1 Samuel 15: 1-5…A very specific command.

And Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
So Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand men on foot, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley.

Comment: It is quite clear what the command which God, through Samuel, gave to Saul. Samuel’s prelude was in essence ‘I, by God’s command, made you king of His people. Now go and do what He commands.’ The Amalekites, all the human beings, all the animals and everything they had were to be destroyed. Saul collected a large army, some 210 thousand soldiers and travelled to their main city, presumably to carry out the orders given by God through Samuel.

That is what the passage says. Many people think that God could never order such a thing. Whole books are written and much disagreement found over this passage. I simply will say that I believe that God has the right, as the Creator and ultimate Judge and accepting that He is both loving and yet Just, to command differently from what we see as the best way. He will have His reasons, which we may not understand, nor like, but He acts always within His justice and Love and true to His Perfect Godly character. If I quibble about this command, what am I to understand of the doctrine of hell and the penal substitutionary death of Christ on the Cross, as the propitiation for our sin?

Prayer: You are my Judge, please guard me from thinking that I can judge You.

2 thoughts on “1 Samuel 15: 1-5…A very specific command.

  1. Thank you Barry, for your comments on this passage. We humans can never see the whole picture but God can. He is Just. He is the final Judge for everything that happens. We need to remember that it is not our prerogative to question God’s ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Also the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10 is another picture of God’s ways being Just. Some people have debated the outcome of the actions of these two people. But God dealt with them and we need to leave them in His hands. God bless you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: