Rejected

Samuel tells Saul that he is rejected.  He is rejected because of his half-hearted following of God.  God wants someone to take control of the nation of Israel who will be fully devoted to him, but Saul is not that man.  He allows the troops to take forbidden plunder and he allows himself to make excuses.

Samuel is emotionally distraught about the whole affair, but he does pronounce God’s righteous judgement.  ‘Obedience is better than sacrifice.’  Saul may have done some of the right religious functions, but he falls short and his reign is a failure.

1 Samuel 15

 1 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the LORD sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the LORD. 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a]all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

4 So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. 5 Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b]and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

10 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: 11“I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night.

12Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”

13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.”

14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

16“Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.”

   “Tell me,” Saul replied.

17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’ 19Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?”

20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”

22But Samuel replied:

   “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
   as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
   and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
   and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
   he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”

26But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” 31So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.

32Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

   Agag came to him in chains.[c]And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33But Samuel said,

   “As your sword has made women childless,
   so will your mother be childless among women.”

   And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Questions

  1. What does Samuel direct Saul to do about Agag?
  2. What does Samuel do?
  3. How is Haman described in the book of Esther?  How are Israel’s troubles in Esther related to Saul’s disobedience here?
  4. What has God asked you to be obedient in?
  5. How would you rate your obedience?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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10 Responses to Rejected

  1. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He is sposed to kill all the amalakites and all that they own.
    2. He kills what is weak but everything else he keeps alive for his own wealth.
    3. As a sneaky, deceitful man. The same is true of Saul because he claimed to be doing what God told him to do, but he distorted what God said in order to have gain for himself.
    4. In being honest/truthful
    5. It’s something I have struggled with a lot before and I continiously ahve to be reminded of this calling to obedience in truthfulness. When I do fail at it i am reminded by the consequences. I am doing better than I used to but its a daily battle.

  2. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. Samuel told Saul to kill him and the rest of the Amalekites.
    2. Because Saul spared Agag, Samuel had to kill Agag himself.
    3. Haman tried to destroy the Jewish people and he came from the line of Agag’s descendant. Because Saul disobeyed, the very ones that were spared, were the very ones through whom Haman came.
    4. To read the Bible and obey it. He does not want me to compromise with sin when tempted.
    5. i’d say 9.

  3. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What does Samuel direct Saul to do about Agag?
    To destroy him and everything that he owns.
    2. What does Samuel do?
    He is angry at God and calls out to him all night. Later, when Saul doesn’t do the job, Samuel has to do it for him.
    3. How is Haman described in the book of Esther? How are Israel’s troubles in Esther related to Saul’s disobedience here?
    Haman is a man who was only looking for his own interests and not the issues of the Jewish people. He was big into image. So was Saul. They both cared too much about their reputation and their appearances then actually serving God.
    4. What has God asked you to be obedient in?
    He has asked me to be faithful in my studies, to put him first in my daily routine, to trust him in the hard situations.
    5. How would you rate your obedience?
    I think I would be a little better than half-hearted. I have a long way to go. I definitely need to obey God more.

  4. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What does Samuel direct Saul to do about Agag?
    -Destroy everything that belongs to the Amalekites and king Agag
    2.What does Samuel do?
    -Rebuked Saul and put Agag to death.
    3.How is Haman described in the book of Esther? How are Israel’s troubles in Esther related to Saul’s disobedience here?
    -Haman schemes to kill all the Jews because Haman rejects to kneel down to pay him honor.
    4.What has God asked you to be obedient in?
    – in my present education.
    5.How would you rate your obedience?
    – I can’t. It’s too hard. I’m not sure what aspects I look at in terms of obedience.

  5. Cassie Clark says:

    1.He is to kill Agag.
    2.He cried out to the Lord. Then he confronted Saul and put Agag to death.
    3.Haman is self-centered and evil. Saulwas the same.
    4.He has asked me to be obedient in forgiveness.
    5.6?

  6. Moon Jung Kim[ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.What does Samuel direct Saul to do about Agag? to kill him
    2.What does Samuel do? rebuked Saul and killed Agag
    3.How is Haman described in the book of Esther? How are Israel’s troubles in Esther related to Saul’s disobedience here? Haman described as a evil and self-centered man. Saul also was self-centered and seeking fame than obeying God.
    4.What has God asked you to be obedient in? being faithful and obedient even in a small thing. and to rejoice and be thankful
    5.How would you rate your obedience?….. ah maybe 6-7

  7. aaron wright says:

    1. to get rid of him and all his people
    2. he partially obeys, but keeps what is good for himself
    4. Hes asked me to be obedient in submitting all my thoughts to him even when I dont feel like it.
    5. 8. im not perfect so theres times that i go my own way, but i truly strive to give everything to God despite how i feel

  8. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What does Samuel direct Saul to do about Agag?
    He ordered to destroy all things that belongs to Agag.
    2.What does Samuel do?
    Samuel scolded Saul for not obeying fully.
    3.How is Haman described in the book of Esther? How are Israel’s troubles in Esther related to Saul’s disobedience here?
    They both did not obey God’s command, and obeyed partially by doing what is good for them.
    4.What has God asked you to be obedient in?
    God has asked me to obey in all the circumstances he allows to happen, with the positive mind and joy.
    5.How would you rate your obedience?
    It would be.. 6 out of 10

  9. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He is supposed to kill and destroy them all and everything they own.
    2) Because of Saul’s disobedience, Samuel left Saul and was forced to kill Agag himself.
    3) Haman is described as being clever, and bending commands for his own gain and agenda, which is what Saul did in this chapter.
    4) Waiting for his guidance.
    5) I would give myself a 4 for obedience because I know that I often follow my desires not God’s.

  10. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Samuel directed Saul to kill Agag along with all the rest of the Amalekites.
    2. Samuel does not kill Agag, but brings him back as a prisoner.
    3. Haman is a Agagite. He is a descendant of Agag, and he is the one that is trying to kill the Jews in Palestine.

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