1 Samuel 15* Saul sent to destroy Amalek. (1-9) Saul excuses and commendshimself. (10-23) Saul's imperfect humiliation. (24-31) Agag putto death, Samuel and Saul part. (32-35)1-9 The sentence of condemnation against the Amalekites hadgone forth long before, #Ex 17:14; De 25:19|, but they had beenspared till they filled up the measure of their sins. We aresure that the righteous Lord does no injustice to any. Theremembering the kindness of the ancestors of the Kenites, infavour to them, at the time God was punishing the injuries doneby the ancestors of the Amalekites, tended to clear therighteousness of God in this dispensation. It is dangerous to befound in the company of God's enemies, and it is our duty andinterest to come out from among them, lest we share in theirsins and plagues, #Re 18:4|. As the commandment had beenexpress, and a test of Saul's obedience, his conduct evidentlywas the effect of a proud, rebellious spirit. He destroyed onlythe refuse, that was good for little. That which was nowdestroyed was sacrificed to the justice of God. 10-23 Repentance in God is not a change of mind, as it is inus, but a change of method. The change was in Saul; "He isturned back from following me." Hereby he made God his enemy.Samuel spent a whole night in pleading for Saul. The rejectionof sinners is the grief of believers: God delights not in theirdeath, nor should we. Saul boasts to Samuel of his obedience.Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape beingjudged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust ofthe silver, #Jas 5:3|, witnessed against him. Many boast ofobedience to the command of God; but what means then theirindulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angryand unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, whichwitness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root;and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in itwhich above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of theLord; it is disobedience: "Thou didst not obey the voice of theLord." Carnal, deceitful hearts, like Saul, think to excusethemselves from God's commandments by what pleases themselves.It is hard to convince the children of disobedience. But humble,sincere, and conscientious obedience to the will of God, is morepleasing and acceptable to him than all burnt-offering andsacrifices. God is more glorified and self more denied, byobedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring abullock or lamb to be burned upon the altar, than to bring everyhigh thought into obedience to God, and to make our will subjectto his will. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men, whoare not willing that God should rule over them. 24-31 There were several signs of hypocrisy in Saul'srepentance. 1. He besought Samuel only, and seemed most anxiousto stand right in his opinion, and to gain his favour. 2. Heexcuses his fault, even when confessing it; that is never theway of a true penitent. 3. All his care was to save his credit,and preserve his interest in the people. Men are fickle andalter their minds, feeble and cannot effect their purposes;something happens they could not foresee, by which theirmeasures are broken; but with God it is not so. The Strength ofIsrael will not lie. 32-35 Many think the bitterness of death is past when it is notgone by; they put that evil day far from them, which is verynear. Samuel calls Agag to account for his own sins. He followedthe example of his ancestors' cruelty, justly therefore is allthe righteous blood shed by Amalek required. Saul seemsunconcerned at the token of God's displeasure which he layunder, yet Samuel mourns day and night for him. Jerusalem wascarnally secure while Christ wept over it. Do we desire to dothe whole will of God? Turn to him, not in form and appearance,but with sincerity.
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