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9. Saul is Rejected; David is Chosen

December 17, 2009

Text:      I Samuel 15:1-16:13

Key Verse:      I Samuel 15:22;  I Samuel 16:7

Outline:      I. Saul Fights the Amalekites      I Samuel 15:1-9

                          II. Samuel Confronts Saul      I Samuel 15:10-21

                         III. God Rejects Saul      I Samuel 15:22-35

                         IV. Samuel Anoints David      I Samuel 16:1-13

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     Samuel meets with Saul to relay the Lord’s message for Israel to attack the Amalekites, destroying all their people and possessions. Saul summons an army of 210,000 men and goes to the city of Amalek to tell the Kenites to flee if they don’t want to die too. Saul mounts a massive attack against the Amalekites, killing all their people and taking their king captive. They let the king and the best of their animals live.

     The Lord informs Samuel that Saul did not follow His Will. Samuel prays all night and then goes to meet Saul. Samuel follows Saul to Mt. Carmel where he learns that Saul had erected a monument in his honor. Samuel continues on in search of Saul and finds him at Gilgal. Saul greets Samuel saying he has carried out the Lord’s Will. But Samuel hears all the animals taken as plunder. Saul explains that the soldiers took only the best to sacrifice to the Lord, attempting to pass the buck and to spin the blame in his favor. Samuel interrupts Saul to explain the Lord’s message given to him. Samuel challenges Saul as to why he did not obey the Lord’s order. Saul continues to insist he obeyed. He brought back the king and the soldiers brought back the animals to sacrifice. Samuel replies that God is not interested in sacrifices as much as he is interested in obedience to His Word. Saul’s sins of rebellion and arrogance confirm he had rejected God’s Word and as a result, God is rejecting him as king.

     Saul is finally convicted of his sin and admits he gave in to the soldiers desires. Saul requests Samuel’s forgiveness and wants Samuel to go with him to worship the Lord. Samuel rejects Saul’s request saying the Lord has rejected him. The Lord no longer considers Saul king and He will not change His mind. Saul confesses his sin but insists Samuel return with him and worship so he can save face with the people. Samuel agrees but before they leave, Samuel kills the Amalekite king. That was the last contact Samuel had with Saul.

     The Lord sends Samuel to the home of Jesse in Bethlehem to anoint one of his sons as Israel’s next king. Samuel fears Saul will kill him so the Lord instructs him to take a heifer with him as a sacrifice and invite Jesse’s family to attend. The Bethlehem elders tremble upon seeing Samuel thinking he has come to judge them. Samuel invites them to the sacrifice too. Upon consecrating the elders and Jesse’s family, Samuel begins searching out God’s appointed king among Jesse’s sons. Samuel learns God only looks at the heart. Not finding God’s chosen, Samuel asks Jesse if there is another son. He is told to come in from tending sheep and God tells Samuel to anoint him. Samuel anoints David and the Spirit came upon him.

Lessons/Applications:

     1. One can start well but not finish well, especially if one loses focus on the Lord’s objective. Winning battles is not as important to the Lord as obedience and perseverance or being considered faithful.

     2. The “obedient” must not forsake praying for the “disobedient”, that the Spirit of the Lord changes their focus back to Him, that they would realize their sin, seek forgiveness, and correct it in repentance to the Lord.

     3. After being a part in defeating the Lord’s enemy, be careful not to think you won because of your superior strength or intellect. We win because the Lord is on our side. Therefore, praise Him and do not seek the praise of men.

     4. The work of the righteous is to expose the work of the unrighteous. God refuses to accept nothing but the Truth.

     5. God honors what/who is in our hearts more than what we do or accomplish. False worship of the Lord is no different than worshipping a false god.

     6. God rejects those who reject His Word.

     7. Again, forgiveness does not mean we do not suffer the consequences of our sin and disobedience in the eyes of the Lord. Sometimes our sin severs our fellowship with those we need most in our lives, including the Lord.

     8. God anoints those who love Him with all their strength, soul, heart, and mind. He raises them up as special servants for specific tasks. Seek the Lord, love Him and Him alone, listen for His call, and follow Him in total obedience.

     9. God’s desire is that we finish strong. That means we reject our success-driven egos and obey God’s instruction in all their detail.

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