Amazing what happens when we don’t listen to our parents. When I married my first wife it was with the grudging permission of my father. He knew that something was not right even though he couldn’t identify it. As it turned out, neither of us was mature enough and eventually after many years the marriage ended. I caused my parents much grief due to my choice.
In this chapter I noticed that David and his men had just returned from defeating the Amalekites. First Samuel chapter thirty contains the account of that battle if you’d like to read it.
However, what jumped out at me was that the young man in this chapter, the young man that killed Saul, is also an Amalekite.
Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, “Where are you from?” And he replied, “I am a foreigner, an Amalekite, who lives in your land.”
“Were you not afraid to kill the LORD’s anointed one?” David asked. Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him. “You die self-condemned,” David said, “for you yourself confessed that you killed the LORD’s anointed one.” – 2 Samuel 1:13-16
In first Samuel chapter fifteen God had ordered Saul to eradicate all traces of Amalekites. Obviously this was not obeyed. In fact it was Saul’s handling of this particular encounter that was the cause of his loss of favor with God.
So why did God want the Amalekites wiped out?
Hundreds of years earlier, in Exodus seventeen, Israel is finally free from Egypt. They are camped at Rephidim when the Amalekites attacked them. The Israelites prevailed and beat them back. However, God pronounced an eternal curse against them.
Then the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down as a permanent record, and announce it to Joshua: I will blot out every trace of Amalek from under heaven.” – Exodus 17:14
Yet, even this did not need to happen. Let’s travel a few hundred years further back into Israelite history.
Isaac was commanded by his father Abraham to not marry any of the local women, to only marry those from his tribe. He obeyed his father’s wishes and married Rebekah. It is reasonable to deduce that a similar desire would have been passed on to his two sons, Jacob and Esau.
The father of the nation of Israel was Jacob, he in fact bore the name Israel later in life. His twin brother was Esau. And it is from him that things went horribly wrong.
At the age of forty, Esau married a young woman named Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. He also married Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah. – Genesis 26:34-35
I think it can be safely inferred from the verses above that these marriages were against his parents wishes.
Here’s the kicker, Amalek was the grandson of Esau and his wife Adah, also known as Basemath.
If Esau had listened to his parents, the Amalekites would never have existed! Who knows how the history of the nation of Israel would have turned out had one man listened to his parents.
Who knows how my life would have turned out had I listened to my parents.
But, God is a redemptive God. He can take our broken things and create something wonderful with them.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28
Now many years later I am remarried to a wonderful woman that both of my parents approved of and loved as if she was their own daughter. One of the last things my father did on this earth was to pay for my bride to attend a Christian retreat in Colorado. (My father passed away in March of 2008).
I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the quote “obedience is better than sacrifice” comes out of Saul’s failure with the Amalekites in first Samuel fifteen. God wants us to obey him and those he has placed over us.
Lord, may I remember to obey you in all things, whether I agree or understand them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.