After the death of Agag, both Saul and Samuel returned to the towns where they had their homes.
Until that day, Samuel had been Saulís adviser and prophet (the person who spoke Godís words to him). However, now that Saul had chosen not to obey God, the two men separated. Samuel would never again go to advise Saul or to declare Godís words to him. Their only meetings would be the strange incidents in 1 Samuel 19:23-24 and 1 Samuel 28:11-20.
Saulís decision not to obey God made Samuel very sad. Samuel acted as if Saul were already dead. God regretted that he had appointed Saul to be Israelís king. Soon, God would send Samuel to appoint a new king over Israel (16:1-13).
However, Saul was not yet dead. Although he had lost his right to rule Israel, he still continued as king for several years.
During those years, Saul would often act in an extremely wicked manner. An evil spirit had control over him (16:14). However, that evil spiritís power was not continuous (16:23). The result was that Saul could often act in a sensible and kind manner (24:16-21). He even carried out some holy acts (19:23; 24:19).
It is not Godís desire to punish even a person who has become very wicked. God wants that person to turn from his evil deeds so that God can forgive him (Ezekiel 18:21-23). We can see that God gave Saul many opportunities to do that. However, Saul did not, in the end, turn back to God. Instead Saul became completely evil.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.