Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
I Samuel 15:3,9,10,11,24
Benjamin Franklin once stated, “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them!” An illustration of that truth is reported in the first book of Samuel. Saul, the first king of Israel, had been given a divine command but had failed to obey (I Samuel 15:3,9). When he was confronted by the prophet of God, Samuel with his failure to obey, Saul refused to admit his guilt. After continued reproof, the king finally confessed, “I have sinned,” but with his confession he gave an excuse of empty words (I Samuel 15:24). Because of his improper response concerning his sin, Saul’s kingdom was ultimately destroyed. What a fool Saul was to indulge in his own lust and try to make a futile attempt to conceal his guilt.
The most miserable people in the world are those that have experienced failure (sinned) and have not risen above it. Another example of one of God’s men failing in his duty as king was David. In Psalm 32:3-4, David reflected on his own guilt and afflicted state. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah
David was affected physically as a result of not confessing his sins. Sleep escaped him, his energy was sapped by emotional despair and he was feeling the chastisement of the Lord upon him. David’s problem was that he regarded the words of the Lord with little value and treated them lightly. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.(II Samuel 12:9) Undoubtedly this meant that his view of God’s Word was an improper view of God Himself.
What is your view of God? Do you fear Him? Have you expressed your guilt before Him and repented of your sin? Have you experienced God’s grace not only in salvation but in repentance and restoration? The exposure of David’s sin did not destroy him instead, it motivated him to renew his relationship with God and begin a new. What great conviction and strength is given in Psalm 51 where we find David’s confession of sin and restoration of his spirit to the Lord. David could have easily thought that God had given up on him but in His great mercy and grace placed blessing upon David in his succeeding child and victory over his enemies.
Thought: Have you met with failure in your life? Has your guilt been exposed? What is your response, anger, bitterness or pride? Have you felt at times that there is no hope for you? Take courage from David, a man who failed but was not a failure, because he repented, forsook his sin and renewed a right spirit within.