'Appreciating God's Love'
King Saul's Disobedience
I Sam 15:10-11 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.
God found King Saul to be disobedient for not keeping His commandments. As the king of Israel (similarly for all Christian leaders), he must be found to be completely in obedience to God's words and commands otherwise judgment will be great upon him.
1. Made unacceptable sacrifices to God, which was reserved only for Samuel and the priesthood to perform.
I Sam 13:12-13 then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering." And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.
2. Did not kill everything including animals, but kept them back the spoils of war.
I Sam 15:20-21 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. 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."
God's Demands Obedience
I Sam 15:22-23 So Samuel said: "Has 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 heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king."
Because of disobedience, God rejected King Saul as His anointed King of Israel.
Similarly, God will reject pastors and church leaders as His anointed servants when they disobey His words and commandments.
King Saul's Loss of Anointing
I Sam 16:1,13-14 Now the Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." ...Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord troubled him.
Immediately after the anointing of the youth, David with the Spirit of the Lord as the King of Israel, the Spirit of the Lord left King Saul and a distressing spirit began to trouble him.
King Saul's Pride
I Sam 18:7-9 So the women sang as they danced, and said: "Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands." Then Saul was very angry, and the saying displeased him; and he said, "They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed only thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" So Saul eyed David from that day forward.
After David had killed the giant Goliath, the people ascribed David with more honour, so much so that Saul's pride was hurt. Ever since then, he wanted to kill David by any means, even though David was loyal to him.
He sent David to get 100 foreskins of the Philistines, hoping that the Philistines would kill him. When David was in front of him, he tried to spear him to death but God protected David. He then sent out his men to murder David.
He even sent his armies after David but David and his 600 men managed to escape from them. He then killed all the priests who gave the holy bread to feed David and his men. Even though again and again David spared King Saul's life, yet his intention was David's death.
Note: Godly David inquired the Lord all the time, so he was able to escape King Saul's massive army.
God Protects His Godly Children
2 Tim 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
Just like David, God will always protect and deliver His godly children.
2 Pet 2:9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
God's Judgment of King Saul
I Sam 23:7-8 And Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. So Saul said, "God has delivered him into my hand, for he has shut himself in by entering a town that has gates and bars." Then Saul called all the people together for war, to go down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
King Saul had forgotten his mission was to defeat the Philistines and Canaanites, and to establish the Kingdom of Israel in the Promised Land. Because of his pride of life, he put all his effort into killing David.
Are Christians today trapped by the things of the world - lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life that they have forgotten their mission?
Mission of Christians
Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Just like King Saul, are Christians and churches today trapped by worldly wisdom - justifying their selfishness, hoarding up treasures on earth, building their own empire instead of the body of Christ, teaching Christians to be worldly with distorted doctrines and heresies and preaching a watered down gospel?
Do Christians love Jesus and be His disciple by keeping his words and commandments as recorded in the 4 Gospels and the Apostles' Epistles?
We have to teach the sheep all things including end time events that He had taught His disciples.
Are churches teaching the sheep to keep His words and commandments such as Mat 5-7, 24; John 6, 8 13-16, etc.?
Are churches avoiding the teachings of Jesus' end time prophecies esp. Mat 24, Mark 13, etc.?
As prophesied concerning the last days, are churches persecuting godly Christians, who abide and teach His pure word?
Can we still find Peters, Johns, Pauls and Stephens in our churches today? Just like the question from Elijah, l believe God is preparing them by the millions and not by the thousands.