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May 21, 2011

End Times Witnessing: How a king missed heaven call?

Even kings can miss the heaven call. How does a king do this? Let us look at the sad but real and relevant life example of King Saul. Watchman’s comments are in brackets.

1 Samuel 15

1. (The Lord sent Prophet Samuel and gave a specific command to King Saul. He was called to be king over Israel. He was assigned a job, i.e. to go and smite the Amalek, and eliminate all. The Lord even gave the reason of this command.)

1SAMUEL TOLD Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people Israel. Now listen and heed the words of the Lord. 2Thus says the Lord of hosts, I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when [Israel] came out of Egypt. 3Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.

2. (Saul chose to obey some of the commands and disobey some.)

4So Saul assembled the men and numbered them at Telaim–200,000 men on foot and 10,000 men of Judah. 5And Saul came to the city of Amalek and laid wait in the valley. 6Saul warned the Kenites, Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. 8And he took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, though he utterly destroyed all the rest of the people with the sword. 9Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but all that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed utterly.

3. (The Lord told Prophet Samuel about this and the Lord’s decision to remove and replace Saul as king. Samuel faithfully obeyed the Lord’s command even though he was personally and emotionally affected by this decision.)

10Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 11I regret making Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commands. And Samuel was grieved and angry [with Saul], and he cried to the Lord all night.

4. (Saul missed the heavenly call because he just did not know God in Spirit and in Truth. He was just like any other human being, living by his old nature (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life; including his carnal mind) and the usual sensual way of life in the world. He thought his reason for not following the exact commands of the Lord was reasonable! This sounds just like any unbeliever’s ‘perfect’ argument for not believing in Jesus being the ONLY Savior, and ONLY Way to heaven! Their argument is that ‘my way’ or ‘any human way’ with the purpose of sacrificing to God is just as good as believing in Jesus!)

12When Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, he was told, Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up for himself a monument or trophy [of his victory] and passed on and went down to Gilgal. 13And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, Blessed are you of the Lord. I have performed what the Lord ordered. 14And Samuel said, What then means this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we have utterly destroyed.

5. (But Samuel had to tell Saul to shut up. He then faithfully gave him the message from God. He pointed out Saul’sole unforgivable sin was disobedience to God. Samuel thus witnessed for the holy and righteous God!)

16Then Samuel said to Saul, Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me tonight. Saul said to him, Say on. 17Samuel said, When you were small in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel? 18And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed. 19Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but swooped down upon the plunder and did evil in the Lord’s sight?

6. (But Saul further revealed his ignorance of God. He even stooped to using a lame excuse. Indeed for a mighty warrior and successful commander of the army of hundreds of thousands, how can he be afraid of his people and not enforce strict discipline?)

20Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.

7. (No wonder Samuel felt grieved and angry with Saul when he first heard from the Lord how Saul had disobeyed God, by rejecting the word of the Lord. He just could not understand how a man made king over God’s chosen nation could be so ignorant about God. Who does Saul think God is? Like any other so called ‘gods’? Samuel witnessed that for our God, “To obey is better than sacrifice”. He also gave the reason that, “for rebellion is as the sin of wichcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry”. )

22Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.

8. (Saul finally heard that the Lord meant serious business. He was not going to be king any longer! What happened in this earthly life was all he cared for in this conversation. He wasn’t bothered with Who God is. Even so, he cared for men’s opinion more than God’s opinion of him! Indeed a tragic case of a king missing heaven!)

24And Saul said to Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25Now, I pray you, pardon my sin and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord. 26And Samuel said to Saul, I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel. 27And as Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of Samuel’s mantle, and it tore. 8And Samuel said to him, The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you. 29And also the Strength of Israel will not lie or repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent. 30Saul said, I have sinned; yet honor me now, I pray you, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God. 31So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.

9. (Saul did not make it finally. )

35And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death, though Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord repented that He had made Saul king over Israel.

10. (Conclusion: Saul is a natural man who lives by flesh and not by the Spirit (by faith). He does not know God. He is just not interested in God! Sad. That is exactly why many do not enter through the narrow gate today! On the other hand we see how faithful Samuel has witnessed for God and God’s Way. Samuel is a man who lives by the Spirit and obeys the Word of God. He has human feelings but he does not allow his emotion and mind interfere with the spiritual matters pertaining God, because he knows God in Spirit and in Truth.)

The narrow way to heaven:

(The narrow gate is Jesus. The difficult way is by faith and by the Spirit of God. it takes a miracle to enter heaven. The miracle is, no longer trusting our usual natural way of thinking and physical experience.)

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destructions, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

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