1 Samuel 15:1-16:23 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Lord Rejects Saul as King
Comments for Study 7

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
Memory Verse: 15:22a


* Twenty years had passed since Saul first was anointed king and disobeyed the Lord by not waiting for Samuel to offer the sacrifice. During the twenty years Saul had engaged in many battles. He and Israel gained military experience as 1 Samuel 14:47-48 states, "After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them." As one writer has commented, "It may be that an opportunity was thus given to retrieve his former error by an exact obedience." Yet, it is more likely that Saul is used as an example of those who would followed him (including us), that the results of disobedience that is caused by fear and pride only leads to rejection and tragic endings.

I. Saul's Pride Aggravated Himself (15:1-35)

>1. Why would Samuel need to remind Saul about his anointing? (1)

* 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."

* 1 Samuel 13:13-14 "'You acted foolishly,' Samuel said. 'You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command.'"

* 1 Samuel 14:3 "among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod's brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord's priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left."

* 1 Samuel 14:18-19 "Saul said to Ahijah, 'Bring the ark of God.' (At that time it was with the Israelites.) While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, 'Withdraw your hand.'"

* "I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king" -Samuel delivered God's word to Saul, even when it was a rebuke. (13:13-14) Saul did not like the rebuke. So Ahijah, a descendant of Eli (the high priest the Lord had rejected) was called into Saul's cabinet. (14:3, 2:27-36, 3:11-13) Saul liked Ahijah because he did what ever Saul ordered and never gave a bad message. (14:18-19) Now Samuel, after twenty years of silence, came to give Saul one last chance to obey the Lord. Yet, before that can be done Samuel's message must be accepted as the messenger of the Lord, not Ahijah. Samuel does this by reminding Saul who the Lord sent to anoint him.

* Many call themselves pastors, priest, missionaries, elders, shepherds, missionaries and directors. The title does not make a person from the Lord, obedience to the Lord does. Many do not give the whole gospel; heaven and hell. Many do not acknowledge Jesus' divinity and the trinity. They are like Ahijah, catering to the people, not doing the Lord's gospel work.

* Saul's leadership style resembles past, present, and the coming leadership of the anti-christs, with a false rejected prophet at his side promoting him, doing whatever he wants, and telling lies. (Jer. 28; Acts 13:6-11; Rev. 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

* "so now listen to the message of the Lord" -Saul must pay very close attention to the Lord's message. Proper study of the word of God is needed, not superficial. We should not be like Eve who misquoted the word of the Lord and then sinned. (Gen. 2:16-17, 3:2-3)

* Whenever we study the Bible we should pray, asking the Father and Jesus the Son to teach us through the Holy Spirit. When he reveals himself through his word, we need to accept it as it is, and repent as is needed.

> What mission did God give Saul?

* 1 Samuel 15:3 "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"

* "Amalekites" -Descendants of Esau (Gen. 36:12, 16), the Amalekites were a tribe of guerilla terrorists that inhabited Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. They were not the descendants of Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, for they existed in the days of Abraham. (Gen. 14:7) They were Bedouin tribes that migrated from the shores of the Persian Gulf and settled in Arabia. "The Amalekites lived in the Negev... from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt." (Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7) They were a nomadic people. Saul did not completely destroy them; survivors remained until 1 Chron. 4:43 says the Simeonites killed the survivors.

* "totally destroy everything that belongs to them" -The Hebrew word for totally destroy is used seven times in this record. The Lord's exact words was required to be obeyed.

* Normally kings of other countries kept the booty to enrich themselves and required the soldiers to take some as well as a type of reward. God had other plans for how Saul was to deal with the Amalekites.

* "put to death men and women, children and infants..." -Sometimes God's mission doesn't make sense to us when we are given it. Only later do we understand what God is doing. As the old hymn goes, "No better way to be in Jesus than to trust and obey." Samuel had told Saul previously,


* 1 Samuel 15:2 "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"

* "the Lord Almighty" -The KJV translates this "the Lord of hosts" referring to the armies he commands that includes angels, men, the stars, and nature. In Hebrew this is "YHWH saba". Saba has a meaning of army, soldiers, service, and warfare.

* The Amalekites had tried to keep Israel from reaching the destination of Mt. Sinai as the Lord lead them from slavery in Egypt and so were doomed to destruction. (Ex. 17:14-16; Num. 24:20; Deut. 25:17-19)

* "I will punish the Amalekites" -The Lord was sending Saul and Israel on a mission unlike any he had done before. He was now to engage in a holy war. This was not a defensive or offensive war. It was God's command and will. Therefore, everything was to be dedicated to the Lord. (Deut. 20:16-18) The principle was not new for Jericho and Ai had been dedicated to the Lord and were totally destroyed. (Jos. 6:17) To break the law of the holy war was punishable by death. (Jos. 7) Similarly angles had totally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 10:18-19, 13:13, 18:18-21, 19:24-25)

* The soldiers might have a hard time understanding why they had to risk their lives to fight nomads who were only a threat to southern Judah and the remnants of Simeon (Jos. 19:1-9) and then not be able to receive plunder. Saul's mission would include educating the soldiers on what the Lord was requesting of them and why.

* God is long suffering. He gives people and nations a chance to repent. Yet, to the unrepentant judgement will come. Just because everything is going smooth, we should not assume that we are right with God. We should always approach him humbly, study his word, and obey.

>2. How did Saul carry out this mission? (4-5, 7)

* 1 Samuel 15:4-5 "So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim--two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from Judah. Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine.'

* 1 Samuel 15:7 "Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt."

* "Telaim" -A city on the southern boarder of Judah. (Josh. 15:24)

* "the city of Amalek" -The city of the Amalekite king, south of Telaim.

>What did he do for the Kenites?

* 1 Samuel 15:6 "Then 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."

* "So he said" -Saul warned the Kenites who were living near and/or amongst the Amalekites. Saul did good for although the Lord said nothing about he Kenites, it was understood that this was only for the Amalekites.

* "Kenites" -The services of Jethro the Kenite to the Israelites in the period of wanderings led to a firm alliance between Israel and the Kenites. These people had accompanied Israel to Jericho, and then gone to dwell with the Amalekites in the desert south of Judah. Famous among the Kenites was Jael, whose husband, Heber, had migrated to north Palestine. (Judges 4:11, 5:24) And the Rechabites, who belonged to this tribe (1 Chron. 2:55), long preserved the nomadic habits of their ancestors. (Jer. 35:7-10) (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

* By now the Amalekites knew that something was up.

>Who did he spare?

* 1 Samuel 15:8-9 "He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs--everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed."

* Saul should have killed the king first and foremost. The kings of other nations humiliated the kings that they were victorious over as a status symbol, a boost to their ego and pride.

* "everything that was good" -Saul clearly meant this to be booty.

* "unwilling" -Clear defiance and disobedience.

>What does Saul's execution of his orders reveal about him?

* Saul was willing to obey God as long as it was good for him, as long as it served his purposes.

* Saul's pride lead to sin. Pride is sometimes the result of an inferiority complex.

* Obedience to some of God's commands and will for our lives is the same as disobeying them all.

* Romans 8:7-8 "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."

* "You place defiled food on my altar. "But you ask, 'How have we defiled you?' "By saying that the Lord's table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?" says the Lord Almighty. "Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?"--says the Lord Almighty." (Malachi 1:7-9)

>3. Why did Samuel cry all night?

* 1 Samuel 15:10-11 "Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions." Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night."

* "Samuel was troubled" -Samuel loved Saul and had accepted the Lord's word about allowing the people to have a king. He must have thought Saul should have been given another chance and if Saul was no longer to be king, what would become of Israel who in asking for a king rejected the Lord as their king? Samuel himself had said, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away." (12:23-25) If Samuel's heart was not right he could have taken Saul's incomplete implementation to the direction he delivered in a bad way. If Samuel was a cruel man, he could have prayed for revenge against Saul. Quit the opposite, Samuel did not show any signs of such evil thoughts. He prayed for Saul and Israel.

* "cried out all night" -Samuel's prayer was sincere. A man of God does not see things from a personal point of view. His relationship with God is firm enough to not be affected by personal rejection in a negative way. Jesus taught, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31)

>Why was the Lord so grieved?

* "I am grieved" -God has real emotions. He is not just some passionless force or being. God is not saying that he made a mistake in anointing Saul as king. The omniscient God cannot make a mistake; therefore, God did not change his mind. He did, however, change his attitude toward Saul when Saul changed. Saul's heart was right when he was called. When Saul's heart no longer belonged to God, God was sorrowful. (Other translations say "repenteth" giving some the wrong impression that God was wrong and therefore changed his mind.) If a person is called by God and made pure by the blood of Jesus, and then goes back to continual blatant sins it leads to a corresponding change in God's plans and purpose for that person. Ephesians 4:30-32 states, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

* "he has turned away from me" -Saul repented in the wrong direction.

* We can learn from God. He called, forgave, filled Saul with his Spirit, and then gave him a mission. He gave him several chances to do his will. Then, when Saul proved prideful and unrepentant, he let him go. Jesus told a parable of the prodigal son. One thing we can see in the parable is that although the father loved the son, he let him go when he persisted on leaving.

>What did Saul do that reveals the root cause for his sins? (12)

* 1 Samuel 15:12 "Early 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."

* "Early in the morning" -Samuel did not waist time.

* "went to meet Saul" -Samuel did not wait for Saul to come to him. He was engaged in Saul's life to the point of initiating contacts. Christians should be actively sharing the gospel too.

* "Carmel" -Carmel means "park". Two placed called Carmel existed. This one is in the land of Judah (Jos. 15:55), the residence of Nabal (1 Sam. 25:2, 5, 7, 40), and the native place of Abigail, who became one of David's wives. (1 Sam. 27:3) Uzziah had his vineyard here. The ruins still remain under the name of Kermul, about eight miles south-east of Hebron. (Today's Dictionary of the Bible, Bethany House)

* "Gilgal" -Gilgal was the place where Saul kingdom had been confirmed. (11:14) Gilgal was also the place where eh consequences of disobedience had been spoken. (13:13-14)

* "a monument in his own honor" -At this point Saul sin is so deep that his is acting like a mad-man. His pride has reached the point that he is acting just like the ungodly kings around them, giving himself glory instead of God.

* Saul setting up an honor shows how prideful he had gotten. He is in stark contrast to Moses, Joshua, and Samuel who gave the glory to God, setting up monuments to God's honor.

* Romans 2:5 "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."

>What other sins did he commit? (13-15)

* 1 Samuel 15:13-15 "When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" Saul 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."

* "When Samuel reached him" -Saul had no plan to visit Samuel. Samuel had to chase him down.

* "The Lord bless you!" -Saul was excited and pleased with himself. He had fooled himself into believing the Lord and the Lord's servant were pleased with his actions (or rather incomplete action).

* "I carried out the Lord's instructions" -The pride in Saul had convinced himself that he had done exactly what the Lord wanted. The fact that he said, "I carried out" shows that even when Samuel arrived Saul did not say, "The Lord carried out." Sinful man rationalizes his sin to the point of believing his own lies.

* "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites" -Saul did not take responsibility for the men under him. He blamed them. When Adam sinned he blamed Eve. When Eve sin he blamed the serpent. In order to receive forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus we first need to acknowledge that we are the one at fault. We can not blame anyone else.

* "the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice" -Saul was lying for he knew that everything was to be killed when and where it was discovered and that would make it a sacrifice acceptable to the Lord, for sacrifices of any kind need to be done in obedience.

* "the Lord your God" -Saul did not say, "To the Lord my God," or "To the Lord Israel's God." Even Saul admitted that the Lord wasn't his God.

>4. What did Samuel ask Saul?

* 1 Samuel 15:16-19 "Stop!" Samuel said to Saul. "Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night." "Tell me," Saul replied. 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. And he sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.' Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?"

* "Stop!" -Samuel didn't want to hear Saul's lies and justifications any more. Saul was saying that he was right and Samuel was wrong. Samuel was not ignorant of the will of God as Saul was implying. Sometimes we need to shut up and listen.

* "Tell me" -Saul was acting as though Samuel needed his permission to speak. This was the way of the kings of other nations. Saul never could accept that Israel's kings were not to govern the way that the kings of other nations governed.

* "small in your own eyes" -Before the Lord called Saul, he knew that he wasn't much of anything. Saul said at that time, "But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?" (9:21) Everybody ever born (except Jesus) has the seed of pride in them that can spring up and grow at any moment, word, or thought.

* "The Lord anointed you king" -Saul was answerable to the Lord for all his actions and the actions of the men under him. Similarly, all those who are called by Jesus are answerable to him for all the actions done while on this earth. (Luke 16:2, Rom. 14:12, Heb. 13:17)

* "pounce on the plunder" -They took the plunder for themselves.

>What was Saul's response? (20)

* 1 Samuel 15:20-21 "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. The 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."

* "But I did obey the Lord" -How could Saul actually accept that he did obey God? And yet I have been witness to many like Saul, who do not entirely obey Jesus and yet think that they are innocent and guilt free. We can so easily rationalize our actions.

* "completely destroyed the Amalekites. History shows this is not true.

* "and brought back Agag their king" -Saul mixed God's will with the practices of other nations around him. This is human nature.

* "for the plunder" -Saul is now admitting that the intent was to keep the best for selfish use. For plunder is not used as a sacrifice. Also, Saul is not saying he did it, yet as king he could have stopped it.

>5. What spiritual principle did Samuel teach Saul?

* 1 Samuel 15:22-23 "But Samuel replied: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 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."

* "as much as" -The Lord established the offerings to point to Christ. Yet there are other things that are more important. This is one thing that Israel in majority did not understand and/or accept. (Ps 15; Isa. 1:11-17; Hos. 6:6; Am. 5:21-27; Mic. 6:6-8)

* "the voice of the Lord" -Jesus is the voice of the Lord. (John 1:14-16)

* "to obey is better than sacrifice" -Saul was given a specific command. He chose to disobey it in order to obey a general command. God works in everyone's lives direct and specific. We need to determine his will for our lives and obey that leading.

* "rebellion is like the sin of divination" -Satan and demons are behind divination. So turning to them for direction and advice is the same as rebelling against the Lord. A growing use of weegie boards is a type of divination. Leviticus 20:6 records the LORD saying, "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritualists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people." (See also Lev. 19:3, 26.20:27; Deut. 18:9-14; Ezek. 13:23) "Divination is an attempt to contact supernatural powers to determine answers to questions hidden to humans and usually involving the future. The practice was widely known in the ancient Middle East, especially among the Babylonians who developed it into a highly respected discipline. Ezekiel 21:21 records, 'For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images, he looked in the liver.' (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "arrogance like the evil of idolatry" -Idolatry is a heart attitude that I am as good as or better than God. Idolatry is in form religion without accepting the one true God. It is making a god or an image of God that has directions, practices, and teachings that people want to hear, often with the underline message, "Do what you want ever you want to do. You are aright and everything is acceptable."

* "he has rejected you as king" -Samuel states this message several times. Saul does not seem to believe it even though Samuel reputes it.

* Later Saul would try to get rid of all the mediums and spiritualists perhaps in reaction to Samuel's words here. Yet, even then he sought the services of one. (28:3, 9)

>How can this be applied today?

* Most people today substitute the true God, the Lord Jesus Christ with a lesser Jesus. Some say he's just a prophet or a created being. In doing so they belittle him and do not take his teachings seriously.

* Many people today say they believe in God and/or Jesus, yet they do not obey God's will and Jesus' word.

* Many people today do not live by faith. They have a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Tim. 3:1, 5)

* Many people rationalize their sins and never repent in sincerity.

* Being religious is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to God.

* Rebellion and arrogance are serious sins. They lead to death.

>What does Saul reveal in the discourse that followed? (24-30)

* 1 Samuel 15:24-30 "Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the Lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord." But 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!" As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 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. He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind." 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."

* "I have sinned" -Only when his kingship was declared rejected did Saul admit his sin. Yet, by then it was to late for his heart was still only concerned about losing face in front of the people. Repentance is not a tool to be used to manipulate God's will.

* "and your instructions" -Saul added this when Samuel never said anything about himself. Saul was trying to woo Samuel into changing the verdict.

* "I was afraid of the people" -The heart of a proud boastful man has an inferiority complex and fear. We are all guilty of this.

* "I beg you" -Saul's seems to not believe that he lost his kingship for he wants Samuel to stand beside him as a false sign that Samuel still considered him acceptable my hiim and God. He begs Samuel to join him in the lie, not for forgiveness or how he can do what God requires. From a corrupted heart comes corrupted desires and requests.

* "forgive my sin" -Did not ask for God's forgiveness, only Samuel's acceptance. Saul's confession retains an element of self-justification and a ship of blame. Previously he had attempted to justify the soldiers actions.

* "and come back with me" -Saul's greatest concern was not to worship God or even the sacrifice. Rather he wanted to avoid an open break with the prophet Samuel, a break that would undermine his authority as king.

* "He who is the Glory of Israel" -A title of God. (Mic. 1:15) Glory refers to the bright shinning glory around Jesus. The glory of the Lord came on Mt. Sinai just after the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt (Ex. 16:7-10, 24:16-17), in desert Tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38; Lev. 9:6, 23; Num. 14:10), and in the Temple in Jerusalem (1 Ki. 8:10-11; and 2 Ch. 5:14, 7:1-3, Isa. 6:1-4). Jesus coming in the glory of the Lord is prophecies by Isaiah (Is. 4:2-6; Isa. 35:1-2; 40:4-5; 59:19-20; 60). Ezekiel also saw the glory of the Lord. (Ez. 1:25-28; 3:12, 22-23; 9:3-4; 10:3-4, 18-22; 11:22-23; 43:1-5; 44:4). Luke 2:9 says the glory of the Lord shown over the shepherds when they angles said Jesus was born. Paul calls Jesus the "Lord of glory" in 1 Cor. 2:8 and the "radiance of God's glory" in Hebrews 1:3.

* "does not lie" -Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)

* "or change his mind" -Hebrews 13:8 states, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

* "come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God" -Worshipping the Lord does not require to presence of a priest, prophet or anyone else. Saul was only trying to use words to convince Samuel to come with him. He knew that Samuel was a prophet of the Lord and so tried to use that to get him to come with him. So many people have tried to use the people of God for their own selfish gains.

>What did Samuel do? (31-35)

* 1 Samuel 15:31-35 "So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord. Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites." Agag came to him confidently, thinking, "Surely the bitterness of death is past." But 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. Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord was grieved that he had made Saul king over Israel."

* "So Samuel went back with Saul" -Samuel decided to go along with Saul's request, more so to make sure Agag was killed and show Saul's lack of duty to the Lord. God and Samuel was not rejecting Saul as a person, only his leadership of God's people. Saul could still be forgiven for sins, yet his leadership was forever revoked. When we truly become children of God, truly forgiven, it will not be revoke. However, our position, our usefulness, our rewards can be removed and changed.

* "As your sword has made women childless"-Agag had lead his people by attacking, killing, and plundering everyone around them. They were the terrorists of that time.

* "Gibeah... Ramah" -Less than ten mile apart.

* "he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him" -Mourned as if Saul was dead.Every report he received of Saul's activities was painful for Samuel. He had hoped that Saul would repent, changing from selfish gains to serving the Lord. He had hoped that Saul would walk to his home and confess a true spirit of repentance. Saul never showed up. Saul never changes. He never accepted the Lord's words about his kingdom, leading him to attempt and commit murder several times.

* Saul's usefulness to the Lord was now at an end. He disqualified himself by disobeying the Lord. The rest of his life records shows the result of such a person. Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my commands." He gave us commands like, "Love each other as I have loved you," "Go into all the earth and make disciples of all nations," and "Feed my sheep."

* Not accepting the sometimes hard truth of God leads to further, greater sins.

II. Samuel Anoints Boy David As the Future King (16:1-13)

>6. How and why did the Lord rebuke Samuel? (1)

* 1 Samuel 16:1 "The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king."

* The year is 1025 B.C. Samuel is eighty years old. Samuel is believed to have been born in 1105 B.C. David is fifteen. David was born in 1040 B.C. Saul is fifty-five years old. Saul was born in 1050 B.C.

* "The Lord said to Samuel" -Prayer is a two way conversation. God does talk to his people, more so in this age than in the past for all believers in Jesus have the gift of the Holy Spirit.

* "How long will you morn for Saul" -The Lord had moved on, while Samuel was hoping the compassion of the Lord would fall on Saul. When we witness to people and they reject we should not take it personal. We should pray for them. However our God is a humble and gentle God. He will not force his way into a person's heart. If they continually resist the movement of the Holy Spirit, they are beyond the will of God. Pray as much as we can for them, there will be no hope for them. (Mark 3:28-29)

* "fill your horn with oil" -

* "Jesse of Bethlehem" -Jesse's genealogy is in Ruth 4:18-22. David will be the first of many rulers from the line of Judah. Jacob had said to Judah, "Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you. You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his." The one who came to whom it belonged is Jesus, the Messiah.

* "Bethlehem" -Bethlehem is in Judea about five miles south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is the hometown of Jesse. Matthew calls the town "Bethlehem in Judea," to distinguish it from a later town of the same name which was about seven miles north-west of Nazareth. (Matt. 2:1) Matthew also calls it this to emphasize that Jesus came from the tribe and territory that produced the line of Davidic kings.

The Jewish scholars expected the Messiah to be born in Bethlehem. All Jews knew that the Messiah would be from David's family tree. (John 7:42)

Bethlehem was where Rachel was buried by Jacob. (Gen. 35:19) It was also the place where Boaz meet Ruth. (Micah 5:2)

* "I have chosen one of his sons to be king" -The Lord had always planned for Jesse's son David to be king. Israel needed to learn the difference between their idea of a king and the terrible results of this kind of king, and the kind of king that is best for the people.

* Before David's reign was Saul. Prophetically before Jesus' second coming as king there will be the anti-Christ's reign. We need to learn the results of the kind of king that mankind has thought would be the best ruler over us and the results of that, before we have the greatest ruler for mankind, Jesus. The anti-Christ serves as a contrast to Jesus' perfect rule. Saul serves as a contrast of David's rule.

>What was Samuel afraid would happen? (2a)

* 1 Samuel 16:2a "But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me."

* The road from Ramah (where Samuel lived) to Bethlehem passed through Gilead of Saul. Samuel had said that the Lord had already chosen one of Saul's neighbors as his replacement. Samuel knew how evil Saul's heart was becoming. He knew that Saul would kill to save his reign. I can relate to Samuel for I have had a man who loved his leadership position in a congregation so much that he would kill to keep it. The evil and hate in his eyes is no different than violent unbelievers. A fearful experience it is when a man is so full of hate that he shakes in rage.

* How should we respond to hate that could kill us? Do not repay evil for evil. (Rom. 12:17, 1 Peter 3:9) Jesus said, "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44) And "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:27-31)

>What instructions did the Lord give to mislead Saul? (2b-3)

* 1 Samuel 16:2-3 "The Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate."

* "take a heifer with you" -We can assume that Samuel's custom must have been to go to sacrifices and religious ceremonies otherwise this too would have been considered conspicuous.

* Part of the truth, not all of it. Just because the Lord does not give us all the information does not mean he is in the wrong. He reserved the right to reveal his will only to those who obey and love him. Jesus told his disciples, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other." (John 15:15-17) Do you want to know the will of God, then accept him as your friend. Romans 12:1-2 states, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

>7. Why would the town tremble when they saw Samuel? (4)

* 1 Samuel 16:4 "Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?"

* "Samuel did what the Lord said" -Samuel'S life is best summed up by this fact. He is no known for wisdom, wealth, or great popularity.

* "the elders of the town trembled when they met him" -Samuel's reputation had proceeded him. They displayed more fear than Saul did. Like for Samuel must have been lonely for Samuel at this time.

* The people of the world have the wrong impression of God's people. They do not understand our life of faith and devotion to Christ. Their misconceptions cause them to act in many different ways including fear (i.e. fear of becoming like us, fear of losing their identity, fear of losing their freedom, etc.). All their fears are misplaced. Yet we are to love them.

>What does it mean to "consecrate yourselves"?

* 1 Samuel 16:5 "Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

* "Consecrate yourselves" -Involves preparing oneself spiritually as well as making oneself ceremonially clean by washing and putting on clean clothes. (Ex. 19:10, 14; Lev. 15; Num. 19:11-22) Before we come before the Lord we should prepare ourselves. We should appear before the Lord with clean body and clothes.

* "And come to the sacrifice with me" -Jesse's family and the elders witnessed David's anointing.

>What was God looking for in the next king that he did not find in Jesse's oldest sons? (6-10)

* 1 Samuel 16:6-10 "When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The Lord has not chosen this one either." Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The Lord has not chosen these."

* "Samuel saw Eliab and thought" -Saul was tall and handsome; he was an impressive-looking man. Samuel may have been trying to find someone who looked like Saul to be Israel's next king, but God warned him against judging by appearance alone. When people judge by outward appearance, they may overlook qualitu individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. Appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like or what their true value is. Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearances. And because only God can see on the inside, only he can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner character. While everyone can see your face, only God knows what your heart really looks like. what steps are you taking to improve your heart's attitude? (NIV Life Application Bible)

>What does the fact that he was tending sheep tell us about David's position in Jesse's family?

* 1 Samuel 16:11 "So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives."

* "but he is tending the sheep" -Tending the sheep was the lowest position in a family. It meant spending many lonely cold nights and hot days with stupid sheep. The food was little more than dried meat and what could be found in the open field. Danger loomed from lions, bears, and thieves.

* Saul was looking for lost donkeys, David was tending sheep. The implications are clear and prophetic.

* "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. (1 Cor. 1:27)

* We should never let anyone judge us by our outward appearance, convincing us that this is grounds for God's rejection.

* John 9:1-5 records Jesus correcting a misconception. "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

>How is David described?

* 1 Samuel 16:12 "So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one."

* "ruddy" -David had a fresh, healthy red color.

* "fine appearance" -He did not look like a great fighter, the kind of king wanted and expected.

* "handsome features" -People assume that ugly and muscular men make for tough men.

>When David was anointed what happened to him?

* 1 Samuel 16:13 "So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah."

* "in the presence of his brothers" -Later his brother's reaction to this day will seal their opinions and fate.

* "from that day on" -The Spirit of the Lord did not leave David as it had Saul.

* "in power" -As the Spirit did the first time it came on Saul. Both men knew what it was like to have the full power of the Spirit. Only one continued in the Spirit; the only was troubled by an evil spirit.

* All believers in Jesus in this age have been given the Holy Spirit. However, not all of Jesus followers are full of the Spirit, that is "living by the Spirit". (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16, 25; 1 John 3:24)

>How does this fulfill the prophecy of Genesis 49:10?

* Genesis 49:10 "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his."

* As mentioned above, from here until Jesus' coming all kings of Israel were of the tribe of Judea. This is true even considering the split of Israel for the northern tribe was eventually divorced from the Lord because of their continual sin.

III. David in Saul's Service (14-23)

>9. Why had Saul become tormented by an evil spirit?

* 1 Samuel 16:14 "Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him."

* "the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul" -Is this possible in this day? Some say yes, most say no. I believe what Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (John 10:27-30)

* "an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him" -The Lord controls the spirit world. Satan can do nothing unless the Lord permits it. (Job 1:6-12) Can someone who went to a church and was active in it have an evil spirit? Yes. Can someone who has the Holy Spirit also have an evil spirit? No. Once a person received the Holy Spirit in this age he can not lose it. The age we live in now is different that the age Saul and David lived in.

>How did David serve Saul?

* 1 Samuel 16:15-23 "Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better." So Saul said to his attendants, "Find someone who plays well and bring him to me." One of the servants answered, "I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him." Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me your son David, who is with the sheep." So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul. David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, "Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him." Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him."

* David became famous.

* Saul became dependant on David; he was blessed by David.

* The Lord worked on David and Israel's behalf.

* We never know how the Lord will work in our lives. One day we will be in the lowest position, the next in the court of the ruler.

>10. What kind of person was the man after God's own heart?

* David loved the Lord and served him only, patient for his leading.


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