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King Saul attacks the Amalekites

King Saul, the Amalekites and a command disobeyed.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian
Saul was 30 years old when he became king. He gathered an army to defend the Israelites against Philistine raiders. Any strong or brave man was added to his fighters. – Slide 1
Samuel came to Saul with a message from God. ‘The Lord is to punish the Amalekites for attacking and killing the Israelites as Moses led them through the wilderness. You are to attack and destroy them. You must also destroy all their animals too. No living thing is to be spared.’ – Slide 2
Saul summoned his fighting men at Telaim – over 200,000 soldiers – Slide 3
They moved south towards Amalekite territory. On the way they warned the Kenites who lived nearby to stay away from the battle and they would be spared. The Kenites had shown kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. – Slide 4
King Saul and his army set an ambush for the Amalekites in a ravine. – Slide 5
The Israelites then attacked the Amalekites as God had ordered. – Slide 6
As the Amalekites retreated, Saul’s army chased them all the way to the border with Egypt. No one was spared. – Slide 7
They captured Agag the King of the Amalekites. But instead of following God’s orders King Saul spared his life and took him as a prisoner. – Slide 8
They killed all the weak animals but disobeyed God’s instruction and kept the best of the sheep and cattle. They decided to keep some as plunder and others were to be sacrificed to God. – Slide 9
The Lord spoke to Samuel. ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.’ – Slide 10
Samuel was angry, and cried out to the Lord all that night. – Slide 11
Early in the morning, Samuel went to meet Saul. He was told that Saul had gone to Carmel to set up a monument in his own honour and then had gone on to Gilgal. – Slide 12
When Samuel found Saul the King said, ‘I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.’ Samuel replied, ‘What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?’ – Slide 13
Saul explained that the animals had been plundered from the Amalekites but the best were to be sacrificed to God. Samuel replied, ‘God sent you on a mission to totally destroy the wicked Amalakites. Why did you disobey and plunder?’ – Slide 14
‘But I did obey,’ Saul protested. ‘I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took the best sheep and cattle but the very best of these are for sacrifice.’ – Slide 15
Samuel replied, ‘Does the Lord delight more in sacrifices than obeying Him? To obey is better than sacrifice. For to go against what you are told is like the sin of witchcraft. Not to obey is like the sin of worshiping false gods. You have turned away from the Word of the Lord. So He has turned away from you being king.’ ‘I have sinned, Saul confessed. ‘I was afraid of the people and listened to them.’ – Slide 16
As Samuel turned to go, Saul took hold of part of his clothing, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, ‘Today the Lord has torn the rule of Israel away from you and given it to someone who is better than you.’ Samuel then executed Agag, king of the Amalekites himself. – Slide 17
Samuel returned to his home and never went to see Saul again. – Slide 18
Slide 19