We will never fully understand God until we’re in heaven with Him. Let’s stop trying to make sense of His ways—because sometimes they just don’t make sense!
The first shall be last?
The last shall be first?
If you want to be great, head to back of the line and start serving?
Let’s make it our goal to simply OBEY God . . .
whether we understand His commands or not.
If only Saul had known this truth!
Maybe you remember the story. If not, you can find it in 1 Samuel 15.
God sent Samuel the prophet to instruct King Saul to kill the Amalekites. Who were they? The Amalekites were an evil and brutal tribe who attacked God’s people, the Israelites, as they traveled through the wilderness to the Promised Land.
The Amalekites had no reverence of fear of God. They had a reputation for especially attacking the weaker members—women and children and elderly people who couldn’t always keep pace with the rest of the Israelites.
God’s word to Samuel was to instruct King Saul to kill every living being among the Amalekite tribe—every man, woman, child and animal. So Saul gathered 210,000 soldiers and destroyed the Amalekites.
Maybe you’re familiar with what happened next.
Saul and his troops were returning home from battle when Samuel met them on the road. “Glory be to God!” Saul shouted. “He has given us victory in battle because of our obedience.”
“Seriously?” Samuel asked. “Your obedience? Then how come I’m looking at a bunch of fat sheep and oxen? You were supposed to kill every living thing!”
“Well . . . you’re gonna love this, Samuel! I decided to keep the fattest sheep and the strongest oxen so we can offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord when we get back to hometown. That way all the people can come out and celebrate WITH us as we praise God for this victory! Great plan, huh!”
Samuel was disgusted. “No! It’s a horrible plan. You’ve acted in direct disobedience to God. What you have done is as bad as satan worship. God desires your obedience over sacrifice any time and every time! And because you’ve disobeyed, God will remove you from the throne. That’s right—you nor any of your family will continue to rule over Israel! And by the way . . . who’s he?”
“This is King Agag. We didn’t kill him, because when we return home, we’ll have a giant victory parade so everyone can see him as our trophy—and as we give thanks to God, we’ll kill him THEN.”
Samuel was so horrified at Saul’s blatant disobedience, he grabbed Saul’s sword and immediately annihilated Agag.
Seems pretty harsh, you may be thinking.
What’s the big deal with some animals and killing the king now or later?
It kind of makes sense.
It DOES kind of make sense, doesn’t it?
Why wouldn’t God want the sacrifice of all these animals?
Again, we don’t understand God’s ways. If we try hard enough, we can make anything make sense. We can rationalize and rationalize until it seems right.
But it’s not our job to make God make sense. It’s only our job to obey Him.
OK on the animals. God didn’t want them as a sacrifice. But what’s the big deal about killing Agag then or in a giant victory parade? Isn’t the bottom line that he’s killed? Does it really matter when?
Every detail of God’s will always matters.
Let’s push the fast-forward button on this story. It’s 20 years in the future, and Saul is down in battle on Mount Gilboa. His enemy has the sword at Saul’s neck, so Saul is unable to turn around and identify him. So Saul asks: “Who are you?”
The response of his enemy?
“I . . . am . . . an Amalakite.”
How can this be? Saul killed all the Amalikites. He wiped them out.
Yes, but he didn’t do it God’s way.
From the time Saul took King Agag into captivity from the time he met up with Samuel was less than a week. But it was just enough time for Agag to escape, father a son and be taken captive by Saul again before meeting Samuel.
And now . . . 20 years later . . . the son of Agag is out to destroy Saul.
The son of Agag HATES you!
He will do everything in his power to destroy you.
That’s why a God who loves you more than you can comprehend says, “If there’s anything in your life that’s keeping you from obeying Me wholeheartedly, annihilate it.”
Anything you need to annihilate?