1 Samuel 15:17-19 « Samuel then said: “Though little in your own eyes, are you not chief of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission, saying: Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them. Why then have you disobeyed the LORD? You have pounced on the spoil, thus doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight.”
Samuel was the prophet in Israel when the people cried out to God and asked for a king. Saul was the first king, chosen by the people. His first mission from God consisted of a simple order, Go and exterminate the cursed Amalekites. God placed the Amalekites under the ban; they were declared cherem. And once they were declared cherem Saul’s only duty was to bring them and all their property to God in the way that God had ordained.
But Saul had a better idea. He decided to keep back some of the cattle and some of the gold in order to bring an offering to temple on his terms. But as harmless as this appears, it remains disobedience. God called for destruction of everything that He put under the ban. But rather than destroying it, Saul decided it was better to bring it to God’s house.
God knows what to do with the enemies of our soul. A quick study of the Amalekites in the Bible will reveal a ruthless and godless people intent on only one thing: the destruction of God’s people. They give us a great picture of the true nature of our enemy. For our fight is not against people; our fight is against spiritual powers of darkness, invisible to the human eye. And they, like the Amalekites of old, are intent on one thing, and one thing alone: the complete and utter destruction of God’s people in the earth.
God can see the eventual outcome of the things that draw us away from Him, His word and His presence. He knows that even diluting our devotion to Him by the smallest degree will lead us down a path of destruction. This is why He places certain things under the ban.
James said that friendship with the world is the same as being the enemy of God. (See James 4:4) God doesn’t want exclusivity because He is an insecure lover. He wants us to love only Him, because the world, despite its allure, is intent on only one thing: your utter destruction!
God places the world, it’s lusts and carnal pleasures, under the ban. We must destroy the power of these things in our lives before they destroy us. We cannot hold on to them, harbour them, or negotiate with them. They are under the ban; and they must be destroyed in our lives.
King Saul was given a mission and he compromised. He went part of the way, but not all the way. Though he held on to being king for roughly 40 years he lost his destiny and his place in the heart of God.
You have been given a mission, as well: to live your live for the glory of God. Don’t compromise with the world and it’s desires. So go all the way!