But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. 1 Samuel 15:9
Since the defeat of the Philistines at Michmash, Saul had made war against Moab, Ammon, and Edom, and against the Amalekites and the Philistines; and wherever he turned his arms, he gained fresh victories. On receiving the commission against the Amalekites, he at once proclaimed war. To his own authority was added that of the prophet, and at the call to battle the men of Israel flocked to his standard. The expedition was not to be entered upon for the purpose of self-aggrandizement; the Israelites were not to receive either the honor of the conquest or the spoils of their enemies. They were to engage in the war solely as an act of obedience to God, for the purpose of executing His judgment upon the Amalekites. God intended that all nations should behold the doom of that people that had defied His sovereignty, and should mark that they were destroyed by the very people whom they had despised….
This victory over the Amalekites was the most brilliant victory that Saul had ever gained, and it served to rekindle the pride of heart that was his greatest peril. The divine edict devoting the enemies of God to utter destruction was but partially fulfilled. Ambitious to heighten the honor of his triumphal return by the presence of a royal captive, Saul ventured to imitate the customs of the nations around him and spared Agag, the fierce and warlike king of the Amalekites. The people reserved for themselves the finest of the flocks, herds, and beasts of burden, excusing their sin on the ground that the cattle were reserved to be offered as sacrifices to the Lord. It was their purpose, however, to use these merely as a substitute, to save their own cattle.
Saul had now been subjected to the final test. His presumptuous disregard of the will of God, showing his determination to rule as an independent monarch, proved that he could not be trusted with royal power as the vicegerent of the Lord.
Conflict and Courage p. 156
—–We will be leaving Sunday to attend Ronnie Jay’s wedding in a far away state. Please pray that we have safe travels. Also, there will be no devotional until the 26th or shortly thereafter. In addition, Ron sprained his ankle last night which will make traveling difficult. Rose
—–Praise—I have an unspoken praise and I thank God for His mercy. E
When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me to the carnival. The fair grounds were at that time only about a mile from my grandparents’ house, so it was not far to walk. The carnival was a place of wonderment for me. Rides that I would never think of going on loomed overhead. Little kiddie rides that I enjoyed, “fishing” for a prize, watching my mother shoot a rife and getting to choose the prize, rough looking men hawking their wares, watching a man swallow a sword, and other wonders captivated my attention.
As we were walking along, my mother saw the House of Mirrors. Curious, she paid the entrance fee. When we got inside, there were mirrors of all types. When we stood in front of one, we looked very tall and skinny. Another one made us look very short and fat. Still another, made us look misshapen. I laughed and laughed. We entered a corridor of mirrors and soon we were lost in a maze. It was impossible to find our way out by sight. The mirrors were set up in such a way that we could see many reflections of ourselves, but not the way out. I felt panic-stricken! After a time of attempting to find the exit, my mother began to panic too. That scared me even more. Finally, she got the idea of feeling her way along the maze. That worked! Once on the outside, we determined never to enter a maze of mirrors again.
How often life is like that maze of mirrors. Without the our Great Redeemer’s guidance, we become lost in the tangle of trials and troubles of our own making. Without His special leading, we can get ourselves into circumstances where there seems to be no way out. The more we try to extricate ourselves from the situation, getting deeper we get in the trap.
There is only one way of escape. If we ask Him, Jesus will help us disentangle ourselves from the mess we have gotten ourselves into. All we need to do is ask. Our Dear Saviour promises, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psa 32:8 He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! No matter what our circumstance, no matter how deeply we are ensnared in our own “house of mirrors, “if we cry unto the Lord in our trouble, He will save us out of all of our distresses, deliver us from self- destruction, teach us His way, and make a plain path for our feet. < Psa 107:19,20, 27:11>
May we, this very day, while the door of mercy is still open, ask our Loving Saviour to take complete control of our life. May we declare as did David, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” Psa 73:24 May we ever “follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth” is my prayer. Rev 14:4