1 Samuel 15:1-3, 9-11, 13-23
1 Samuel 15:1-3
This wandering people had wantonly attacked the Israelites in the desert, in the most cowardly manner, and this national sin had long been registered in God’s book against them. They were moreover a barbarous race of plunderers, most dangerous to their neighbours and to all settled government. The time was come when divine justice required that they should be brought to condign punishment. Saul was therefore sent of God to be the executioner, and was commanded to do his work thoroughly.
1 Samuel 15:9
This was half-obedience, which is whole rebellion. Many are ready to slay their disreputable sins, but their fashionable transgressions they cannot give up.
1 Samuel 15:11
The rejection of sinners is a great grief to saints: God has no pleasure in the death of sinners, nor have his people.
1 Samuel 15:15
He lays his fault upon others, and pleads the good intention of the act. Neither excuse would avail.
1 Samuel 15:16-23
Nothing can compensate for a want of obedience to Gods will. We may pretend great zeal for God’s glory, but wilful neglect of divine commands will condemn us. External religion cannot be a substitute for holiness. Those who pretended to witchcraft were put to death by Saul, but so long as he himself would not do as the Lord bade him, he was as guilty as the witches whom he slew. Idolatry was known to be overt rebellion against Jehovah, but obstinate disregard of his law was quite as evil a form of rebellion. May the Holy Ghost make us scrupulously obedient, for nothing short of this will prove us to be the true servants of the Lord.