“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. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.” I Sam. 15: 1-3 NLT
“Samuel said to Saul”: This was a message from the spiritual leader of Israel to the political and military leader of Israel. The message was clear: ‘Kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey”. God clearly told Samuel to tell Saul to bring a total judgment against the Amalekites.
Why? What did the Amalekites do that was so bad?
The Amalekites committed a terrible sin against Israel. When the nation was weak and vulnerable, the Amalekites attacked the weakest and most vulnerable of the nation. They did this with no provocation, no reason except violence, jealousy and greed.
God hates it when the strong take cruel advantage over the weak, especially when they are following Him in what He has instructed them to do. So God promised to bring judgment against the Amalekites.
All this had happened more than four hundred years before! So why did God hold it against the Amalekites? This shows us an important principle: time does not erase sin before God. Time cannot atone for sin. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can erase sin.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, “Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:14-16).
Throughout the Bible Amalek stands for the flesh, having sprung from the stock of Esau, who, for a morsel of meat sold his birthright. To spare the best of Amalek is surely equivalent to sparing some root of evil, some plausible indulgence, or some favorite sin.
For us, Agag must stand for that evil propensity, which exists in all of us, for self-gratification; and to spare Agag is to be merciful to ourselves, to exonerate our failures, and to condone our hidden sin.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1 NLT