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Verses 1-35

War against the Amalekites (15:1-35)

The Amalekites came under the same curse as those Canaanite nations that were to be destroyed (15:1-3; cf. Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 20:16-18; Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Again Saul’s obedience was tested, and again he failed. His kingly power gave him no right to alter God-given instructions to suit himself (4-9).

God sent Samuel to tell Saul of the consequences of his disobedience (10-16; cf. 13:13-14). Religious sacrifices and military victories were no substitute for obedience. Samuel had given Saul God’s instructions, but Saul, by acting independently of those instructions, had rebelled against God. He had proved himself unfit to be king of God’s people (17-23). No appeal from Saul could alter the fact that God was going to replace him as king of Israel (24-29). The most that Samuel could do for him was to accompany him in a final act of public worship (30-33). Although not removed immediately from the kingship, Saul lost for ever the services of Samuel (34-35).

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