Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1 Samuel 15:24-35

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”

27 As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you. 29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites.”

Agag came to him in chains. And he thought, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.”

33 But Samuel said,

“As your sword has made women childless,
so will your mother be childless among women.”

And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Questions to consider:

  • What is Saul's response to Samuel's news?
  • Does Samuel tell Saul that he can have a second chance?
  • What metaphor does Samuel give Saul when Samuel's robe is torn?
  • What does Saul ask Samuel to do for him?
  • Who does Saul put to death?

Possibilities for prayer:

It must have been difficult for Saul to receive this news from Samuel, and perhaps a bit surprising. He recognizes that he sinned, but he probably wasn't expecting that this disobedience would cost him his kingship. What's pretty impressive is that in the midst of this Saul still desires to worship God, and asks Samuel to go with him so that he can do that.

I don't know about you, but when I get bad news, my first response is not always a desire to worship God. Maybe I'll pray and ask for God's provision or for the situation to be turned around, but worship likely doesn't come immediately to mind. Let's ask that God would give us this quality that we see in Saul, the ability to desire to worship God in the midst of difficult times.