May 15

1 Samuel 15:13-15 13When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord's instructions." 14But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?" 15Saul answered, "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest."

Saul is still blessed of God and empowered by God to defeat the enemies of Israel. He was commanded by God to destroy the Amalekites and do as Joshua did to Jericho. He knew the story of Achan (Joshua 7). Saul has been compromising, thinking that it is not all God but that he is a pretty great guy. He just built a monument to himself. And since he believed himself to be so great, he thought he could change what God has said to fit his desires.

I've heard this play out many times in the stories of fallen Christians. "You don't understand the pressure I'm under. God makes exceptions for me because of my great needs. My circumstances are special."

Saul saw the good plunder and decided God didn't need it to be destroyed. Saul wanted it for himself. When confronted by Samuel, Saul justified his sin. Here is the main difference between Saul and David. Both are anointed, both empowered, both successful, both disobeyed, but their reaction when confronted couldn't be more different. Saul justifies his sin. "My flesh isn't that bad. I made necessary choices." David repented with a broken heart. There is the telltale evidence that a heart is either after God, or turned to self as lord.

Caution: Justifying sin ends in disaster.