What a sad day when the LORD rejected Saul! Israel had an apparent victory against Amalek. Everything looked like it was in their favor. Saul and the people took of the spoil, and Saul even felt comfortable enough to spare the king of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:9). But the LORD had given Saul specific instructions: “Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass,” (1 Samuel 15:3). This may seem like a harsh judgment from the God whose name is, “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” (Exodus 34:6). But the text does not stop there. Part of God’s name is that “[He] will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7).
Now when Israel came out of Egypt, Amalek laid wait for Israel (1 Samuel 15:2; Exodus 17:8). This is the same battle where Moses had his hands held up by Aaron and Hur until the fighting ceased. Thank God, “Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword…And the LORD said…I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14). This is the task God chose Saul to perform, but Saul disobeyed. “[He] [had] rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD [had] rejected [him] from being king over Israel (1 Samuel 15:23, 26).
God has given us tasks to complete. Let us hearken unto His voice, and fulfil all that He requires. We ought not to interject our opinions. Our God is merciful and just. He, “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Let us obey Him out of love.