Bible: 1 Samuel 15:1-23

Saul Is Rejected as King

15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, “I was the one the Lord sent to anoint you as king over his people Israel. Now listen to what the Lord says. 1  15:2 Here is what the Lord of hosts says: ‘I carefully observed how the Amalekites opposed 2  Israel along the way when Israel 3  came up from Egypt. 15:3 So go now and strike down the Amalekites. Destroy everything that they have. Don’t spare 4  them. Put them to death – man, woman, child, infant, ox, sheep, camel, and donkey alike.’

15:4 So Saul assembled 5  the army 6  and mustered them at Telaim. There were 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 15:5 Saul proceeded to the city 7  of Amalek, where he set an ambush 8  in the wadi. 9  15:6 Saul said to the Kenites, “Go on and leave! Go down from among the Amalekites! Otherwise I will sweep you away 10  with them! After all, you were kind to all the Israelites when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites.

15:7 Then Saul struck down the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to 11  Shur, which is next to Egypt. 15:8 He captured King Agag of the Amalekites alive, but he executed all Agag’s people 12  with the sword. 15:9 However, Saul and the army spared Agag, along with the best of the flock, the cattle, the fatlings, 13  and the lambs, as well as everything else that was of value. 14  They were not willing to slaughter them. But they did slaughter everything that was despised 15  and worthless.

15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 15:11 I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned away from me and has not done what I told him to do.” Samuel became angry and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

15:12 Then Samuel got up early to meet Saul the next morning. But Samuel was informed, “Saul has gone to Carmel where 16  he is setting up a monument for himself. Then Samuel left 17  and went down to Gilgal.” 18  15:13 When Samuel came to him, 19  Saul said to him, “May the Lord bless you! I have done what the Lord said.”

15:14 Samuel replied, “If that is the case, 20  then what is this sound of sheep in my ears and the sound of cattle that I hear? 15:15 Saul said, “They were brought 21  from the Amalekites; the army spared the best of the flocks and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord our God. But everything else we slaughtered.”

15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait a minute! 22  Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” Saul 23  said to him, “Tell me.” 15:17 Samuel said, “Is it not true that when you were insignificant in your own eyes, you became head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord chose 24  you as king over Israel. 15:18 The Lord sent you on a campaign 25  saying, ‘Go and exterminate those sinful Amalekites! Fight against them until you 26  have destroyed them.’ 15:19 Why haven’t you obeyed 27  the Lord? Instead you have greedily rushed upon the plunder! You have done what is wrong in the Lord’s estimation.” 28 

15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed 29  the Lord! I went on the campaign 30  the Lord sent me on. I brought back King Agag of the Amalekites after exterminating the Amalekites. 15:21 But the army took from the plunder some of the sheep and cattle – the best of what was to be slaughtered – to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

15:22 Then Samuel said,

Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices

as much as he does in obedience? 31 

Certainly, 32  obedience 33  is better than sacrifice;

paying attention is better than 34  the fat of rams.

15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

and presumption is like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

he has rejected you as 35  king.”

NET Bible Study Environment