And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart; go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them. For you showed kindness to all the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction. I Samuel 15:1-9 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 5:7-9 ESV
Mr. and Mrs. Jones had saved up their money for a long time to build a brand new house for themselves. They had dreams of what their house would be like, and had made all kind of plans. When they were ready, they hired a company to build their house for them. But the company wasn’t honest. It didn’t build the house the way the Joneses wanted it built. The workers made the house smaller and used cheaper materials than the Joneses had asked for. The company bosses took the extra money that was left and kept it for themselves.
Saul did the same kind of thing when God commissioned him to destroy the Amalekites. Saul was God’s king and under his authority, and he needed to do what God had told him to do. But Saul acted as if he were doing his own job. He didn’t destroy everything, but instead he and his soldiers kept things for themselves, especially the good animals. They also kept King Agag alive, probably because he would be able to pay them money. Saul and his men were greedy and kept for themselves what really belonged to God.
Saul was falling further and further away from being the kind of king God wanted for his people. God was about to choose a different king for Israel. And someday in the future, God would send his own Son to be the king of all his people around the world. This king is Jesus. Jesus obeyed everything his Heavenly Father told him to do, even though it was very difficult. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and disobedience. Because of Jesus’ perfect obedience for our sakes, we are God’s people, and Jesus is our wonderful king forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be our Savior and King. In His Name, Amen.