Slaying the Amalekite

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE

(SLAYING THE AMALEKITE – THE OLD CARNAL NATURE)

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

INTRODUCTION – TODAY WE ARE GOING TO RECONSIDER A FAMILIAR STORY ABOUT A MAN THAT GOD HAD ANOINTED RAISED UP AND BLESSED AS THE FIRST KING OF ISRAEL.   AFTER SOME INITIAL SUCCESS HE BECAME FULL OF PRIDE AND FULL OF HIMSELF AND TURNED HIS BACK UPON GOD.  HE WAS COMMANDED BY GOD’S PROPHET TO UTTERLY DESTROY THE AMALEKITES, A WICKED PEOPLE THAT GOD WOULD JUDGE AND SACRIFCE THEM TO HIMSELF.  SAUL FAILED TO OBEY.  GOD HAS RAISED US UP TO BE KINGS AND PRIESTS ONTO GOD, BUT TO SUCCEED IN THIS CALLING WE TOO, WITH GOD’S HELP, MUST SLAY AND UTTERLY DESTROY THE AMALEKITE, THE OLD NATURE WORKING IN US THAT RESISTS AND FIGHTS AGAINST WHAT GOD IS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH IN OUR LIFE.  (TEXT 1 SAMUEL CHAPTER 15)

1.    GOD COMMANDS SAUL TOLD TO DESTROY THE AMALKITES (1SAMUEL 15:1-3)

  • AMALEKITES SONS OF ESAU WHO HAD REJECTED THEIR SPIRITUAL HERITAGE.
  • GOD HAD GIVEN THEM OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT BUT THEY REFUSED.
  • INSTEAD, THEY HAD FOUGHT AGAINST MOSES AND JOSHUA (EX 17:9-11)
  • THEY FOUGHT GOD’S PEOPLE, GOD’S PLAN AND GOD’S PURPOSE.
  • THE LORD SAID THAT THEY WERE TO BE TOTALLY DESTROYED (EX 17:14).

2.    SAUL DEFEATS THE AMALKITES BUT DOES NOT DESTROY THEM (1SAMUEL 15:7-9)

  • AGAG, THE AMALEKITES AND ALL THAT THEY POSSESSED HAD BEEN DEVOTED TO DISTRUCTION BECAUSE OF THEIR INIQUITY (LEV 27:29), BUT SAUL DECIDED TO KEEP AGAG THE KING ALIVE.
  • HE ALSO KEPT THE BEST OF THE CATTLE AND THE SHEEP BUT HE DESTROYED THAT WHICH WAS DESPISED AND WEAK – THAT WHICH HE DID NOT WANT FOR HIMSELF.

3.    GOD CONFRONTS SAUL THRU SAMUEL FOR HIS DISOBEDIENCE (1SAMUEL 15:10-16)

  • THE LORD CAME TO SAMUEL AND EXPRESSED HIS GRIEF OF SAULS DISOBEDIENCE BEFORE SAUL RETURNED THIS SO AFFECTED SAMUEL THAT HE GRIEVED ALL NIGHT AND CRIED OUT TO THE LORD.
  • SAMUEL GOT UP EARLY TO MEET SAUL AND CONFRONT HIM BUT SAUL HAD ALREADY LEFT FOR CARMEL WHERE HE HAD SET UP A MONUMENT FOR HIMSELF TO TAKE CREDIT FOR THE VICTORY THAT GOD HAD GIVEN HIM.
  • WHEN SAMUEL FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH HIM SAUL SAID, “THE LORD BLESS YOU! I HAVE CARRIED OUT THE LORD’S INSTRUCTIONS.”
  • SAMUEL RESPONDED, “WHAT MEANETH THE BLEATING OF THE SHEEP IN MY EARS”.   SAUL HAD DISOBEYED GOD, YET HE WAS PREPARING A CELEBRATION IN HIS OWN HONOR.
  • WHEN CONFRONTED WITH HIS DISOBEDIENCE, SAUL BLAMED HIS SOLDIERS FOR SPARING THE BEST OF THE SHEEP, CATTLE, AND ETC. TO SACRIFICE ONTO THE LORD.
  • SAMUEL SAYS “STOP! LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE LORD SAID TO ME LAST NIGHT”.
  • SAUL WAS SPIRITUALLY CLUELESS. HE WAS UNAWARE OF GOD’S FIERCE ANGER TOWARD HIS DISOBEDIENCE; HE WAS ALSO TOTALLY UNAWARE THAT THIS HAD BEEN A TEST, A FINAL TEST AND HE HAD FAILED MISERABLY.  GOD’S PATIENCE WITH SAUL HAD RUN OUT ALL THAT WAS LEFT WAS GOD’S JUDGEMENT UNLESS HE REPENTED.

4.    SAUL GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT BUT FAILS TO DO SO (1SAMUEL 15:17-23)

  • SAUL WAS ONCE SMALL IN HIS OWN EYES – GOD HAD PROMOTED HIM.
  • HE FAILED TO GIVE GOD THE GLORY AND WALK IN OBEDIENCE BEFORE THE LORD.
  • GOD HAD SENT HIM TO DESTROY THE AMALEKITES AND FULFILL GOD PROMISE. SAMUEL ASKS “WHY DID YOU NOT OBEY THE LORD?”
  • SAUL FAILS TO REPENT BUT RATIONALIZES AND AGAIN BLAMES HIS SOLDIERS. SAUL SAID THAT THEY HAD KEPT THE BEST IN ORDER TO SARCRIFICE THEM ONTO THE LORD.
  • SAMUEL’S RESPONSE: “DOES THE LORD DELIGHT IN BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES AS MUCH AS IN OBEYING THE VOICE OF THE LORD? TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE AND TO HEED IS BETTER THAN THE FAT OF RAMS. REBELLION IS AS THE SIN OF DIVINATION, AND ARROGANCE LIKE THE EVIL OF IDOLATRY.  BECAUSE YOU HAVE REJECTED THE WORD OF THE LORD GOD HAS REJECTED YOU FROM BEING KING”.  (1 SAMUEL 15:23)
  • LATER IN THIS CHAPTER, SAUL ASKED SAMUEL TO FORGIVE HIM (FALSE REPENTENCE) – HE HAD SINNED AGAINST GOD, SAMUEL WAS ONLY THE MESSENGER.
  • AS SAMUEL TURNED TO LEAVE SAUL CAUGHT THE HEM OF SAMUEL’S ROBE AND TORE IT.
  • “THE LORD HAS TORN THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL FROM YOU AND GIVEN IT TO ONE OF YOUR NEIGHBORS – TO ONE BETTER THAN YOU.”
  • “HE WHO IS THE GLORY OF ISRAEL DOES NOT LIE OR CHANGE HIS MIND FOR HE IS NOT A MAN THAT HE SHOULD CHANGE HIS MIND.”
  • SAUL: “I HAVE SINNED, BUT PEASE HONOR ME BEFORE THE ELDERS OF ISRAEL…” SAUL MORE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THE PEOPLE THOUGHT OF HIM THAN WHAT GOD THOUGHT OF HIM.

6.    THE DOWNWARD PATH OF SAUL’S PERSONAL APOSTACY

  • HE WILLFULLY DISOBEYED GOD – HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS TO DO BUT HE CHOSE TO DISOBEY.
  • AFTER DISOBEYING HE SETUP A MONUMENT TO HIMSELF AND CELEBRATED.  HE WAS FULL OF PRIDE WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON HIS FACE ASKING GOD’S FORGIVENESS. (12)
  • WHEN CONFRONTED WITH HIS DISOBEDIENCE HE FIRST DENIED AND RATIONALIZED HIS DISOBEDIENCE (VS 13, 20) THEN HE BLAMED OTHERS. (VS 15, 21)
  • HE FAILED TO REPENT WHEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY THEN HE REPENTED FALSELY. (VS 24)
  • HE WAS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT HIS IMAGE THAN HIS INTEGRITY (VS 30)
  • AFTER THE SPIRIT OF GOD DEPARTED; SAUL TURNED TO WITCHCRAFT. (CHAP 28)
  • THE LORD WAS NO LONGER WITH SAUL IN BATTLE.  IN A BATTLE WITH THE PHILISTINES SAUL’S THREE SONS WERE KILLED. REALIZIING HIS DEFEAT NOT WANTING TO BE CAPTURED ALIVE SAUL FELL ON HIS OWN SWORD AND DIED. (1SAMUEL 31:5)

 

7. WHAT IS THE APPLICATION TO OUR LIVES (Josh 7:10-13)

  • GOD IS ASKING US TO SLAY THE AMALEKITE, OUR OLD NATURE AND TO DEVOTE IT TO DESTRUCTION, TO SACRIFICE IT ONTO HIM.
  • THE OLD NATURE IS COMTEMPTOUS OF THE CALL OF GOD AND YOUR SPIRITUAL HERITAGE.  THE OLD NATURE GRATIFIES OUR FLESHLY DESIRES AND TAKES WHAT IT WANTS. IT RESISTS AND FIGHTS AGAINST GOD’S PLANS AND PURPOSE IN YOUR LIFE
  • WE TRY TO SALVAGE AND REFURBISH OUR OLD NATURE; WE PRETEND TO  FOLLOW CHRIST BUT WE KEEP THE KING ALIVE; WE ACCEPT JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR BUT NOT OUR “LORD” AND “KING”.
  •  WE SACRIFICE SOME THINGS TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE BUT WE ARE NOT PREPARED TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE TO SLAY THE “KING”.
  • WHEN WE KEEP THINGS THAT BELONG TO GOD FOR YOURSELF, GOD DEVOTES THEM TO DESTRUCTION: WHEN WE WITHHOLD OUR TITHES AND YOUR OFFERINGS AND KEEPING THEM FOR YOURSELF – EXAMPLE: USING GOD’S MONEY TO BUY AUTOMOBILES, FURNITURE AND FIX UP YOUR HOUSES, OR GO ON VACATIONS.  YOU WILL FIND THAT YOUR WILL NOT GET AHEAD BECAUSE GOD DEVOTES WHAT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GIVE TO HIM TO DESTRUCTION TO WASTEFULNESS: Mal 3:8-9: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, `How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.
  •  THE CURSE AFFECTS YOUR FINANCES, YOUR HEALTH AND YOU’RE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS:
    •  IN THE FINANCIAL AREA IT WILL SEEM LIKE YOUR POCKETS HAVE HOLES IN THEM: THERE ALWAYS MEDICAL EXPENSES, THE AUTOMOBILE IS ALWAYS BREAKING DOWN, YOU CHILDREN WILL MOVE IN ON YOU AND TAKE ALL YOUR MONEY, PROMOTIONS YOU EXPECTED WILL BE GIVEN TO OTHERS, JOBS YOU WANTED ARE GIVEN TO OTHERS, YOUR BUSINESS VENTURES END IN DISASTER.
    • THE AFFECT OF THE CURSE ON OUR HEALTH IS THAT YOU OR SOMEONE IN OUR FAMILY ARE ALWAYS GETTING SICK OR GETTING INJURED.
    • THE AFFECT OF THE CURSE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP IS THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP DO NOT WORK, YOU NEVER HAVE ANY PEACE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD.
    • WHEN WE WITHOLD OUR SERVICE OR TALENTS THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US FROM GOD BECAUSE IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME OR REQUIRES TOO MUCH COMMITMENT, WE BRING A CURSE UPON OURSELVES, OUR TIME AND TALENTS ARE DEVOTED TO DISTRUCTION: YOU RUN AFTER PLEASURE BUT NEVER BE HAPPY, YOU WASTE THE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE WITHOUT FINDING THE FULFILLMENT THAT YOU SEEK. THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU HAD TO WORK FOR THE KINGDOM AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE ARE GIVEN TO OTHERS.
    • WHEN WE STAND BEFORE GOD IN THE BELIEVER’S JUDGEMENT, OUR EXCUSES AND RATIONALIZATIONS FOR DISOBEDIENCE WILL BE EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS. WE WILL BE FILLED WITH REMORSE AND GRIEF FOR THE OPPORTUNITES SQUANDERED TO HELP BRING IN THE HARVEST.   WHEN IT COMES TO JUDGING OUR OBEDIENCE, GOD IS THE FINAL AUTHORITY AND ALWAYS HAS THE LAST WORD.
    • WHEN WE KNOWING DECIDE THAT WE WILL NOT DO WHAT GOD AS ASKED US TO DO AND WITHHOLD FROM GOD WHAT BELONGS TO HIM WE ARE, IN EFFECT, ERECTING A SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLD, A MONUMENT TO OURSELVES AND OUR PRIDE.  THIS WILL BRING CURSES AND DEVASTATION ON OUR HOUSEHOLD. WHEN WE THE ENEMY ATTACKS GOD IS NO LONGER WITH US; ALL THAT IS LEFT IS TO WE FALL ON THE SWORD OF OUR OWN DISOBEDIENCE.
    •  WE MAY THINK THAT WE ARE GETTING BY BUT WE ARE LIVING UNDER GOD’S MERCY AND HIS FORBEARANCE. THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN GOD SAYS, “ENOUGH”.

CONCLUSION – IN JOSHUA 7:10-12 THERE IS A VERY SOMBER WARNING.  IT SHOWS US HOW SERIOUS GOD VIEWS THIS MATTER:  Josh 7:10-12: The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. NIV THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. GOD GAVE SAMUEL AND OPPORTUNITY TO REPENT BUT BECAUSE OF HIS PRIDE HE COULD NOT DO SO.   GOD IS GIVING ALL OF US THAT SAME OPPORTUNITY THIS MORNING. IT YOU ARE WITHHOLDING FROM GOD THAT WHICH BELONGS TO HIM, ASK HIS FORGIVENESS AND REPENT AND START DOING WHAT IS RIGHT SO THAT SO THAT HE WILL FORGIVE AND REMOVE THE CURSE AND BLESS YOU WITH 4TRUE BLESSINGS THAT LAST FOR TIME AND ETERNITY.

 

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