Leslie M. John
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9)
Our Lord Jesus Christ practically showed what obedience is like when He died in our stead, and suffered humiliation by death on the cross, because it pleased the Father to bruise Him for our sake, thus He became the author of our eternal salvation. The Lord desires that we should learn and show practically the obedience to the Lord’s commandments to love God “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” and to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Ref. Matthew 22:37-38)
The children of Israel rejected “Theocracy”, a direct rule by God, through His servant Moses, when He redeemed them out of slavery from Egypt, provided food for them in the wilderness, protection by day and night, protection from their enemies.
The LORD then raised judges to rule over them, and they rejected them as well and chose to have a king over them just as nations had. Samuel the prophet warned them that the king would take their male children to fight wars and female children to work in bakeries, and yet they insisted on having a king over them.
The LORD granted their desire reluctantly; and chose Saul, a good-looking, handsome, nicely built in physique from the tribe of Benjamin to be anointed as king over them.
The LORD sent His word through Samuel the prophet and said to Saul that he should go and fight Amalekites to their utter destruction, even their infants, male or female, their sheep, oxen, etc. The LORD was against Amalekites because they were the first nation to attack innocent children of Israel from behind when they came out the land of Egypt.
In Scriptures, Amalekites are a type of ‘flesh’, inasmuch as they are the descendants of concubine of Eliphaz, son of Esau, who himself was carnal and sold his birthright for a “red pottage”. In the New Testament Lord Jesus and Apostle Paul instructed us that we should utterly destroy our fleshly desires and carnal nature.
Saul gathered two hundred thousand footmen and ten thousand men of Judah and went out, and he did well to spare Kenites, who did good to the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt, but he disobeyed the command of the LORD by sparing Agag, king of Amalekites, and their best of sheep and oxen.
Samuel came to know about it and came to meet Saul, but then Saul had gone away from Carmel to Gilgal. Samuel travelled to Gilgal and met Saul, who lied to the prophet saying he fulfilled the command of the LORD. Then Samuel questioned him as to what was that bleating sound of sheep and lowing of the oxen that he was hearing.
Saul excused himself saying his people spared best of the sheep and oxen to be offered as sacrifices to God of Samuel. Then, Samuel asked him if God desired sacrifices more than he being obedient to the command of the LORD to utterly destroy Amalekites. He then called for Agag, the king of Amalekites. Agag came out cheerfully with presumption that he would be spared but Samuel cut him to pieces.
Saul was repentant and held the edge of the garment of Samuel when he was about to go, and Samuel’s garment tore. Samuel pronounced curse on Saul that his kingdom will be taken away and given to his neighbor; and that neighbor was David.
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:22-23)
Apostle Paul admonishes us that we should be obedient to Christ and refuse obedience to fleshly desires. Cast away our carnal nature, false imaginations of fake intelligence, pride of the heart, which is against the knowledge of God. We all walked once according to the desires of the flesh but now, having been saved by the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)