1 Samuel 13:1-15:35 Carry Out God Given Instructions

1 Samuel 13:1-15:35            October 5 2008

    The formation of Israel’s monarchy led to the renewal of
the nation’s conflict with the Philistines. Samuel’s victory
at Mizpah had provided a temporary lull in the struggle, but
it failed to elevate Israel’s Military prospects. The
philistines continued to be militarily superior. Furthermore,
their monopoly on iron also provided them with economic
advantages. Israel was a predominately agricultural
society, but its farmers were totally dependent on
philistine blacksmiths for making and repairing tools needed
for farming.
    Saul’s victory over the Ammonites (1 Sam. 11:5-11)
encouraged action against the Philistines. Saul had divided
his army and placed his son Jonathan in command of one
force. Jonathan, an aggressive commander, quickly attacked
a nearby Philistine outpost. The Philistines assembled a
massive military force to crush Israel once and for all. Panic
seized the Israel army. Many soldiers deserted. Goaded by
this widespread alarm, Saul usurped the role of priest and
offered a sacrifice that displeased the Lord immensely. The
prophet Samuel soundly denounced the king’s rash action.
    The philistine invaders sent three companies to attack
the Israelites. Once again Jonathan displayed aggressive valor.
In a small action he and his armor – bearer killed 20
Philistines. Numerically, this was insignificant. However, it
created panic among the Philistine army. Units turned on each
other. At this critical moment, Saul attacked. Displaying poor
judgment he issued a rash vow that almost cost the life of
his son. Nevertheless the Philistine invasion was repulsed.
    Immediately thereafter, God instructed Saul to destroy
completely the Amalekites. However, Saul failed to obey God
fully Consequently Saul and Samuel separated and never saw
each other again. Even more significantly, god rejected Saul
as king. Saul’s disobedience proved costly for him and his

    1. Don’t Let Fear Prompt Disobedience (1 Sam. 13:5,

1Sam. 13:5   The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with
three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers
as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and
camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 13:7b  Saul remained
at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear.
13:8   He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel
did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 13:9  
So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship
offerings. ” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 13:10   Just
as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul
went out to greet him. 13:11   “What have you done?” asked
Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering,
and that you did not come at the set time, and that the
Philistines were assembling at Micmash, 13:12   I thought, ‘Now
the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have
not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the
burnt offering.” 13:13b   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.

     Three thousand chariots.  The Canaanites under Sisera
(Jdg 4:13) had 900 chariots. The Israelites did not acquire
chariots until the time of Solomon ( 1Kings 4:26). Time set by
Samuel . (1 SAm.10:8). Saul is fully aware that Samuel’s
previous instructions had reference to this gathering at Gilgal.
Saul’s men began tp scatter . The seven-day delay heightened
the fear of the Israelite soldiers. Saul offered up the burnt
offered up the burnt offering . Samuel had promised to make
these offerings himself (1 Sam.10:8) before Israel went to
battle (1 Sam. 7:9), and he had directed Saul to await his
arrival and instructions. You acted foolishly . The foolish
and sinful aspect (1 Sam. 26:21; 2Sam. 24:10; 1Ch 21:8;
2Ch 16:9) of Saul’s act was that he thought he could strengthen
Israel’s chances against the Philistines while disregarding the
instruction of the Lord’s prophet Samuel. You have not kept the
command the Lord your God gave you . Saul was to recognize the
word of the prophet Samuel as the word of the Lord (1 Sam. 3:20;
15:1; Ex 20:18-19;  Ex 7:1-2). In disobeying Samuel’s instructions,
Saul violated a fundamental requirement of his theocratic office.
His kingship was not to function independently of the law and the
prophets (1 Sam.12:14,23; 15:11).

    2. Resist Temptations to Redefine Obedience (1 Sam. 15:7-11)

1Sam. 15:7   Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from
Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. 15:8   He took Agag king of
the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with
the sword. 15:9   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.
15:10   Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: 15:11   “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.

    Havilah to Shur . The location of Havilah is uncertain. Shur
was on the eastern frontier of Egypt (1 Sam.27:8; Ge 16:7; 20:1).
Ishmael’s descendants occupied this area (Ge 25:18). All his
people . All the Amalekites they encountered. Some Amalekites
survived (1 Sam.27:8; 30:1,18; 2Sam. 8:12; 1Ch 4:43). When Israel
refused to obey the Lord’s command (1 Sam 15:3), their holy war
against the Amalekites degenerated into personal aggrandizement,
much like that of Achan at the time of the conquest of Canaan
(Jos 7:1). Giving to the Lord by destruction only what was despised
and weak was a contemptible act ( Mal 1:7-12), not to be excused
(1 Sam 15:19) by the protestation that the best had been preserved
for sacrifice to the Lord (1 Sam.15:15,21). Grieved . (1 Sam. 15: 29.
He has turned away from me . A violation of the fundamental
requirement of his office as king (1 Sam 12:14-15).

    3. Never Put Ritual in Place of Obedience (1 Sam. 15:22-23)

1Sam. 15:22   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. 15:23   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.”

    Samuel does not suggest that sacrifice is unimportant but
that it is acceptable only when brought with an attitude of
obedience and devotion to the Lord ( Psalms 15; Isa 1:11-17;
Hos 6:6; Am 5:21-27; Mic 6:6-8). Fat of rams . The fat of
sacrificed animals belonged to the Lord (1 SAm.2:15; Ex 23:18;
Lev 3:14-16; 7:30). Rebellion. Samuel charges Saul with
violating the central requirement of the covenant condition
given to him when he became king (1 Sam.12:14-15). Sin of
divination  A serious offense against the Lord (Lev 19:26;
Dt 18:9-12), which Saul himself condemned (1 Sam.28:3,9).
You have rejected the word of the Lord . A king who sets his
own will above the command of the Lord ceases to be an
instrument of the Lord’s rule over his people, violating the
very nature of his theocratic office. He has rejected tou as
king . The judgment here goes beyond the one given earlier
(1 Sam.13:14). Now Saul himself is to be set aside as king.
Although this did not happen immediately, as ( 1 Sam.16-31)
show, the process began that led to his death. It included in
its relentless course the removal of God’s Spirit and favor
from him (1 Sam.16:14), the defection of his son Jonathan
and daughter Michal to David, and the insubordination of his
own officials (1 Sam. 22:17).

            Worship is fundamental to any relationship with
God. In the Old Testament, sacrifice was a prominent rite of
worship . Sacrifice was intended to be a physical expression
of internal devotion and commitment to the Lord.
            By the time of Samuel an organized system of
five types of sacrifices had been in place for several
centuries. These sacrifices involved both the slaughter of
certain animals and the giving of grain. Each sacrifice
expressed specific truths , from the need for Divine
forgiveness to the desire to give thanksgiving for God’s
activity in one’s life.
            (1 Samuel 13:9) mentions two sacrifices, the
burnt offering and the fellowship (or peace) offering ,
although only the first offering was made. Both were voluntary
gifts to God. In a burnt offering the entire animal , except its
h ide , was consumed by the altar fire. This sacrifice
represented complete dedication to God. Since the priest
was His representative, everything was given to God.
            The fellowship offering was divided in three parts.
The best tasting portion of meat was burned on the altar as a
gift to God. The next best portion was given to the priests.
what remained was eaten by the worshiper and his family. It
was eaten within the precincts of the worship center. The
meal represented the fellowship between the worshiper and
God (Yahweh)..