Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Agag the Schoolmarm

32   Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.  33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.  
The sense of the Hebrew rendered delicately here is lightheartedly, cheerfully. Okay, we've had our differences, lets be friends. We're good, right?
Agag now appeals to God’s mercy, almost wagging the finger at  Samuel, “Surely the bitterness of death is past?” But the bitterness of death did not pass for Agag. He was not a merciful king and he is consequently shown no mercy. Agag is a consistent Amalekite king, living in blood and death and dying the by edge of the sword.
This justice may seem hard to us but is a good representative of the end of those who resist God and who are only made to bow the knee by compulsion. To obey is better than sacrifice.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.  35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.
We see the character of Samuel and Saul in this story. Saul is a disobedient son who is only convinced of his wrong through great entreaty and threats. Even his repentance is only skin deep. His heart is not given over to the Lord.
Samuel is one who’s whole heart is turned to the Lord. Saul returns evil for good but Samuel will not even return evil for evil. Though Saul continues with a hard heart in stubborn rebellion against the Lord, Samuel seeks the Lord’s blessing on Saul. He does not want to give up on him and earnestly desires that Saul would serve the Lord. The Lord, Himself, has to convince Samuel to give up on Saul and anoint David as king of Israel.
Even after the consequences of his sins have come upon him and the kingdom is rent from him, Saul has plenty of room to do that which is right. The consequence would have stood. God is not a man that He should repent of His judgments. The word had fallen, the kingdom was torn from Saul. But Saul was king for many years and could still be a personally godly man and a good king. Jonathan learns the lessons and honors David, doing that which is right in the sight of the Lord. But Saul continues in his stubborn, foolish ways. Although he is a covenant member and is the Lord’s anointed, his latter end is like that of Agag, cut down by his enemies.

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