So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”
Good morning friends. The gift of Freewill can be viewed as a blessing or a curse to humankind, depending on the lens of ones observation, and the context in focus.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at the passage we have just read. Here we see that Saul was given clear instructions for the campaign against the Amalekites. This mission was not a pre-emptive or defensive strike, but an offensive one based on previous actions of the Amalekites as outlined through God’s agent in these words;
I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt
So, we see their actions (based on freewill), which ultimately led to God’s judgement. The agent for God’s punishment was the armies of Israel through the leadership of King Saul – and here lies the conundrum dear friends. God is the ultimate judge of all actions; by Him all actions are weighed. He does not control man’s action, He sees the motives behind every action. But He needs people to carry out his plan on earth; He needs people to do His will, and execute His purpose.
Sadly Saul’s actions like Achan’s in the days of Joshua was motivated by pride and greed. He chose to do it his way, with a view to fit God in somehow. His plan was to show off king Agag, enrich himself and some of his soldiers, and give a little sacrifice (perhaps a tithe) to appease God. But friends, God cannot be bribed, flattered or seduced; its either His way, or no way. Saul had made shipwreck of his ministry, he had to be replaced.
In closing, let’s hear the verdict of God concerning the action of the man he entrusted to do His will;
Has 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 heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king
God is always recruiting. His campaigns are for two distinct purpose; to either replace or to succeed. In this case, David was recruited as a replacement and not a successor.