"Less Philistines"

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23

I believe this to be Saul's second chance; instead it turns out to be another layer of him losing the kingdom.

Samuel comes to Saul and says, this is how it all began: God had me come and choose you, you were the least, yet I put you in charge, into leadership.  You blew it once, now I have another assignment.  One of the "applicable keys" is the command from God to "completely destroy" all of the things that are or could be a false god.  It is a test of leadership, and of obedience.  Will Saul obey, and will he lead and have his men/people obey God?

I believe God was coming with a second chance, to restore Saul.  David would still be king someday, but the quality of Saul's life and his relationship with Samuel and the Lord could have been much better.  This was a break, a "halftime" if you will for Saul.

I believe the redemptive nature of Christ and the cross is there for all of us today.  Haven't we all sinned, blown it, made mistakes?  Jesus is there to restore, redeem, regenerate, because of his incredible mercy.

If you read Saul's story, you realize he could have enjoyed; mentoring David.  He could have accepted the relationship between David and Jonathan, not passed bitterness on to his daughter Michael, and enjoyed grandchildren.  He didn't need to spend all of that time and money and all of the national resources of men's time and respect chasing down David in the wilderness.  He could have enjoyed his men's/soldiers' respect.  He was twice humiliated because he was wrongfully chasing David, when he should have been focused on Israel's real enemies, the Philistines.  He could have enjoyed: "less Philistines".  If we will utterly destroy, completely rid ourselves of false gods and stop giving into the spirit of offense with other Christians, we too could enjoy "less Philistines" or false gods in our lives that distract from our true mission.  Despite our flaws and mistakes, sins and weaknesses, Jesus now comes and wants to give us a second chance.  Jesus wants to restore us, but we must rid ourselves completely of ALL of our false gods.  The Hebrew verb for "completely destroy" is used 7 times just in this one chapter.  Applicable key: completely destroy what God wants destroyed and enjoy: "less Philistines."

Final thought: from this account comes the eventual very teachable statement: "it is better to obey than to sacrifice."  Saul thought his false gods would be acceptable to God because they had "earthly value".  That is our mistake at times also.  Come clean and receive God's second chance with: "no Philistines".

Blessings, P.T.