full setting of Hebrews the tenth chapter. Hebrews 10:1-10 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7 ¶ Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
‘Lo, I come: I delight to do thy will, O my GOD’. This is an OLD TESTAMENT prophecy of what Jesus CHRIST came to do. (Psalms 40:6-10) Psalms 40:6-10 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. 7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. 10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. Here are more OLD TESTAMENT prophecies of what Jesus CHRIST came to do. (There are many more OLD TESTAMENT prophecies of what Jesus CHRIST came to do.) Isaiah 50:5 The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. Jesus was not rebellious nor did he turn back from what GOD sent him to do, die as a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. This is a prophecy of what CHRIST would suffer. Jesus CHRIST came to do the will of the FATHER. Just as GOD asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, this was a foreshadow of what the ALMIGHTY would allow to happen to HIS SON Jesus CHRIST. The blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin, but the blood of the only completely righteous man could. We read in Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Jesus delighted to do the will of the FATHER. Jesus knew what was going to be required of him. To be appointed a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
Matthew 26:38-39 & 42 Then saith he unto them (the disciples), My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. Jesus knew he was sent to fulfill the will of the FATHER. Jesus suffered brutal beatings and the horrific execution of crucifixion for our sakes to take away our sins. Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: We are also to follow in the obedience of faith! Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 16:19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Matthew 22:35-40 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. In closing Jesus said if you love me you will keep my commandments which in a nutshell is to love GOD with all your heart, soul, and mind, the second commandment is likened unto the first ‘love your neighbor as your self’. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For the children of GOD kindness and mercy are the norm. Obedience is better than sacrifice! Shalom!
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