Last weekend, Pastor Wayne concluded the Samuel series by unpacking 1 Samuel 15. If you missed the sermon, watch it here.
MESSAGE FROM THE LORD
In the first nine verses of this chapter, Saul is given very specific instructions by God through Samuel. These instructions seem harsh, but God was using Saul to address a wrong that had been committed against his people. God did not take this offense lightly. However, Saul did not take God’s command seriously and failed to lead just as Eli, Eli’s sons, and Samuel’s sons had.
- In this passage, we see Saul choosing to do what was customary instead of what God asked him to do. When are you tempted to do what is customary instead of following God’s guidance?
- Why do you think God chose to deal so harshly with the Amalekites for what they had done to his people as they were coming out of Egypt? Why is it so difficult for us to believe that God would deal harshly with those who oppose him?
In the middle section of this chapter, Saul makes excuses for his actions. After Samuel confronted Saul, he tried multiple ways to say that he had obeyed God, and he even attempted to justify his actions by saying he saved the plunder in order to worship God. Samuel’s response was simple: God values your obedience more than your worship, and you rejected him so he has rejected you as king. In verse 24, Saul admitted his wrongdoing and confessed it was fear of his men that drove him to make that decision.
- Have you ever tried to use excuses to justify your disobedience to God? How do you think God views that? What does God desire from us when we realize we are wrong?
- Both obedience and worship are important in our relationship with God. Why do you think God chose to emphasize obedience over worship in this passage?
- How, like Saul, has fear of what others might think or say kept you from following God’s direction for your life?
As the chapter closes, Samuel completes the task God had given to Saul. Not only did he have to complete the work, but he had to have a painful conversation with Saul that completely altered the relationship they had. While Samuel had to reject Saul as king, he also cared deeply for Saul and mourned for him. The reality is that we all have difficult conversations we need to have with people in our lives, and often there are conversations people need to have with us. The key to this is our willingness to do what is right, in a loving way, even if it is uncomfortable.