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March 23, 2024: Haftorah - I Samuel 15

This week's Haftorah reading is from  I Samuel 15. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers as he deep-dives into the life of King Saul, and recounts the experience of Saul being rejected as king by ELOHIM. Saul is an example of someone who squandered his future, because he had no fear of ELOHIM, and therefore did not obey! YESHUA listened to His ABBA and obeyed, will you?


Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Haftorah Portion:

HafTorah Portion: 1 Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftorah – I Samuel 15:


There are moments in our lives that define your legacy.  Saul is a man that was given a great honor of being Israel’s first king.   He was a tall and striking man in stature, handsome and at least in the beginning was transparent and had humility.  He was blessed to be empowered by the Ruach HaKodesh to be changed into a different person and join with the prophets in their prophesying.  The Ruach enabled Saul to assume kingly responsibilities just as the judges before him.  Saul had the potential to be a great king of Israel.

 

In I Samuel 15:1 a message was given to Saul, “Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one Adonai sent to anoint you king over His people Israel; so, listen now to the message from Adonai.”  In Hebrew it says, “The voice of the words of Adonai.”  Why this redundancy?  The voice of the words of Adonai>. We know that Elohim says what He means and means what He says!  Biblical narratives never waste words so it means we need to pay attention and take notice because something is important to understand.

 

Saul’s mission, instructed by Elohim, was to exact Yah’s judgment of the Amalekites and completely destroy them.  He was to put to death all men, women, children, and infants along with putting to death all oxen, sheep, camels, and donkeys.  The Amalekites were being punished for their actions some 400 years earlier.  As the people began to attack Israel in their exodus out of Egypt, the Amalekites did not fear Elohim and attacked in the rear where the weakest were traveling.

 

The account with the Amalekites was one that had to be settled.  They had stood in the way of Elohim’s people and had done so in a particularly treacherous way.  Elohim had mercy on them all these years but they just went from evil to evil and bad to worse and it was time to end the chapter.

 

I Samuel 15:18 labels them wicked and needed to be wiped out.  Their hour had come!  The time was now at hand.  The order to Saul is assertive!  The command was clear not only to utterly destroy but do not spare!  Do not take anything for yourselves!  Don’t touch anything!  Don’t pocket anything!  Don’t even think of it…just get rid of it all!  All you need is Me!

 

This decree leaves no room for misunderstanding.  Leaves no room for interpretation! Saul was just to follow ELOHIMN’S COMMAND…NO MORE AND NO LESS!

 

They went into battle and they won.  It was a tremendous victory and all they needed to do was to follow through, finish their race and obey Adonai.  However, Saul spared king Agag and destroyed all of the livestock except the best sheep and cattle.  Wait a minute…didn’t Elohim tell him not to spare anyone or anything?

 

Saul changed the arrangement. Saul is only concerned about the worthy, the best, the good, the profitable ones.  He is not interested in what Elohim wants.  He opposed Yah’s agenda only to serve himself.  He spares the worthy and destroys the worthless.

 

I Samuel 15:10-11 says, “The Word of Adonai came to Samuel…”. This is serious and Elohim is not pleased!  Saul is in trouble!  Samuel cried all night because Elohim’s heart was broken over Saul’s disobedience and regret of making Saul king.  Elohim is not surprised or caught “off guard” by Saul’s sin.  Despite His warning to the people, Elohim permitted Saul to reign in response to their demands and that concession grieved His heart.

 

What is Saul doing during this time?  He was not worried about Elohim or consequences but sets up a monument for himself, announcing to the world how great he was.  Saul’s actions revealed that he had no relationship with Elohim, and his pride led to self-deception and unwillingness to admit to any wrongdoing.

 

When Samuel reached Saul, Saul said, “Adonai bless you!  I have carried out Elohim’s instructions.”  Samuel’s response is, “If you did obey Elohim as you said why is the voice of the sheep in my ear and the voice of the oxen which I hear?”  Did you catch it?  He would rather listen to the voice of animals than to the voice of Elohim!  They were more important to him then the voice of Adonai.

 

Whose voice are you listening to?  The voice of the Word of Yah or the voice of the oxen and sheep?  The voice of the world that tempts us to indulge in its pleasures.  The voice of the world that invites us to partake of its pleasures.  The voice of the world that beckons us to inflate our pride.  What voice are we listening to?  Saul was defiant!

 

Samuel told Saul that to obey is better than sacrifice and to heed than the fat of rams.  Religious observance without complete obedience is empty before Yah.  Sincere obedience was the prerequisite for worship that pleased Elohim.  The best sacrificial offering we could bring to Elohim is a repentant heart (Ps. 51:16-17) and our bodies surrendered to His service (Rom. 12:1-2).

 

Suppression, invention, manipulation:  This is the story of disobedience and unrepentance.  We have engaged in ourselves far too often, not willing to confront our own misdeeds.  But neither Elohim or Samuel will have any of this wriggling.  Rebellion is the sin of divination and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.

 

Samuel equated disobedience to sin and idolatry, because Saul elevated his will above Elohim.  Instead of being a representative of Elohim, Saul believed that he was an independent and sovereign king.  Saul’s behavior testified to what Elohim already knew about Saul’s heart, and Saul’s rejection of Yah was the basis for Elohim’s rejection of Saul’s kingship.

 

Saul tries to separate and distances himself from the culprits, they the people.  Samuel assigns him full responsibility!  He tells him that this is not good, but evil in the eyes of Adonai!  Sin is always evil in the eyes of Adonai.  No matter how great or how small, it is always evil.

 

What pleases Elohim is obedience!  Obedience is at the very least a demand, a mandate to a life of integrity, an imperative for us to be like Yeshua HaMashiach.    Whatever sin you are toying with give it up. GIVE IT UP!  Listen to Elohim’s voice instead.  Whatever it is give it up and listen to Elohim’s voice, otherwise the consequences can be disastrous.

 

It was for Saul because in I Samuel 15:23b it says, “Because you have rejected the Word of Adonai, He has rejected you as king.”  Saul rejected Elohim; Elohim rejected Saul!  He is removed from his position of influence and power, no longer a light in a dark world, his lamp has been extinguished.

 

Sin results in disaster, loss of respect, loss of your ministry, loss of your witness to others, loss of peace, loss of fulfillment, grief all around family, neighbors, friends those who are mentoring your children, your parents and even worse.

 

Does Saul finally get it?  According to I Samuel 15:24 he was more afraid of the men than of Elohim.  Saul is no better than the Amalekites he had been asked to destroy.  They are the same and the story ends on a tragic note.  Saul’s insincerity becomes apparent.  Instead of being concerned with his worship of Elohim, Saul is more concerned about the public break with Samuel which would undermine his authority as king.  Samuel would mourn for Saul and would not have any more contact with him because Elohim rejected him as king.

 

Saul is an example of someone who squandered their potential, and in him some character flaws are evident:  greed, fear of people, did not fear Elohim, disobedience of Elohim to please himself, justify his actions and pride when confronted with the truth and sin.

 

 What will you do?  Yeshua listened to His Father.  Yeshua saw His Father. Whose voice are you listening to today? The voice of the world, your friends, the internet? Are you listening to the voice of Elohim today? The choice is yours!

 

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

 

Join us every Wednesday at 7 pm for Bible study and every Saturday at 11 am for Sabbath service at:

 

Lion of Judah Ministries

612 North Main St

Blackstone, VA


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John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”  Those who have ears to hear…let him hear!  It is time we tune into our Messiah’s voice!  Follow Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength!  See you on Sabbath as we gather to worship the King!  See you at the altar!  Happy Purim!  Let the celebration begin…refuse to assimilate!

 

Shalom Aleichem

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