I Samuel 15:1-4 - Samuel also said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” So Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men of Judah. 5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and lay in wait in the valley.
How clear does a message have to be from God, before we listen and obey? Does it have to be in a powerpoint presentation, with drawings and flashing lights or do we need to just have something more substantial to listen to the word of God?
Saul did a lot of good for his people, but he made a lot of mistakes too. Even in those mistakes, God still saw favor in Saul. The scripture that I read, really makes a point to Saul – “To anoint you king over His people, over Israel.” That’s a pretty big honor isn’t it? But the honor was dependent on Saul’s obedience.
Saul had a huge army, over 200,000 people, and was preparing for battle.
6 Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the children of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
So, the first thing Saul did, was show mercy to the Kenites. Not a bad thing, right?
7 And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8 He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.
Saul decided, eh – you know what – I’m going to spare the leader, the king that was against God’s people. He also decided to keep the spoils of war as well.
10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.
What a mess. And Samuel knows that he’s going to have to tell Saul about all of this. So he does...
22 So Samuel said:
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”
24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.
25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.”
Not this time. Samuel, God’s prophet said bye and that was it for Saul.
How many times have we refused to listen to God, even when His words are so clear and sometimes even deafening???
Today, it is a very different story. We have all ignored God at one point or another in our lives, right? The thing is, we all still have the opportunity to do the right thing. We sometimes hear God’s word clearly, because we come together in fellowship and feed ourselves from His table. But much of our society is still in the dark, but the fact is, that our entire society can have a do-over, up to the point of their last breath. Right now, it’s not too late – but it will be soon. Not from an end of days perspective, but because of the fact that no one knows when that last breath will be.
Here’s the good news – the New Testament happened, Jesus dies on the cross and now we have the opportunity, not only to receive salvation through faith, but we also have the opportunity to share that faith with others and even lead them to Jesus…
But 6 or more billion people aren’t going to hear that good news message in this group or any other fellowship group today. Well, why not? It’s reported that there are 1.2+ billion Christians in the world. If each one of them, who said they were Christians were to invite 5 or 6 people to a fellowship group, every man, woman and child would be engaged.
The piece of scripture that really hit me lately is:
“Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
I have friends who aren’t believers – why aren’t they here today? How much time am I spending with them? When I do spend time with them, am I partaking in the ways of the world as they do or am I being the light, that God intended me to be?
God sent Samuel to speak with Saul, to tell him point blank – Here is what God is expecting you to do.
I asked myself the question, “Which of these pieces of scripture have I shared with my friends before?”
Matthew 10:32 - “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Matthew 11:28 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 10:14 - How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
I’ve told some of them tidbits here and there. Some more, some less.
But, here’s the problem – If we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work through us and “listen” to what God is calling us to do, then many people will be going through the wide gate.
Show the picture: https://godsrevolutiontoday.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/narrow-way-broad-road.jpg
Matthew 7:13-14 - “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
You’d be surprised how much we speak to others, by the way we live. I don’t swear. People at work, comment on that and they even comment on it, saying – either I’m sorry! – or something else along the lines of, you don’t cuss do you?
That has been the opening line of many conversations that I have had with people. See, some of them are convicted and I didn’t even have to bring it up. Imagine doing some event with friends and not following their lead in all of their worldly ways. You’d be surprised as to how many conversations get started.
I have a group of friends who I have been part of for years. I used to be one of the most foul mouth people when we got together, even when I was doing a pretty good job just in day to day life. But in the last couple of years, they have seen a marked change and have even come to me, asking questions.
Proverbs 21:2 - Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.
Proverbs 20:6 - Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?
James 2:18 - But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
Titus 1:16 - They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Jesus paid the ultimately price. He paid that price to cleanse us of our sins. All of them. He didn’t do that, so that we could spit on his sacrifice – by sinning over and over again. He wants more for us than that. Actually, he expects more than that.
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
How can we do that, if we aren’t living by His example? We will never be perfect – but we can be perfect in Christ. Be that light, that he has called you to be. Live that life, that he is calling you to live. Be that man of God and focus on the teachings of Jesus. After all, that’s what He died on the cross for.
Hebrews 4:7 - again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:“Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”
Hebrews 6:4 - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
John 15:4 - Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
1 Corinthians 10:13 - No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Hebrews 10:26 - For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Isaiah 59:12 - For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And as for our iniquities, we know them:
Romans 5:10 - For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 8:4 - that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
2 Timothy 3:7 - always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.