I didn't think it would take me this long to get to the 15th chapter of 1 Samuel! For the last month I've been reading through the book of 1 Samuel and blogging what I felt God revealed to me on that day.
Why is the 15th chapter so significant?
Well, in April of 2006 was the first time that I really looked at the life of Saul in depth and God had me preach on the 15th chapter, mainly I believe so that my own thinking would be changed. Then, as I was teaching this chapter in my small group a month ago and preparing for our series "Obey", I felt led to go through the whole book of 1 Samuel and journal or blog my thoughts daily. So, here we are 30+ days into it, OK, I'm a little slow!
"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 15:1
Samuel reminds Saul that he is to serve God not his own interest. Man, I could use that kind of reminder every day, although it would be hard to hear! We have a saying "live in such a way as to make Jesus famous", but we have to fight that daily drift of wanting to make our own self known and famous.
"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 everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.' " 1 Sam 15:2-3
God's instruction won't always make sense to us.
Ever had God ask you to do something that didn't make sense to the rest of the world?
I have, and each time I believe it was a testing of my faith to see if I would be obedient.
But here is the interesting thing that I noticed this morning, God actually told him why,
"for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt." Saul was actually getting a chance to fulfill prophecy.
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner. He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."
God was fulfilling His promise and He was asking a disobedient king named Saul to do it. If He asked Saul to carry out His plan, don't you think He might ask you also?
What may seem strange to you might be a chance to fulfill what God has planned from the beginning!
Will you have the courage to obey?