Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

Why Saul did not obey God

1 Samuel 15:22

Saul did not obey Godís instructions for the war against Amalek. God had told him not to bring back any of the animals from Amalek (15:3).

In fact, Saul brought back many of the best sheep and cows from there. He did that because, in his opinion, he had a better plan for those animals. He brought them back to Gilgal where he intended to offer them as a gift to God.

Saul considered that such an impressive gift would please God greatly. Saul wanted to please God because he needed Godís help for himself and for his nation. Saul had plans for future wars. Those plans could only succeed if God supported him.

However, Saul could only make that gift if he chose not to obey Godís instructions to him. Saul decided, on purpose, not to obey God because Saul wanted to impress God. Clearly, Saul had not recognised the kind of attitudes that God wanted him to have.

By the power of Godís Holy Spirit, Samuel spoke to Saul. Samuel explained that, in order to please God, Godís people must obey him. It is much more important to obey God than to give gifts to him.

Really, by his gifts, Saul was trying to pay for Godís support. Saul had done that on previous occasions too (9:7-8; 13:8-13). It was clear now that Saul had no real desire to obey God. Instead, Saul was trying to force God to do what he (Saul) wanted. It was Saulís method to try to control God. As Samuel explained in 1 Samuel 15:23, that is a wicked attitude.

Next part: The result of Saulís decision not to obey God (1 Samuel 15:23)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.