By Practical Christianity Foundation, (PCF)
King Saul was appointed by God to be His hand for judging Amalek. So God instructed Saul to utterly destroy Amalek without sparing anyone or anything for any reason at all.
Amalek was the nation which waged war against Israel, impeding Israel's journey from Egypt to the promised land. At the time He had determined, God sent Samuel to King Saul and instructed Israel to go to Amalek and completely annihilate it from the face of the earth as His judgment for its unprovoked action against God's chosen people.
Saul followed through with the Lord's assignment and utterly destroyed Amalek but spared Agag the king and all the livestock which looked good to him. Samuel told Saul that saving the king and the livestock was a big mistake, because it was contrary to God's direction.
Saul confessed that he spared the best livestock to bring them as an offering to the Lord God. So he defended his action because he thought he did something good for God. Actually, Saul felt justified in his own eyes that it would not be wrong to modify or adjust God's instructions so long as it is for doing something good and acceptable.
Then Samuel confronted Saul, asking him if he thought that God would be delighted more in burnt offerings than in obedience. God delights more in obedience than sacrifices. Obedience is more pleasing to God than the rich fat of burnt offerings.
However good and acceptable, Man's choice can never replace God's will and purpose. Man's good intentions are, at best, unwholesome musings of a fallen mind or heart. In sparing the king and the livestock, Saul disobeyed God. God judged Saul's disobedience by removing him from the throne.
While it is commendable to make one's mind to always do good in God's name, obedience, faith, and wisdom must always be the principles which shape our behavior. Jesus our example repeatedly tells us that He did everyting in His Father's name and according to His will. Jesus was on earth to do His Father's will. So are we!
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