1 Samuel 15:18
And the LORD sent you on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
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(18) The sinners the Amalekites.—This briefly rehearses the charge of the Most High, which Saul had deliberately disobeyed. It is noticeable that the Amalekites are expressly called “sinners,” thus indicating the reason of the Divine wrath against them. The men of Sodom (Genesis 13:13) were styled “sinners before the Lord.”

1 Samuel 15:18-19. The Lord sent thee on a journey — So easy was the service, and so certain the success, that it was rather to be called a journey than a war. Wherefore didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord? — The command was as plain as words could make it; and there was no reason but his own base covetousness why it was not obeyed.15:10-23 Repentance in God is not a change of mind, as it is in us, but a change of method. The change was in Saul; He is turned back from following me. Hereby he made God his enemy. Samuel spent a whole night in pleading for Saul. The rejection of sinners is the grief of believers: God delights not in their death, nor should we. Saul boasts to Samuel of his obedience. Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape being judged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust of the silver, Jas 5:3, witnessed against him. Many boast of obedience to the command of God; but what means then their indulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angry and unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, which witness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root; and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in it which above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of the Lord; it is disobedience: Thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord. Carnal, deceitful hearts, like Saul, think to excuse themselves from God's commandments by what pleases themselves. It is hard to convince the children of disobedience. But humble, sincere, and conscientious obedience to the will of God, is more pleasing and acceptable to him than all burnt-offering and sacrifices. God is more glorified and self more denied, by obedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a bullock or lamb to be burned upon the altar, than to bring every high thought into obedience to God, and to make our will subject to his will. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men, who are not willing that God should rule over them.The sinners - As though God would justify His commission to destroy them. (Compare Genesis 13:13.) 13-23. Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord—Saul was either blinded by a partial and delusive self-love, or he was, in his declaration to Samuel, acting the part of a bold and artful hypocrite. He professed to have fulfilled the divine command, and that the blame of any defects in the execution lay with the people. Samuel saw the real state of the case, and in discharge of the commission he had received before setting out, proceeded to denounce his conduct as characterized by pride, rebellion, and obstinate disobedience. When Saul persisted in declaring that he had obeyed, alleging that the animals, whose bleating was heard, had been reserved for a liberal sacrifice of thanksgiving to God, his shuffling, prevaricating answer called forth a stern rebuke from the prophet. It well deserved it—for the destination of the spoil to the altar was a flimsy pretext—a gross deception, an attempt to conceal the selfishness of the original motive under the cloak of religious zeal and gratitude. The sinners; so called by way of eminency, as that word is used, Genesis 13:13 Matthew 9:10 John 9:24,31. And the Lord sent thee on a journey,.... And therefore he ought to have attended to the errand sent upon, and executed the orders given; in vain, therefore, was it to lay the blame on the people:

and said, go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; those notorious sinners, who deserve no mercy at the hands of God or men; who had so highly offended the Lord, and had been so injurious to his people at their first coming out of Egypt. The orders were plain, not to be mistaken, and full and strong for the utter destruction of them without any exception, and therefore nothing could be pleaded in excuse for the violation of them:

and fight against them until they be consumed; entirely; they were not to be left until an end was made of them; or "until they had consumed them" (d), the people of Israel, or the soldiers with Saul.

(d) "donec consumant ipsi eos", Pagninus; so Vatablus.

And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
18. the sinners the Amalekites] Sin was the ground of their doom. The special sin which singled them out for punishment was their opposition to the will of God as regards the destiny of his people Israel.Verse 18. - The sinners. The Amalekites were a race of robbers, and the command "to devote them" was the consequence of the robbery and murder practised by them on the Israelite borders. The next morning, after receiving the revelation from God (1 Samuel 15:11), Samuel rose up early, to go and meet Saul as he was returning from the war. On the way it was told him, "Saul has come to Carmel" - i.e., Kurmul, upon the mountains of Judah to the south-east of Hebron (see at Joshua 15:55) - "setting himself a memorial" (יד, a hand, then a memorial or monument, inasmuch as the hand calls attention to anything: see 2 Samuel 18:18), "and has turned and proceeded farther, and gone down to Gilgal" (in the valley of the Jordan, as in 1 Samuel 13:4).
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