Blunt Force Trauma To the Nose
Standard; So these two Amalekites are digging a trench. They're down about 6 feet and their boss keeps hollering down at them to dig faster. One of the Amalekites says, “I'm really tired of that guy barking orders at us, I want to know why we have to do the dirty work while he just sits up there and bosses us around!”
So he climbs out of the ditch and says, “Hey, how come you're up here bossing us around, while we have to do all the hard work?” And his boss says, “let me show you.” So he takes the Amalekite over by a tree and he holds the palm of his hand in front of the tree and dares the Amalekite to haul off and hit his hand as hard as he can.
So the Amalekite rears back and with all the force he can muster hauls off and swings at the foreman's hand. At the last minute, the foreman moves his hand and the Amalekite smacks his fist into the tree. . Well he goes whimpering back down into the trench holding his hand, and his buddy says,
“So how come he's up there and we're down here?”
So the Amalekite says here let me show you. And he lifts his good hand up and puts it in front of his face and says, “Go ahead, make a fist and swing as hard as you can at my hand.”
There's nothing like a good Amalekite joke and we can tell them because they no longer exist as a people group. They were wiped out when Samuel hacked King Agag to pieces as we read about in v 33.
But this brutal wiping out of an entire people's group can be very unsettling to us, and indeed is often used as cannon fodder by the atheist to condemn people who would believe in such a ruthless God. 1 Cor 10:11 is very helpful here as we sometimes struggle with the why's of a loving God and his militancy against the heathen in the Old Testament.
1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as types, and have been written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come.
Why would a loving God command the annihilation of the Amalekites all the way down to their little children and even their animals?
Well, when you realize that the Amalekites, were enemies of God's people. (They had attacked the Israelites on their way to the promised land by going after the weak and stragglers. Much as a lion goes after it's prey, and much like the devil goes after his prey.) The Amalekites serve as a typ, a picture, of sin, you can see what God's attitude toward sin is, and what our attitude ought to be, especially upon us to whom the “end of the ages” has come.
Please note that these are not just “stories” these events actually happened. And while we ought to have sorrow over the judgment of the Amalekites as God has sorrow over the judgment of the lost, we ought to pay attention to what they represent, lest we be judged as well.
But couldn't there be a better way to make the point? No! Only a better way for you and I to receive it. When are we going to understand that this is God and He is utterly holy. He makes His points perfectly. He is the Potter, we are the clay. And the truth be known, we all deserve the same fate as the Amalekites, and their possessions.
Just a little back drop for our text today. God had commanded Saul to completely wipe out the Amalekites and all their goods, however Saul spared the best of the goods and King Agag and we pick it up in v10.
1Sa 15:10 Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying,
11 "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king,
Ooooh, these are words that you or I do not want God to speak about us. “I greatly regret!” The Hebrew word is that of a deep sigh. Have you ever heard the deep sigh of disappointment? You know someone who is disappointed in the performance of someone else.
It can be the sigh expressed by a parent as they are called to speak to school authorities about their child. Or a wife in need of attention as the husband is glued to the TV screen for a non-descript sporting event. Or a supervisor who entrusts an employee with new responsibilities and he makes a mess of it..
I remember working at a sod farm in my teen years. Cutting and rolling sod. One day the boss decided to give me the job of mowing the sod. Great! A cushy job! I drove the tractor to the field, hitched up the mowers, which were like the old fashioned push mowers, ganged together, and they would cut a swath about 12 feet wide.
I started driving down the middle of the rich lush sod field, and was so proud of my new responsibility. My face beaming as I completed my first lap. Then I was horrified, as I saw what I had done. One of the mowers had locked up and had served as a plow instead of a mower.
I forgot to keep checking behind me as I pulled the mowers, and I had to go back and tell the boss what I had done. Well, after a deep sigh, I was back in the field rolling sod, never to drive the tractor again! (I lost the bosses anointing)
So why did God “greatly regret” anointing Saul as king? And by the way another way of saying this would be “Why did God greatly regret baptizing Saul with the Holy Spirit?” That's what the anointing is! You and I were anointed when we were baptized, as God opened up the heavens and gave the Holy Spirit to us, through this means of grace.
Suddenly, this account becomes more personal doesn't it. We do not want to hear those words spoken by God about us do we? “I greatly regret that I ever baptized.........Duane. So we need to avoid the mistakes of Saul.
OK, why then did He greatly regret? ...........”for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments."
Are you relying on your baptism alone for your salvation? Think twice! Because if you turn your back on God and ignore His commands, you are asking for the deep sigh from God. The good news for you is that you still have time to repent (to turn back) to Him.
Please notice Samuel's reaction to this word from God. He didn't just write Saul off did he?
And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night.
He prayed for him, he interceded on his behalf. Do you know someone who has walked away from their baptism? Someone who has turned back from following God and ignoring His commands? Have you ever done an all-nighter of prayer for them? ......Why not?
Do you think your regrets about that person spoken to others is going to make a difference? Do you think pointing your fingers at them and saying “Aha!” will bring them back to God? Go to the only one who can give and take salvation and plead on their behalf! Plead with God for their souls.
12 So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal."
“Saul set up a monument for himself.” Aren't we all good at that? Do something good in the name of Jesus and we want the whole world to know. Tah dah!
Mt 6:2 "Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
13 Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD." Tah dah!
But what does James say?
Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.
You gotta love Samuel's answer. It is so typical of God! “Adam where are you?” “Did I not heal 10 lepers? Where are the other nine?”
14 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"
15 And Saul said, "They.....”it was that woman you gave me” have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."
Isn't it great Samuel? Look what we've done! Instead of wasting this good stuff, we are going to sacrifice it to the Lord!” You know what this reminds me of? Embryonic stem cell research. Isn't it great! By using unborn babies we may be able to cure cancer, juvenile diabetes, alzheimers!
And Samuel might say to us, “So, where did you get the parts?” Has not God said, “thou shalt not kill?” And we can make all the excuses we like, about the intended good of our research, but the bottom line is God, like Samuel is not interested in our excuses.
16 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Be quiet! And I will tell you what the LORD said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak on."
17 So Samuel said, "When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the LORD anoint you king over Israel?
18 "Now the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.'
19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?"
20 And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 "But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal."
Now, I want to show you something in the text that we must not miss. Look back at v11. God “greatly regretted making Saul king, because he “has not performed my commandments.....plural. But look at v13. Saul says I have performed the commandment (singular) of the Lord.
You see, God gave Saul two commands. “Smite” and Utterly Destroy.” Saul obeyed the first, but neglected the second. And we are so much like Saul in the church today as we pick and choose which commands of God's we will obey. Patting ourselves on the back for our obedience and excusing our disobedience for what we perceive as good.
“ My boyfriend believes in God and goes to church.....and Samuel says, that's great! “Who is that singing in the shower?”
“I went to church today and this afternoon, I'm taking my friend to see, Midnight Meat Train. And Samuel says, that's great! What's that R mean after the movie title?
You see, the whole point of this event is to remind us that God desires to do away with all sin. He didn't want Saul to merely smite the Amalekites..... to merely strike against some sins, he wanted them utterly destroyed because they represented all sin.
The idea of utterly destroying something is to deliver a blunt force blow to the nose.
And I think the reason God greatly regretted having anointed Saul king, was because he intended for Saul to be a type of Christ. to demonstrate to us that Christ would one day, deliver the blunt nose trauma to sin on a hill outside Jerusalem some 2000 years ago.
But Saul blew it. Have you blown it? Have you turned back from following the Lord? Have you neglected performing the commands of the Lord? Do you pick and choose what you will obey? Well, the Good News is that Jesus has dealt a blunt force blow to sin....even your sins.
He didn't just pay for some sins. He paid for them all. He didn't stop short like Saul. And in one sense here, Saul is a type of the Law, it wasn't the law that finished off the Amalekites it was Samuel, who represents a type of the gospel.
And if we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And Jesus is coming back soon to finish off King Agag (the devil) as well. The victory over Agag was won on Calvary, and one day Christ will return and finish the job, just as Samuel did.
Friend, today's the day! Turn back from the ways of the world, stop picking and choosing which commands you will obey, and seek to follow God and His Word from this day forth. Be like the Amalekite in the trench and ask Jesus to deliver a blunt force blow to your sins, and then seek to live by His power and grace until He returns.