1 Samuel, Chapter 15

- מ נ ק -

Saul Blames the Israelites for His Grave Mistake 

Following his impressive victories over the Philistines and the prosperity he brought to the country, Saul is now tasked with exterminating Amalek. Together with many other nations, the Amalek nation had harassed the vulnerable Israelites as they left Egypt. Failing to fulfill this mission would allow Amalek – the epitome of evil – to continue their heinous acts. However, Saul doesn’t execute Samuel’s explicit orders. He evades the duty that was entrusted to him and then blames the people. Our mission must be carried out diligently. No person is exempt from fulfilling their mission, especially when it centers around the victory of good over evil. 

Saul’s failure is a sign that his wordly instincts have overpowered the divine spirit residing in him. He has shirked his responsibilities. He must now bear the consequences. Saul comprehends the magnitude of his sins. His capitulation to lower emotions led him to forget his mission. He tries to persuade Samuel to advocate on his behalf and even tears his robe. At this point, however, there is no return – like his garment, Saul’s kingdom will be torn apart. This evasion cannot go overlooked. Though high spiritual levels can endow us with honor and glory, they also require diligent actions. 

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not” (1 Samuel 15:2)

“And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent” (1 Samuel 15:26-29)

Responsibility is knowing that we are the cause of our circumstances; irresponsibility is blaming others for our situation.