TheShiningLight

Preparing the Way of the Lord

First Samuel 15 – 16

1 Samuel 15

Samuel instructs Saul to attack the Amalekites, who were a vicious and cruel people.

1 Samuel 15:1 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.

Jesus Christ commands Saul to destroy Amalek and leave not so much as a lamb alive. This is the Real Jesus, not the false tolerant of sin Jesus of the permissive set.

These Amalekites were a type of sin, and their destruction was to be an example of the total destruction in the lake of fire that will befall all those who compromise with the Word of God.

Do you buy food and drink or anything else on Sabbath because some man told you to; when God’s Word condemns all who do so? If we remain unrepentant of that idolatry of men and the sin that they lead us into we will face strong correction and if still unrepentant we will be totally destroyed.

15:2 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. 15:3 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 then gathered 210,000 men for the fight. Up to this point he had obeyed God and Samuel on this occasion.

All of the spiritually called out are to fight the good fight against sin and to continually grow and overcome by the power of God dwelling in us.

15:4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

Saul sent the Bedouin away and then attacked the Amalekites, destroying them as commanded by God, except that he disobeyed in regard to the animals.  This was a TEST from God as to whether they would obey God even when it did not make sense to them and was to their apparent hurt. 

How many of us fail the same kind of test today, failing to obey because some point does not make sense to us at the time? 

15:5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 15:6 And Saul said unto the Kenites [the Bedouins in the Amalekite area.], 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.

15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

Always the politician who sought to please the people above obeying God, Saul allowed Israel to keep the good things of the spoil contrary to the Word of God. 

The physical sin here was direct rebellion and disobedience to a clear command of God.  Just like many in today’s Ekklesia seek to please the worldly in their outreach programs instead of pleasing God by preaching the true gospel of warning and zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God;

15:9 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.

Then Jesus Christ repented of making Saul king for his repeated disobedience; just like large numbers of today’s leaders, elders and brethren also apostatize from living by every Word of God, into trying to please men.

15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 15:11 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.

Samuel prayed for Saul and agonized over Saul’s sins, before going up to meet him.

15:12 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. 15:13 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 blamed the people and did not take responsibility for his actions:  Just like many today think that they can stand before God and shirk the responsibility for their own actions by blaming their sins on others and saying: ”I was just obeying church leaders”.

The Nazi’s made the same excuse saying “I had to obey my boss.”

NO you didn’t! You could have resigned or even died rather than sin! 

Saul and thousands of of others proved that they would willingly commit sin if they thought it was to their personal advantage; and Almighty God will reject their excuses just like he rejected the same excuse from king Saul!

15:14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15:15 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.

Samuel then tells Saul the judgment of God.

15:16 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.

Spiritually this very thing could be said to many of us today.

Were we not called and anointed to be kings and priests of the Great King and eternal High Priest of humanity?

Were we not anointed to drive all sin and disobedience to God and all compromise with the word of God out of ourselves; and to prepare ourselves to do the same thing in future for all of humanity?

Were we not called and anointed to fully internalize the very nature of Christ the King and God the Mighty Father; by uncompromisingly overcoming and destroying all sin from within us?

Have most of our leaders and very many of the brethren followed their idols of men and corporations away from any zeal for the learning and the keeping of the whole Word of God in passionate zeal; and into a zeal for their idols of men, to follow them contrary to the Word of God?

15:17 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? 15:18 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.

We are called to be kings and priests of our Mighty Father and the Great King and High Priest,  Jesus Christ! How is it then that we dare to turn aside from any zeal for him, to follow in dedicated service our idols of men, contrary to the Word of God?

15:19 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? 15:20 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.

Saul then interjects his defense blaming the people and saying that the animals were taken to sacrifice to God.

God desires obedience much more than sacrifice and he forbids us to worship him by our own methods, instead of worshiping him according to HIS instructions.

Jesus was trying to teach us by the destruction of the unrepentant sinners of the Amalekites; that all unrepentant sinners will ultimately be destroyed along with all their possessions.

15:21 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.

Then Samuel continues with a lesson that was meant for us as well as Saul.

We are called to OBEY the voice of our God, so that we may learn to be LIKE HIM!

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.

Calling the Sabbath holy and then polluting it by transgressing God’s commandments on how to keep the Sabbath holy; because some mere mortal man said polluting the Sabbath is acceptable, is no different than open witchcraft!

Brethren, we reject God when we reject any zeal to learn and to keep his Word in favor of zeal to follow and obey men: That is the sin of Idolatry!

Make no mistake this is about eternal life and eternal death.

If we are not zealous to faithfully learn and to uncompromisingly keep the whole Word of God, no matter what any man says [regardless of the title he claims for himself]; we will be rejected from the resurrection to eternal life.

15:23 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.

Saul remorsefully admits the sin of disobedience and the sin of exalting people above the Word of God.

Do you fear men more than you fear God so that you exalt the words of men above the Word of God? Or will you keep God’s Word above the words of men?

15:24 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.

Saul then asks Samuel to accompany him to worship God. This is a political act because Samuel going up to the tabernacle with Saul would imply Samuel’s approval of Saul before the people.

15:25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again [go with me] with me, that I may worship the LORD.

Samuel rejects this loaded invitation and Saul begins to beg, for he knows what the people will think if Samuel turns his back on him.

15:26 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. 15:27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

Samuel informs Saul that the Judgment of God is final.

When we [yes, even the spiritually called out] repeatedly turn aside from the faithful keeping of the Word of God to do what we or other men think is right; the time will come when the patience of Christ will run out; and he will reject us, because we have repeatedly rejected any love for him by refusing to do those things that please him (Rev 3:16).

15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

Jesus Christ will not change his mind.

Many who have been called to become pillars in the kingdom will not be there!

Many others who have been called to be pillars and thenwent astray for a time will be in the resurrection IF they learn their lesson and repent, yet they will NOT be the pillars they were called to be, but will be at a lower level for all eternity.

15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

Saul begs Samuel again to worship God with him and this time Samuel assents.

15:30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God. 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

Then Samuel does what God commanded Saul to do and kills Agag.

15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 15:33 And Samuel said, As the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Samuel continually mourned for Saul the mighty warrior king, but did not visit him again.

15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. 15:35 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.

1 Samuel 16

God sent Samuel to anoint a new king.

1 Samuel 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

God reveals to Samuel what he should do.

16:2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer [a virgin cow, usually under a year or two old] with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. 16:3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

Samuel came to Bethlehem and called Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.  Jesse being the son of Obed the son of Boaz and Ruth and a man of great wealth and reputation for godliness.

16:4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? 16:5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

Christ teaches us not to look on outward appearances and impressive goodly features, or talents and skills; but on the fruits of a wholehearted dedication to love and live by every Word of God.

16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the

LORD seeth not as man seeth; forman looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

All seven sons of Jesse were seen by Samuel and God rejected them all, even though they were all impressive in appearance.

Why did Christ not just chose David first?

Because Jesus was teaching a lesson to US that very many impressive men with excellent speaking ability, are not godly in their character.

WE must learn to judge (Mat 7, Mat 24) who we choose to follow by their wholehearted zeal for the whole Word of God and not by their persuasive tongues or impressive appearance or leadership skills.

16:8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 16:10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

Then David is called from keeping the sheep

Jesse was a rich man with fields and flocks and it is quite reasonable that David as the owners son, had charge over several if not many shepherds. David doubtless had experience in leadership as well as in caring for sheep. This is also an example for us that we can draw and learn spiritual lessons from any situation if our minds are continually carefully considering the Word and Will of God.

Samuel tells Jesse to fetch David in haste

16:11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Here we see that Samuel did not choose David; David was chosen by Jesus Christ. In the Ekklesia today, we can know who Jesus Christ has sent by their zeal to keep the whole Word of God!

16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

We are to ordain those whom God has called and those who are known by their long term fruits of godliness. We are NOT to ordain men because they passed a course or are organizationally loyal.

16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

At that moment God’s Spirit departed from Saul, yet he remained king until God had fully trained his replacement.

Just as physical Israel could have bad kings, and there were many bad kings; so spiritual Israel can have bad leaders and elders in their assemblies. Remember the many New Testament warnings that many evil men would infiltrate the assemblies and persecute the faithful.

16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Even Saul’s servants noticed the change and recognized the presence of evil. How is it that so many of us are so blind to the present reality?

16:15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

Saul would have been greatly troubled over the end of his dynasty before it really began; and also would have feared insurrection against himself.

His personal fears would have driven him to distraction, finding terrors in every shadow and imagining enemies out to destroy him. Like Herod during his rule, no person, no matter how loyal was safe from suspicion and possible insane enraged personal attacks.

This kind of mental affliction has plagued many leaders throughout history.

Saul’s servants sought out a man of music to calm the king.

16:16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 16:17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

David is appointed as Saul’s musician and he learns much in the household of Saul. Saul sees David as a valiant courageous man and also enjoys his music, and makes David his armour bearer; and David always an avid student, would have watched and learned from everything in the household.

16:18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him. 16:19 Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

16:20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. 16:21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. 16:22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight.

When Saul was troubled David’s playing calmed him and brought Saul peace of mind and rest.

16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him

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