There is an old hymn that I sang as a child—I Surrender All, by J.W Deventer that always haunted me. The Hymn is very straight forward and simply speaks of a walk with God that pictures complete surrender and the freedom that brings. Sadly, as I compare that to my life, I find that rather challenging. So did Saul. God’s command was clear. Completely destroy the Amalekites, leave nothing alive. Saul mostly destroyed the Amalekites, he kept the King and some of the livestock, but, the issue was not an issue of misunderstanding, it was an issue of Lordship. This became obvious as Saul was building a monument to himself after the battle, it was also obvious as he told Samuel he kept livestock to sacrifice to the Lord “Samuel’s” God. God always looks at the heart, and Saul had made Saul lord of his life.
We often battle the same temptation. We set out to follow the Lord and surrender to his leadership, but, somewhere on the way, we decide to amend God’s plan to benefit us –just a bit. We think ourselves clever—we figure God will understand. Sadly, the Lord does not take partial allegiance. His throne only has one seat. He is a gentleman—he will only take charge if invited to. But, he will never condone partial surrender. This journey has to be under his care and authority. That allows God to provide and protect those in his family. If we only partially surrender, there can be no consistency and no real faith. When circumstances get easier, then we reassert our Lordship—We do it our way. As with Saul, God says, I cannot allow a shared throne, I neeed a leader that is seeking me with his heart. As Joshua said—choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house—We will serve the Lord.
God Bless You
Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves[b] and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
12 Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal.”
13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”