Monday: January 20, 2020
Reference: 1 Samuel 15:16-23
1 Samuel 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
It will always seem unfair to Saul but on the basis of what is written, there will always be a comparison between himself and David. For both men, although of humble beginnings, were elevated by God to the status of kings in Israel. While both had their fair share of ‘scandals’, Saul lost his kingship as a consequence but David’s was established.
Throughout the account of the lives of the Kings and the Psalms, we gain snippets into the attitudes of David and Saul towards God, and that seemed to be the deciding factor in their case. In the text read today, even though Saul was given strict instruction to destroy everything living in Amalek, he chose to spare their King and some fattened livestock intending to sacrifice them to God.
However, it is the manner of his response when questioned by Samuel that presented the exact picture of how he related to God. While vehemently stating he had obeyed everything he had been commanded, he spoke these words: ‘we spared the sheep and oxen
and brought them back to sacrifice unto ‘THE LORD YOUR GOD'(vs 21)
Let’s break that down a little because in that one statement Saul suggested this to Samuel: ‘I have observed your relationship with your God and have noticed He likes receiving offerings, so what I am doing is for Him – to make Him happy’. That told the story of a man who had no personal relationship with God for if he knew God for himself, Samuel would not have had to remind him that obedience to God, was better than any burnt offering.
On the other side, David would refer to God as ‘My God’ (Psalm 16:2). That was personal and it is no surprise that such a man was ‘a man after God’s own heart’ – their relationship was personal, the kind we are encouraged to pursue.