Why the Lord Rejected Saul

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The Spirit now devotes a whole chapter to the expedition against Amalek, in order to make it absolutely clear why the Lord rejected Saul, and the righteousness of it. The sentence of God had long gone forth against this inveterate enemy of His people. At Rephidim, the Lord said that He would have “war against Amalek from generation to generation” (Ex. 17:1616For he said, Because the Lord hath sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. (Exodus 17:16)); and Moses, in his parting charge to Israel said, “Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it” (Deut. 25:1919Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. (Deuteronomy 25:19)). All that was lacking was a word from the Lord as to the precise moment for the execution of the terrible sentence, and the needed word was sent to Saul by means of Samuel.
The instructions were clear and unequivocal. Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint thee king over His people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” Thus nothing whatever was to be spared. Adversaries of Holy Scripture have sometimes declaimed against the severity of the Lord's instructions to Israel concerning their foes. If God is love, why should He bid His people act in such a manner? The answer is very simple: “God is light,” as well as love. The nations in and around Canaan were so deeply impregnated with such terrible evils that they constituted a moral ulcer in the midst of the earth, and it was mercy to others, as well as righteousness in God, to destroy them utterly, after enduring them with much long-suffering. How much of a cancer does the knife of a skilful surgeon spare? It was largely due to Is-rael's failure to do their work thoroughly that they soon became so corrupt themselves. The evil influence of their neighbors in time brought down the judgment of God upon His own people.