One day Samuel said to Saul, "It was the LORD who told me to anoint you as king of His people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the LORD! This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. (1 Samuel 15:1-2 NLT)
In case you don’t remember the story, the Amalekites attacked the Israelites when they had just broken out of Egypt. They were beginning to eat manna from heaven and had just received water from the rock when the Amalekites attached. (You can read the story in Exodus 17:8-16.) Back then, the LORD said he would completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven (Exodus 17:4). Now is the time God wanted to make good on his promise.
Saul and his men spared Agag's life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs--everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality. Then the LORD said to Samuel, "I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to Me and has refused to obey My command." (1 Samuel 15:9-11a NLT)
Sometimes I do not understand God’s reasons for doing things. I don’t know what people had to do in order for the LORD to say, “Enough!” and wipe out all of humanity except for Noah and his family. I don’t know why Sodom and Gomorrah received fire from heaven, while others who are just as evil today are spared and allowed to live. But, honestly, I don’t need to know.
You see, a General in the military doesn’t need his soldiers to understand the reasons for his orders. He simply needs his soldiers to obey. They need to trust that the General understands the big picture enough to give them good orders, so that they will win the battle. The same is true for us today.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)
Our Lord and King has given us our marching orders. In the military they aren’t called suggestions. They aren’t called discussion starters. They aren’t opening bids to a negotiation. We are in the LORD’s military. They are orders. We need to decide what we will do with the orders we are given.
How about you? Have you thought about our LORD’s commands as orders from our commander and chief? Do you follow the orders of our King?