Samuel declared the very serious message that God had given for Saul. Although Saul had considered himself unimportant (9:21), God had given great honour to Saul. Then God gave Saul a serious and sacred task: to carry out Godís judgement against a wicked nation.
Although Saul defeated that nation, he did not obey Godís instructions. God had told Saul to hand over that nation, and everything in it, to God - and therefore, to destroy everything. However, Saul had allowed his men to bring back the best cows and sheep - and Saul himself was responsible. That was the message that God told Samuel to give to Saul.
It astonishes us that Saul dared to argue with Godís word to him. God does not lie or say anything untrue. His words are perfect and his judgements are always right and proper. Our reaction should be humble; we should confess our wrong deeds to him.
However, Saul protested that his actions were completely right. He had defeated the enemy that God sent him to fight against. He had destroyed everything that had little value in that country. Its king was now Saulís prisoner.
Of course Saul did not want to waste the best cows and sheep. He explained to Samuel that he had a better plan for those animals. His men had brought them to Gilgal, where the priests would offer them to God. Then the meat would provide a great meal for the people, as in 1 Samuel 11:15. Also, Saul would burn many of the animals completely as gifts to God (see Leviticus chapter 1).
Samuelís words in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 were Godís reply to this plan.
Next part: Why Saul did not obey God (1 Samuel 15:22)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.