Samuel said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over his people Israel: now therefore listen unto the word of the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember what Amalek did to Israel, how he sought to ambush him when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
I. SOME WHEN THEY READ THIS COMMAND CHALLENGE THE JUSTICE OF GOD, HOW COULD GOD COMMAND THE UTTER DESTRUCTION OF A NATION, INCLUDING WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ANIMALS.
A. History tells us how exceedingly wicked and vile the Amalekites were.
1. They were a cunning and cruel race of people.
2. Their religious and moral practices were so vile that in time they would have self destructed with venereal diseases.
3. Evil has a way of proliferating very rapidly, they could soon infect God's children.
B. In the scripture Amalek became a type of that man who is ruled by his flesh.
1. Thus the command to utterly destroy.
2. God has only one sentence for the flesh. Kill it.
a. Paul said that if we lived after the flesh we would die, but if through the Spirit we would mortify the deeds of the flesh that we would live.
b. He commanded the Colossians to put to death whatever belonged to the earthly nature such as sexual immorality impurity, lusts and evil desires. These are the very things that are bringing the wrath of God upon the world.
c. He told the Galatians that they who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with it's lusts.
d. He told the Ephesians that we know that no whoremonger or those who were sexually impure, or covetous has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God, Let no man deceive you with vain words, for it is for these things that the wrath of God is coming upon the world.
C. To understand Amalek a little better we have to go back to the book of Exodus and read a little of their treachery.
1. The children of Israel were coming fresh out of Egypt. They had been slaves and God has finally set them free and is leading them to the land that he promised Abraham that He would give to his descendants.
2. This is the battle that is remembered because of the fact that when Moses held up his hands, Israel prevailed, and when his hands dropped the Amalekites prevailed. So Aaron and Hur got on either side of Moses and held up his hands until the Amalekites were defeated.
3. This is where God swore that He would have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
D. Later on the Lord said to Moses,
Remember what Amalek did to you by the way when you were coming out of Egypt; How he met you by the way, and smote the hindmost of you where the feeble were weary and fainting, and they feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as a possession, that you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget [it].
II. HERE IN OUR CHAPTER THAT TIME HAS COME, THEY ARE DWELLING IN THE LAND AND THEY HAVE DEFEATED THE NEIGHBORING NATIONS, SO THE LORD IS NOW COMMANDING SAUL TO GO DOWN AND TAKE CARE OF AMALEK. UTTERLY DESTROY THEM.
A. We see here in the story Saul's reluctance to obey the command of God.
1. He does not utterly destroy.
2. There were some of the things that he thought were too good to be utterly wiped out.
3. There are always those today who object to the utter denial of the flesh life.
a. They feel that there are certain things of the flesh that are worth holding on to.
b. They rebel against the idea of having to give up everything of the flesh life.
c. Why can't I indulge in social drinking?
d. What is wrong with going to the movies?
e. Why can't we have dances at our High School?
4. The words of Jesus offend them when He said to come after Him you must deny yourself.
a. Jesus gave an interesting rational in respect to denying yourself. He asked, What would if profit you if you gained the whole world and lost your own soul?
b. He then asked, "What will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
B. In reality when you look honestly at life, where do most of our woes and problems come from?
1. James asked,
Where do the wars and fighting come from? Do they not come from your lusts that war inside you? You lust and you have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:
2. Is this not true in our society today?
3. Is not the self centered life at the base of most of our social problems?
C. Paul wrote to the Galatians about this warfare that goes on inside of the believer.
For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
D. Paul said, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh dwells no good thing."
III. IN OUR STORY WE FIND SAUL LYING ABOUT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
A. When Samuel came to Saul, Saul declared to Him, "I have performed the commandment of the Lord" vs 13.
B. Samuel responded if you have performed the commandment of the Lord how come I hear sheep and cattle?
C. Saul said that he sought to bring the best back to offer it to God as a sacrifice.
1. Sometimes we feel that we can please God with some of our best fleshly efforts.
2. It is amazing how many people are offering to God their fleshly efforts in an endeavor to atone for their sin.
3. Paul in Romans 8:8
flatly declares, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
D. Samuel responded "To obey is better than to sacrifice, and to listen to God is better than the fat of rams. 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 has also rejected you from [being] king.
E. That Saul was lying about utterly destroying the Amalekites is found in chapter 30 for David and his men had gone from their city of Ziglag to fight with the Philistines in whose territory they were living to escape from Saul who was attempting to kill David.
1. The Philistines refused the help of David and sent him back to Ziglag, and David found that the Amalekites had plundered the city of Ziglag, knowing that the men were gone and they took the women and children as hostages to make slaves of them.
2. These dirty tactics are so typical of the flesh.
IV. THERE IS AN INTERESTING POST SCRIPT TO THIS STORY.
A. Saul was defeated in the battle against the Philistines and in the battle he was hit by an arrow, he asked his armor bearer to thrust him through with a sword for he knew that if the Philistines found him still alive they would torture him, his armor bearer was reluctant to do so, so Saul sought to commit suicide by falling on his own sword.
B. In 2 Samuel 1
David is waiting to hear of the results of the battle when a young man came to him with torn clothing. David asked how the battle was going and he told him of the death of Jonathan and Saul. David asked how do you know that Jonathan and Saul are dead and the young man told him this story. As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here [am] I. And he said unto me, Who are you? And I answered him, I [am] an Amalekite. He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life [is] yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that [was] upon his head, and the bracelet that [was] on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my
C. Saul was slain by an Amalekite who through disobedience to God had not slain.
D. What is the moral of the story? If you to not utterly kill the flesh that part that you save will ultimately kill you.