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Hypocrisy of Saul

| By PKD Lee |

2 Samuel 15:3 - Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.

This verse was Yahweh’s command to Saul which was given through the prophet Samuel. It was fairly clear that all the Amalekites were to be under the ban to Yahweh and nothing taken as plunder. Saul prided himself on being obedient to Yahweh (vs 13, 20), but he returned with a lot of plunder according to vs 9 which reads, “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them.”

Saul was unwilling to destroy the wealth taken from the Amalekites. Most of us read this passage, and mentally condemn Saul for his avarice, when we do the same routinely in our lives. Isn’t this the hypocrisy that Saul was manifesting, the worship of wealth over Yahweh, while claiming to be a follower of Yahweh? This manifests when we obey the methods and means of acquiring wealth even if it means disobeying the commands of Yahweh. That is essentially idolatry.

The most common sin in this area is the paying of bribes to get material benefits which one is entitled to. The argument used is that it harms no one except the person who pays the bribe to get what is legitimately his or hers. But that is not true. It harms the poor. How? Once people pay bribes routinely to get what is theirs, the poor who cannot afford to pay the bribe cannot get what is legitimately theirs, as the officials expect a bribe. The paying of bribes is where we are obeying the rules to get wealth and disobeying the commands of Yahweh, to care for the poor.

Another common area is the pursuit of success, where success replaces Yahweh and we follow the rules of success rather than the Law of Yahweh. In the pursuit of success, often the command to love others, especially our rivals is forgotten. Does this matter? What Yahweh says to this form of idolatry is given in vs 23 as, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.”

While Saul was rejected for kingship, we would be rejected from being the children of God.


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