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The fight between Saul and the Amalekites or the Holy War

HOW SAUL WAS REJECTED BY GOD

God sent Samuel to Saul, instructing him to attack Amalek for resisting the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land. Saul was told to destroy everything, man and woman, including infants and suckling, all kinds of animals. Nothing was to be spared.

Saul gathered two hundred thousand soldiers, ten thousand of whom were from Judah. He drew near the city of Amalek and waited in a nearby valley. There were Kenites dwelling among the Amalekites. The Kenites were kind to Israelites when they came out of Egypt to Canaan. Saul sent a message to them to depart from among the Amalekites so that he does not destroy them with the Amalekites. The Kenites did as Saul had told to do.

Saul attacked and defeated the Amalekites up to the east of Egypt. He killed everybody but took Agag, the king alive. He also saved all the fattened animals and all that was good but he destroyed everything that was not good.

God, who saw everything Saul had done, complained to Samuel about how Saul had disobeyed him. God said he regretted making Saul a king. Samuel was angry and cried to the Lord throughout the night. In the morning, Samuel went to meet Saul at Gilgal.

Saul told Samuel that he had carried out the instructions he was given. He said he had brought back Agag, king of Amalek. Samuel asked about the animals that were bleating into his ears. Saul replied that the people saved the best of the animals to sacrifice to the Lord. Samuel told Saul that the Lord delighted in obedience than in sacrifice. He told Saul that since he had rejected the word of God, God had also rejected him.

Immediately, Saul regretted his action. He blamed it on the fact that he listened to his people. He made one request from Samuel. He asked Samuel to follow him to worship but Samuel refused because he had rejected the word of God and the Lord had also rejected him as king.

WHY SAUL SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THE RESULT OF THE BATTLE ON MOUNT GILBOA?
1. The defeat was the result of Saul’s disobedience when he was sent to destroy the Amalekites and he failed to carry out the instruction to the letter.
2. Saul had desecrated the land of Israel by bringing in booty of war destined for destruction. The booty was a taboo.
3. Israel had to suffer for Saul’s sins.
4. David, who was a source of inspiration for Saul had been driven away.
5. The spirit of God was no longer with Saul.
6. Saul forsook God and consulted a witch at Endor, after he himself had banned the consultation of such mediums.
7. Instead of concentrating on the administration of his kingdom, Saul used the time pursuing David.

IN WHICH WAYS DID SAUL PAY FOR HIS DISOBEDIENCE OF GOD?
1. God took away the kingdom from Saul and gave it to another person.
2. The spirit of God departed from Saul and an evil spirit from God came to torment him
3. Saul lost the cordial relationship he enjoyed with Samuel.
4. In the battle with the Philistines, Israel was totally defeated and Israel fled the battle front.
5. The three sons of Saul, namely; Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi-shua died on the same day on mount Gilboa.
6. Saul himself died in the same battle. He put his sword on the ground and slept on it, piercing himself.


SAMPLE QUESTION
1. Describe the battle between Israel and the people of Amalek.
2. How did God punish the Amalekites for opposing the Israelites on their way from Egypt?


3. a.  What circumstances led to the rejection of Saul as king over Israel
    b. Mention three lessons that can be learnt from his rejection.

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