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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.


leads to repentance and humility.

1 Samuel 15:10–19

The word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not performed my commandments.” And Samuel was angry, and he cried to the LORD all night. And Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning. And it was told Samuel, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself and turned and passed on and went down to Gilgal.” And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed be you to the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God, and the rest we have devoted to destruction.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the LORD said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak.”

And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. And the LORD sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD. I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

Saul failing to follow the LORD’s command to destroy everything of the Amalekites is bad, but his arguing with Samuel about it, instead of falling down in repentance, is worse.

Saul’s lack of repentance goes hand in hand with his disobedience. He has the wrong perspective on who he is, who God is, and what Samuel’s role is in this.

That’s a fatal error. He definitely shouldn’t be the king of Israel.

Such a wrong perspective is a fatal error in us too.

But it’s different; it’s fixable. Christians learn. Christians grow. Our faith evolves.

This is where doctrine matters. Many churches are great at making new Christians, but that’s all they ever are. They never lose that new Christian excitement, but they never learn the difficult truths.

A correct understanding of God should be taught, but there’s a catch. God is complicated; new Christians must be eased into the full truth. Tough doctrines (e.g., God’s eternal decree) are not for beginners.

I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, — 1 Corinthians 3:2 (ESV)

Christian education needs to be structured so that students don’t end up in the wrong class.

To forward this devotional, see the link below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to the DEEP click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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