Saul's Problem with Authority
1 Samuel 13:1-15, 15:13-29
If you are supposed to meet somebody, how late can they be before you give up on them?
We pick up the story of King Saul from where we left off in Episode 12. Saul became king, even though he had no standing, experience, or training, but he did have God and Samuel to rely on...if only he had...
1 Samuel 13:1-15
What is Saul’s rationale for offering the sacrifice? Does this sound like good reasoning to you? The truth is, we can rationalize just about anything that goes against God’s word.
Does Saul have a problem with authority? Saul wants to be authority. He does not respect God's authority or the authority God has bestowed upon Samuel. Have you ever had trouble with authority?
What do you think of Saul's punishment? What does the severity of the punishment tell you about God's opinion of the infraction?
This is not an isolated incident. There's another issue in chapter 15. God wanted to bring the Amalekites to justice through Saul's army. In the time of Moses, the Amalekites would attack the wandering Israelites from behind, robbing and killing the old and sick who were straggling. Moses announces God's intention of dealing with them in Deuteronmy 25:17-19, "You shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven."
Saul's instructions were to completely wipe out the Amalekites. Everybody. Animals, too. But Saul decides he knows better than God what to do! He captures the Amalekites’ king and keeps all the best cattle and sheep . Then, there is this awkward conversation with Samuel…
1 Samuel 15:13-29
Do you think Saul intended to offer the animals as a sacrifice to God or do you think he lied once he got caught? We cannot know. What we do know is this is now a pattern of disregarding God’s authority. We also know what it says in 1 Samuel 16:7: “... the LORD looks at the heart.” God knows all kinds of things about all kinds of situations that we cannot know , so we have to trust the Word of God …we have to trust God’s judgment. If God felt that Saul was no longer fit to be king, then that’s the truth.
This time, Saul acknowledges his mistake and asks for forgiveness (vv. 24 & 25). His apology is rejected. Why? We cannot know Saul’s heart, but God certainly did . If the confession was rejected, we are left to assume it was not authentic--not true repenting, but mere lip-service.
Have you ever had a friend apologize, and even as they’re doing it, you have the feeling they don’t mean it? …you just feel that they are going to turn around and do the same thing . Well, God has more than a feeling. We have to trust the Word of God …we have to trust God’s judgment.