but Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly (I Sam. 15:9).
The Amalekites, as proclaimed in this Fifteenth Chapter of I Samuel, represent the flesh. Some 500 years before, when Israel was in the wilderness, having just come out of Egypt, the Amalekites attacked the People of God. At that time, the Lord said that He would “have war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Ex. 17:8, 16). As stated, Amalek represents the flesh.
Saul was given instructions to totally destroy Amalek. He said, “Utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass” (I Sam. 15:3).
Such instructions may seem to be harsh to most. Yet we must remember that God had given Amalek some 500 years respite for repentance—but in vain. That nation, like the southern nations of Canaan, resisted every Divine impulse; they finally became so corrupt that, in the interest of humanity, love decreed its absolute extinction. In other words, God was forced to perform major surgery on the human race, and for the good of the human race as a whole.
Saul, however, did not obey the Lord, but rather spared Agag, the king of the Amalekites, plus the best of the sheep and oxen, etc. This is symbolic of modern Believers who desire to eradicate the bad things of the flesh, i.e., those things which destroy, such as immorality, liquor, drugs, etc., in other words “that which is vile and refuse”; however, that which seems to be good, they seek to spare, just as Saul spared Agag, etc.
The “good” consists of our dependence on our good works, our religious associations, in fact, anything in which we place our faith, other than Christ and the Cross. We are loathe to separate ourselves from these “good things.” But the Holy Spirit through the Prophet includes such direction to be “rebellion.” Concerning that, he said, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (I Sam. 15:23).
When Samuel approached Saul, the king was very religious and said, “Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the Commandment of the LORD.”
Then Samuel answered, “What means then this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”
The modern Church also claims to have “performed the Commandment of the LORD”; however, the Lord says otherwise.
Let us say it again:
Anything which we make as the object of our faith, other than the Cross, is constituted as “flesh,” which the Lord cannot abide. He is still saying, “Utterly destroy all!” Not only must the “bad” flesh be destroyed, but the “good,” as well!
Love without End
Read 2 Samuel 16:1 through 20:26
Published: Mar 28, 2017
Richard’s parents watched him make many wrong choices. They tried to help him, but he refused their loving attempts to keep him from slipping deeper into trouble. When he was arrested for possessing illegal substances, his parents pleaded for leniency, just as King David had done centuries before.
The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders (2 Samuel 18:5).
Absalom led a revolt to overthrow his father’s throne. Kings normally killed a rebellion’s leader, but David’s love for his son led him to command the army to “be gentle” with Absalom.
We disappoint our Heavenly Father when we sin against Him, but because of His great love for us, He extends mercy and grace instead of condemnation. He will always forgive us and lead us back to the right path. And He expects us to forgives others too.
Thought for Today: You can never stray too far from God’s love.Quicklook: 2 Samuel 18:1–5
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