Saul did not fully execute God’s command to utterly destroy the Amalekites and all that they had. Here is the jarring statement about his partial obedience. 1 Samuel 15:11 was the Lord speaking to Samuel. He said, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments…”
Samuel questioned Saul. Verse 20 says, “…But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek…” Then in verse 21 Saul placed the blame on the people.
I wrote in my journal: Lord, what have You asked me to do that I have only partially obeyed? Partial is defined in verse 9 with the words ‘unwilling to utterly destroy them…”
The Lord looks for heart-obedience. I love John 14:21. It says, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Manifest is two words that mean to cause to shine. The Lord will reveal Himself, make His attributes known to us, reveal His heart in our situations, and give us rich insights for clear direction.
1 John 2:3-4 says, “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”
I’m always in awe of Hebrew 5:8. It says, “Thought He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things that He suffered.” I have to question: am I learning obedience through my trials? Hebrews 12:11 says that those who are trained by their trials will readily conform their thoughts, purpose, and actions to God’s will.
Heart-obedience is rooted in trust. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.”
Saul trusted in his own way and he forfeited his kingdom. Let Psalm 119:10 be the cry of our hearts. It says “With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments.”