Ellen G. White Writings

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Beginning of the End, Page 316

Saul Rejected as King

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 15.

Saul’s errors were not yet beyond remedy. The Lord would give him another opportunity to learn the lesson of unquestioning faith in His word and obedience to His commands.

When Samuel had reproved him at Gilgal, Saul felt he had been treated unjustly and made excuses for his mistake. Samuel loved Saul as his own son, but Saul resented Samuel’s rebuke and from then on avoided him as far as possible.

But the Lord sent His servant with another message to Saul: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 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.’” Through Moses The Lord had pronounced sentence on the Amalekites. The history of their cruelty toward Israel had been recorded with the command, “You will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.” (Deuteronomy 25:19).

For four hundred years God had postponed execution of this sentence, but the Amalekites had not turned from their sins. Now the time had come for the sentence, so long delayed, to be carried out.

Punishment is a strange act for our merciful God. “‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, ... forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty.” (Ezekiel 33:11; Exodus 34:6, 7). He does not delight in vengeance, but He will execute judgment on those who transgress His law. He is forced to do this to preserve earth’s population from complete wickedness and ruin. In order to save some, He must cut off those who have become hardened in sin.

But while giving judgment, God remembered mercy. The Amalekites were to be destroyed, but the Kenites, who lived among them,

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