Stubbornness, Part 1 (1 Samuel #17)


Text: 1 Samuel 15:1-10

This is God’s last dealing with Saul. When it comes to stubbornness, the LORD is not infinitely longsuffering. He has limits. This chapter is God’s limit with Saul. You’ll learn in this chapter these principles to live by.

  • First, God is represented by His word. How a person treats the word of God is how they treat God. And how a person treats the word of God is also how God will treat them. Do you want your prayers answered? Do you want God to listen to you? Then listen to Him.
  • Second, you’ll learn what your biggest sin is. Haven’t you ever compared sins? You’ve said, well this isn’t as bad as that. Your biggest sin is the one you’re not taking seriously. And that sin is why you won’t publicize Jesus Christ, actively serve God, or be a Christian.
  • Third, you find out the characteristics of rebellion against God.
  • Fourth, there is the harsh reality of God’s silence resulting in a life of darkness, confusion, anger, bitterness, malice, and greed. Add to that the scary thought that when God is done with someone, it may not mean they die. Saul will live out his days in confusion, anger, bitterness, malice, greed, envy, hatred, murder, and witchcraft because he rejected the light given to him and was therefore relegated to darkness.

God’s commandment goes out (vss 1-5)

  • The LORD has had it with the Amalekites and is ready to judge their culture.
  • Exodus 17:14, 16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. … 16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
  • The Amalekites tried to kill off the Israelites when Israel left Egypt. The Amalekites were continually a problem to Israel and the LORD wanted their culture destroyed. They were a violent wicked culture.

Greed is cloaked in generosity (vss 6-9)

  • What Saul does next appears to be an act of generosity. But it’s what you do when you want to get away with sin. You hide your sin behind the appearance of something good.
  • Saul isn’t going to spare the Kenites because they were good to Israel. That’s not even true. (Moses’ father in law was a Kenite, but he abandoned the Kenites because of their wickedness. Saul is pretending that Moses’ father in law represents the Kenites, but he didn’t.) The point is Saul isn’t going to spare the Kenites because they were good to Israel, Saul is going to spare the Kenites because they are the wealthiest group among the Amalekites. They are Hollywood and Washington D.C, and New York and L.A. The Kenites have the money and the fast cars and the big trucks and the huge followings on social media.
  • Look at verse 9. Saul isn’t being generous, he’s being greedy. But he wants people to think it’s good will.
  • You know what you do when you want access to certain “resources”? You get friendly with the one who has control of the resources. And you cloak your greed in friendship or good will.
  • The LORD looks at that stuff and it just stinks.
  • Hebrews 4:11-13 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
  • Romans 2:11-12, 16 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; … 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
  • Your sin may not be greed, but whatever the sin is that you want to get away with, it’s the one you make light of and the one you cloak in good deeds. You’ve compared sins I’m sure. You’ve said, well, this isn’t as bad as that. You know what the worse sin is in your life? It’s the one you make light of. It’s the one you won’t deal with. It’s the one you justify. It’s the one you’ve disguised as an act of righteousness or an act of generosity.

Grief expressed by God (vs 10)

  • Verse 10 sums up God’s attitude toward Saul at this point. The principle is that God is represented by His word. And how a man, woman, or child treats the word of God when it is presented to him is how that soul treats God.
  • Furthermore, according to your treatment of God’s word will be God’s attitude toward you. Look at verses 23 and 26.
  • Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
  • To husbands: 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
  • James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Lord, make me healthy! Why? Lord, give me this job! Why?
  • We love prayer promises. Oh, I’m going to get everything God has for me. But what you find out is that whatever attitude you have toward the words of God, the LORD will express the same attitude toward you. The LORD certainly has things for people who take Him seriously. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.