Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15
Even as God is the judge of each person, so God is the judge of entire nations.
When God makes a judgement against a wicked nation, he often does not carry out that punishment immediately (for example Genesis 15:16; 1 Kings 13:2). Godís delay gives the people in that nation the opportunity to change their behaviour and to serve him (2 Peter 3:9). If they do, God will forgive them. However, often the people in that nation choose to continue their wicked behaviour and they become even more evil. Such behaviour proves that Godís judgement against them was right (Genesis 15:16).
On this particular occasion, Godís judgement was against the nation called Amalek. Its people, called Amalekites, lived in the desert on the south of Israel. The reason that God gave was the Amalekitesí great cruelty in Exodus 17:8-15. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 describes why Amalekís attack on that occasion was so cruel.
God decided at that time that he would not allow the nation called Amalek to continue to exist (Exodus 17:16; Deuteronomy 25:19). However, he allowed 400 years to pass before he told Saul to carry out his judgement against Amalek. In the meantime, the Amalekites had continued to be wicked (15:18). Their king was a murderer (15:33). They constantly attacked and robbed from the people in Israel (14:48; 30:1-4). These things showed that Godís judgement against Amalek was right and proper.
During this period of history, God sometimes used his people to carry out his judgements. That does not still happen today. Instead, God uses his people today to show his kindness to people in every nation (Matthew 28:19). However, God still makes judgements against all that is evil. At the proper time he himself will carry out his judgement against all that is evil in this world (Revelation 19:11-21).
Next part: An especially severe act of judgement (1 Samuel 15:3)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.