Looking For The Heart (1 Samuel 16)

The reign of Saul began with such hope for Israel. The king of Israel was supposed to lead the people in righteousness and turn the hearts of the people away from wickedness. However, Saul, the king of Israel, has been refusing to do the will of the Lord even though he thinks he is obeying. Saul did not wait for Samuel for the sacrifices to be offered which is what the Lord commanded. Samuel declared that the kingdom would not continue through Saul’s descendants because of his disobedience. Saul is given a second chance because God is a God of forgiveness and second chances. Saul is told to utterly destroy the Amalekites for their wickedness against Israel. However, rather than destroying everything as the Lord commanded, Saul captures the king and keeps the best of the flocks and animals of the Amalekites. For this disobedience God declares that he has rejected Saul from being king and took the kingdom away from Saul at that very moment (15:28). The scene ends with Samuel grieving over Saul and the Lord regretting that he made Saul king over Israel (15:35). The whole thing seems like a catastrophic failure. So we are left with a tension in the account. This is a time of great wickedness in Israel and in the world. How is God going to rescue his people and turn the people back to him? What is God going to do now that his king has completely failed him?

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