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1 Samuel 15:11 -

It repenteth me. By the law of man's free will his concurrence is necessary in carrying out the Divine purpose, and consequently every man called to the execution of any such purpose undergoes a probation. God's purpose will be finally carried out, but each special instrument, if it prove unworthy, will be laid aside. This change of administration is always described in Scriptural language as God's repentance, possibly because the phrase contains also the idea of the Divine grief over the rebellious sinner. But though Saul and his dynasty were thus put aside, and no longer represented Jehovah, still Saul remained the actual king, because God works slowly by the natural sequence of cause and effect. Saul's ill-governed temper, and his hatred and malice towards David, were the means of bringing about his ruin. It grieved Samuel. Hebrew, "it burned to Samuel," i.e. he was angry and displeased. The same phrase occurs in Jonah 4:1 , where it is rendered "he was very angry." But with whom was Samuel vexed? Generally at the whole course of events, but especially with Saul. In choosing him he had hoped that, in addition to high military qualities, he would possess a religious and obedient heart. He had now obtained for him a second trial, and if, warned by his earlier failure, he had proved trustworthy all might have been well. Saul had too many noble gifts for Samuel to feel indifferent at the perversion of so great an intellect and so heroic a heart. But he was of a despotic temperament, and would bend to no will but his own; and so he had saved the best of the plunder to enrich the people, and Agag possibly as a proof of his personal triumph. And he cried unto Jehovah all night . I.e. he offered an earnest prayer for forgiveness for Saul, and for a change in his heart. As Abravanel says, Samuel no doubt loved Saul for his beauty and heroism, and therefore prayed for him; but no change came in answer to his prayer, and as forgiveness is conditional upon man's repentance, Saul was not forgiven. It is remarkable how often Samuel is represented as "crying" unto God (see 1 Samuel 7:8 , 1 Samuel 7:9 ; 1 Samuel 12:18 ).

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