"Samuel told Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint you king over His people Israel. Now listen and heed the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when Israel came out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both men and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey'…Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but all that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed utterly."
I Samuel 15: 1-3, 9, Amplified Bible
"Undesirable and Worthless"
"God does not love us because we are valuable. We are valuable because God loves us."
Fulton John Sheen
When I view others around me, what do I use to measure their worth?
How do I measure my own worth?
"It is love which gives things their value."
"The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money"
John Henry Jowett
Before we move on to the reign of David as King of Israel, I want to spend a few more days looking at the life of Saul because an incident is recorded in I Samuel 15 which is one that we as women should learn a great deal from. The story begins with what appears to be a very grisly demand by God, that Israel go after the people of Amalek, even the women and children and annihilate them. This is where some of the Biblical accounts of events are very tough to handle. It seems extremely punitive for God to destroy women and little, innocent babies. However, the people of Amalek had been given every opportunity to not only be kind to the people of Israel, but they could also have chosen to follow the God of Israel as Rahab and Ruth did. Instead, they planted their feet in the opposite direction of God until finally their choice was so certain and final, they had no desire to change. God's mercy meant nothing to any of them. Judgment day had come. And so God asked King Saul to completely destroy this nation that had repeatedly rejected His loving offer of goodness.
Saul did go off to battle with a massive army. He was successful. But an interesting thing happened on the victory lap - meaning, everything God asked Saul to do was done, "EXCEPT!" And I asked myself, "Why is there always an ‘except'?
In this case Saul's idea, that was better than God's idea, was to kill all the people but keep what was deemed most valuable, which was King Agag and the best of the best when it came to the sheep, oxen, fatlings, lambs and "all that was good." I wonder what was included in all the other stuff that was thought to "be good." Possibly, like in Jericho when we studied about Achan and his family it was money and clothes. Whatever "the good things" were, they so enamored Saul, he kept them in direct disobedience of God's command.
It's always interesting to me how I sometimes end up acting just like Saul, assigning a phony worth to things I somehow mistakenly think are worth something to me.
I don't have any idea what Saul thought he'd do with Agag the King of Amalek - maybe he would use him as a tourist attraction. But for certain, these precious valuables, while meaning something to Saul were not to be used as signs of Israel's valour.
Way too often we find ourselves labeling certain things worthless and we're more than happy to destroy these castaways, but the high and mighty, the rich and fancy, we want to keep these treasures for ourselves.
Before we put some false value on the tawdry in defiance of God's call, we need to remember that worth is a value placed by God not by man or woman and in the situation Saul found himself in, what was most valuable was obedience to his Father's will. The same applies to you and me.
"Dying love has been my birth
undeserved and undisguised;
Christ declares me full of worth,
valued, loved, accepted, prized!"
Piece Together Praise
"Guide us that we may be more sensitive to our neighbour's needs.
We pray for awareness of those needs:
The need of the old to know they are wanted,
the need of the young to know they are listened to,
the need of a people to know they are of value.
Lord , keep us aware."
Women of New Zealand
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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