AGAG: A title -- prob a common name of all their kings
(CBTEL) -- and not a name (cp "Gog"). Earlier, an Agag had been mentioned in the
prophecy of Balaam, who declared that Israel's king would be higher than Agag
BUT SAUL... SPARED... THE BEST: Pride at success. And
covetousness also (v 19).
"The story of Saul is one of the great tragedies of the Bible.
He was a man of great promise, a handsome man with great abilities. But the
story of this man's life is the peril of seeking the favor of man. The defeat of
Saul came about as a result of his expedition against the Amalekites. He was
told by God to kill all the Amalekites. But he refused and saved King Agag. Why
did he do it? Because he felt this would find him favor in the eyes of the
people. So the awful tragedy of Saul's life was the peril of a divided
allegiance. He was quite content to serve God so long as it pleased those around
him. The secret failure in this man's life was his continual hungering after the
affection and honor and favor of other people" (RS).
I AM GRIEVED THAT I HAVE MADE SAUL KING: "It repenteth
me" (KJV), ie, 'I have changed my mind, and determined to replace Saul as
Saul is convicted by the noise of the beasts he should have
THE SOLDIERS... THEY: "Passing the buck" -- "playing
the blame game": cp Adam, Eve, serpent; and Aaron with golden calf.
"STOP!": Saul has prob attempted to leave, avoiding a
YOU WERE ONCE SMALL: Saul, once a humble man, had now
changed. His orig perspective of himself was the divine one.
Obedience and/or mercy equated with sacrifice: Psa 50:7-14;
Isa 1:10-20; Hos 6:6; Mat 9:13; 12:7.
DIVINATION: Was Saul claiming (by divination) to know
God's will better than did Samuel, God's prophet?
I HAVE SINNED: There is a radical distinction between
natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge
its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with
past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to
his old wicked ways. None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11
are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said, "I
have sinned," poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13;
24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic
7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances?
Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa
15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.
I WAS AFRAID OF THE PEOPLE AND SO I GAVE IN TO THEM:
Saul is still trying to justify himself (placing blame elsewhere), even while
Saul's repentance is like Esau's and Pharaoh's.
Saul tries to restrain Samuel from leaving, and accidentally
tears Samuel's garment.
THE LORD HAS TORN THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL FROM YOU TODAY:
"Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and
given to a people who will produce its fruit" (Mat 21:43).
ONE BETTER THAN YOU: Although Saul did not know his
identity yet (1Sa 16).
SO SAMUEL WENT BACK WITH SAUL: Not to honor Saul, but
to maintain stability in nation.
CONFIDENTLY: Or "cheerfully" (RV), or "trembling", or
"in bonds". "The MT reading ma'adannot (lit, 'bonds', used here adverbially, 'in
bonds') is difficult. The word is found only here and in Job 38:31. Part of the
problem lies in determining the root of the word. Some scholars have taken it to
be from the root 'nd ('to bind around'), but this assumes a metathesis
[switching] of two of the letters of the root. Others take it from the root 'dn
with the meaning 'voluptuously', but this does not seem to fit the context. It
seems better to understand the word to be from the root m'd ('to totter' or
'shake'). In that case it describes the fear that Agag experienced in realizing
the mortal danger that he faced as he approached Samuel. This is the way that
the LXX translators understood the word, rendering it by the Greek participle
'tremon' (trembling)" (NET notes).
"Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our
unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist
upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. The flesh
whimpers against the rigor of God's inexorable sentence and begs like Agag for a
little mercy, a little indulgence of its carnal ways. It is no use. We can get a
right start only by accepting God as He is and learning to love Him for what He
is. As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy
that God is just what He is" (AWT).
AS YOUR SWORD HAS MADE WOMEN CHILDLESS, SO WILL YOUR MOTHER
BE CHILDLESS AMONG WOMEN: The Israeli court's answer to Adolph Eichmann's
last appeal for mercy, before being hanged in 1962.
AND SAMUEL PUT AGAG TO DEATH: Literally, and
significantly, he "hewed Agag in pieces" (AV). Perhaps based on ritual of the
death of the covenant-victim: see Lesson, Covenant-victim, the.
HE DID NOT GO TO SEE SAUL AGAIN: Cp 1Sa
SAMUEL MOURNED FOR HIM: Personally, but not as