Old Testament: 1 Samuel 15:1-16:23
1 Samuel 15: 1- 35 A Real “Hack” Job
Samuel told Saul to go and punish Amalek for blocking Israel coming out of Egypt. Samuel told Saul to utterly devastate him and all his people and animals. Later on we will see that Hangman, I mean, Haman is an Amalakite in the book of Esther. These were NOT good people. They hated God’s people and had to be utterly destroyed.
So Saul took 200K soldiers and 10K men from Judah. He told the Kenites to scram since they had been good to God’s people coming out of Egypt. He didn’t want them to get slaughtered along with the Amalekites.
Saul defeated the Amalekites and their king, Agag. His army destroyed all the people and their animals but left Agag and the best of the animals alive. Saul only killed the worst of the animals.
Samuel arrived on the scene and brought word from Yahweh. Yahweh regretted picking Saul as king, he said. Samuel prayed all night he was so upset. When Samuel got up the next morning, he got a message that Saul had erected a monument to himself in Carmel. When Samuel found Saul, Saul greeted him with an apparently spiritual greeting, “Blessed are you of the Lord!” (v. 13). Saul told Samuel he did everything Yahweh had commanded. “How come I can hear animals making animal noises then?” he asked Saul. Saul said they were the best of the livestock and that the “people” had spared them (v. 15). But he said all of the rest of the animals were destroyed. He sounded a lot like Eddie Haskell.
Samuel told Saul that Yahweh had given him a message for Saul the night before while he was praying. “Ooo, what is it,” Saul asked. Samuel said to him, “Though you were just a little neighborhood kid, the Lord picked you to be king and sent you on a mission to completely destroy all the Amalakites and their stuff. So why didn’t you do it?” Saul said, “I did. But the people took some of the stuff to sacrifice later.”
Samuel said, “Bad answer. Yahweh would rather you obey than come up with phony sacrifices. Rebellion is as bad as visiting a witch and disobedience is as bad as worshipping idols. You’re O-U-T, pal.”
Saul replied, “I’m really, really sorry. I was just afraid of the people. Please forgive me so I can go and worship.” Samuel said, “No way, Jose. You didn’t do what God asked and He’s not going to do what you ask. Sayonara.”
Samuel turned to leave but Saul grabbed the bottom of his robe and ripped it. Samuel told Saul, “Just as you ripped my robe so is Yahweh going to rip the kingdom from you and give it to one of your neighbors!” Yahweh isn’t going to change His mind on this one either (cf . Num. 23: 19). Saul said, “I messed up but please still go back with me so I won’t look bad in front of all the leaders of Israel.” So Samuel went back with him and Saul started worshipping again.
Samuel approached Agag, the king of the Amalekites and Agag said, “So everything’s cool?” Samuel said to him,”Just as you’ve killed the sons of many women, so I’m going to make your mother childless.” Then he took his sword and “hacked Agag to pieces” (v. 33 NET). Then Samuel went back to his home in Ramah and Saul went back to his home in Gibeah. Samuel didn’t see Saul except one time (cf. 1Sam. 19: 23-24).
1 Samuel 16: 1- 23 How To Lie Truthfully
Yahweh told Samuel to quit pouting over Saul and to go and anoint another king. Samuel said to Yahweh, “Are you sure? If I go somewhere to anoint another king, Saul will off me.” The Lord told Sam to just bring a heifer with him and tell everyone he was in town to sacrifice. Was God telling Samuel to lie? No, because Samuel was actually going to Bethlehem to offer a sacrifice. Use this principle carefully but Jesus did tell us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves (cf. Mat. 10: 16).
Saul asked the family of Jesse to sacrifice with him in Bethlehem. Samuel thought all of David’s elder brothers were better specimens than David but Yahweh chose David. As the Apostle Paul later said, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, bthe things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God” (1Cor. 1: 26-29). God does not look simply at outward appearances but sees inside a person (v. 7, cf. 1Chron. 28: 9; Jer. 27: 10).
1 Samuel 16: 1- 23 Don’t Harp On It
So Samuel anointed David and the Spirit of the Lord came on him “mightily” (v. 12). The Samuel took off for his home in Ramah.
About the time the Spirit came on David, He also left Saul. An evil spirit took His place and harassed Saul. Saul became depressed so his aides told him to seek out a harpist to play some elevator music to lift his spirit. Saul said that was a good idea but to find someone who was really good. Of all people, they found David. He was described as “a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him” (v. 18). How ironic!
David showed up at Saul’s place with a donkey loaded with bread, a jug of wine and a young goat. Saul thought David was the “berries” and made him his armor bearer. So whenever Saul was harassed by the demon, Saul would send for David. David would play his harp and Saul would feel better because the demon absconded.
New Testament: John 8: 1- 20
John 8: 1- 11 Their Names Were Mud
One time when Jesus arrived at the temple early, he drew a crowd who had come to hear him teach. The religious leaders were ready to set him up again and try to embarrass him. They brought a woman caught in flagrante delicto (“in the act,” v. 4). She was fried. The leaders reminded Jesus that the woman was supposed to be stoned for that kind of an offense. (Here’s a question: where was the man???) Jesus bent over and wrote something in the dirt with his finger. While He was writing, they kept quizzing Him. Finally, He stood up and said to them, “Whoever has never sinned can throw the first stone” (v. 7). Then He went back to writing in the dirt. They started peeling off, one by one, starting with the oldest amongst them. Soon, no one was left except Jesus and the woman. Jesus said to her, “Where’d everyone go? Isn’t there anyone left to execute you?” She said, “No, everyone peeled off.” Jesus said, “Well, I’m not going to do anything. I guess you can leave . . . and one more thing . . . don’t pull anything like this again!”
What do you think Jesus was writing in the dirt? Could have been the names of all the religious leaders? Could it have been that they were all guilty of adultery, too? [Answer: yes!]
John 8: 12- 20 How To Really Light One Up
Jesus revealed another of His “I Am” names indicating He was the Great I Am just like at the burning bush. He said, “I am the Light of the World.” Whoever followed Jesus would be in the light and whoever didn’t would be living in darkness (cf. 1Jn. 1: 5-6).
The leaders pulled a legal fast one on Him. In the OT any crime had to be witnessed by at least two people (see Deut. 17:6; 19:15; cf. v. 17). Jesus said He actually could testify to Himself because He knew He had come from Heaven and was telling the truth. He said the leaders were basically clueless (v. 14-15). Jesus said if they really wanted two witnesses, that was fine. The two witnesses would be Himself and His Father. There’s their two Persons (v. 18).
The leaders asked, “So where is Your Father?” Jesus told them they didn’t have a relationship with Him. If they did, then they’d know Who He was and Who His Father was (v. 19).
Though Jesus was teaching them in the Temple treasury, no one could grab Him because it wasn’t His time yet to get grabbed.