Samuel – A Lifetime Serving God

Lesson 13: “A Final, Painful Task” I Samuel 13; 15:1-16:7


“Because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” I Sam 15:10


The first step

·        Chapter 13 describes a battle with the Philistines. Samuel had instructed Saul to wait for him at Gilgal (10:8), and Samuel would perform the sacrifices before the battle (7:9) Knowing the enemy was about, and angry, Saul's men grew afraid and restless (13:6,7)

·        Apparently to hurry things along, Saul took things into his own hands (13:8,9,11,12)

·        Saul's kingship was not to be separate from God's laws, and Samuel tells Saul there will be consequences for these actions (13:13,14)


Partial obedience

·        God declares it is time to punish the Amalekites. This goes all the way back to Exod. 17:8-16 and Deut. 25:18,19. These were a wicked people. Note Exod. 17:14, and then I Sam. 15:2,3

·        We should look at this practice of "devotion to the Lord". See Lev. 27:28,29 and Deut. 13:12-18. What was the purpose behind this harsh practice? The word 'destroy' in I Sam. 15:3 refers to this kind of 'devotion'.

·        Saul sets out to accomplish this task (15:4-7). However, Saul comes up woefully short in fully following the law. (15:8,9) They were not to touch at all that which was devoted to destruction…


A troubling message

·        A telling instance of God portraying emotion (15:10). This is the second time Samuel has received this kind of news, and he is troubled by it (15:11). Why do you think Samuel was affected to this extent?



·        Notice what Saul has done for himself (15:12). Saul he claims he has followed out his instructions (15:13). But Samuel's first question is rather direct and to the point (15:14)

·        At this point, Saul begins to rationalize and make excuses. (15:15-24)

·        Samuel does go with Saul, but only to finish what Saul did not do (15:32,33)

·        This kind of behavior and attitude saddens the Lord (15:35)


A final task

·        Samuel is told to anoint the one who will be the next king (16:1). Samuel is worried about Saul's reaction (16:2).

·        Unlike one of the reasons for choosing Saul, the Lord has not chosen someone who looks like a king. God has an important thought for us all (16:7).

5 Principles


#1) Living a godly life does not mean we will always be liked and loved by everyone, even other Christians

#2) One of the most subtle sins that leads to spiritual deterioration is pride

#3) When we are veering from the path of righteousness, God normally shows His love by sending warnings

#4) Even partial obedience and a lack of repentance eventually leads to serious consequences

#5) Pride and arrogance are usually manifested in threats, deception, rationalization, and outright lying


For next week read Exodus 1:1 - 2:10