1 Samuel – Chapter 15: The Lord Rejects Saul as King

In 1 Samuel 14, God is nowhere to be seen, likely because he’s upset at what the people are eating or not eating.  Jonathan eats some honey, against the rules he did not know, and was almost put to death.  In this chapter the title tells us the Lord is about to reject Saul as the king of the Israelites.  Saul is God’s lackey, so this should be interesting.

“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. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” – 1 Samuel 15:2-3

More bloodlust approved by God.  Note that God demands everyone, including the children and infants, must be killed.  The Bible is a book of morals, right?

“He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.” – 1 Samuel 15:8

Just so there is no confusion, Saul followed through on the command of killing the children and infants.

“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.” – 1 Samuel 15:9

Uh-oh.  God is going to be PISSED that Saul didn’t kill and destroy EVERYTHING!

“Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: ‘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.” – 1 Samuel 15:10-11

How can an all-knowing god have regrets?  God has control of Saul’s heart.  God knew exactly what was going to happen.  He can’t now have regrets!!!  Unless of course…he doesn’t exist!

“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.’” – 1 Samuel 15:15

Yeah, like uh, we totally destroyed the rest.  Totally!

“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. 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.” – 1 Samuel 15:22-23

In other words, the Bible says it is always better to obey than to think critically.  Thinking is the devil’s work.

“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.’” – 1 Samuel 15:28

God is the one who hardened Saul’s heart.  God had complete control of Saul.  God made decisions for Saul.  If God has chosen a better leader, than God has chosen someone better than God.  Interesting.

“He 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.” – 1 Samuel 15:29

Ah, a foreshadowing to Jesus.  Jesus, God’s son who is actually God himself in human form who must be killed to fix the mistakes that God, er Jesus, made.  Yeah, because that makes sense.

“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.” – 1 Samuel 15:35

Let’s pick this apart.  Samuel refuses to see Saul.  But that actually makes sense given the message Jesus directly sends in Matthew 19:29.

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” – Matthew 19:29

To receive the rewards of God/Jesus, you must forsake your family and friends.  Samuel is simply following the rules God has set forth.  In addition, we again read that God ‘regretted’.  An all-knowing being, by definition, cannot regret.

That concludes 1 Samuel 15.  God commands everyone in a tribe be put to death, including children, babies, and animals.  Saul kills the people, aside from the King, but saves some of the animals to then kill in a sacrifice to God.  So the animals were to be killed too.  Yet God is mad.  He doesn’t want anyone thinking.  Killing the children and babies was not enough for God.  The animals had to go too.  Because they didn’t, God and Samuel forsake Saul.  Confused?  That’s normal.  It’s the Bible.

Coming Soon:  1 Samuel – Chapter 16:  Samuel Anoints David

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