AudioEvangelism.com - Practical Lessons from I Samuel (Part 4) Practical Lessons from I Samuel (Part 4)
Our next practical lesson from I Samuel is this:

14. GOD HAS A LONG MEMORY.
I Samuel 15:2 - "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.'"
As weeks, months, and years pass, humans tend to forget--but God doesn't. The passing of time does not cleanse our sins! This is true even if decades or centuries pass. Those who are wise will seek forgiveness via God's revealed plan, not vainly hope that God will somehow forget their transgressions and grant mercy on that final day (cf. Heb. 9:27).

15. TO DO GOD'S WILL EXCEPT IN ONE ASPECT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
I Samuel 15:3,7-9:

"'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'...And Saul attacked the Amalekites, from Havilah all the way to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed."
Saul and Israel only obeyed God regarding His instructions to which they agreed. They didn't think it made sense to kill the king when they could humiliate or use him in some way, so they didn't. They didn't think it was beneficial to simply slaughter all the good animals, so they didn't. They tried to justify their behavior by claiming they were going to sacrifice the animals to God. Samuel corrected them, teaching them that it is better to obey God than to sacrifice. They obeyed much of what they were commanded to do, but they still rebelled in these points. We cannot disobey God in one way in an effort to please Him in another way; that won't work. 90% may be a good grade on a test, but it is a miserable measure of devotion to the LORD and His will. God wants obedience with the heart (100%) as opposed to sacrifices without the heart (cf. Matt. 22:37,38)!

16. MANY SINS RESULT FROM FEARING PEOPLE INSTEAD OF GOD.
I Samuel 15:24 - "Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.'"
Saul was right to admit his sin; he had violated God's command. Whether he did so out of fear of the people seems suspect, but let's assume he was telling the truth. Fearing mankind more than God is always a mistake. Jesus put it best in Matthew 10:28 - "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." If we do what is right in God's eyes, we really have nothing to fear, no matter what mortals may do to us.

17. THE LORD DOES NOT JUDGE BASED ON OUTWARD APPEARANCES.
I Samuel 16:6,7 - "So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, 'Surely the LORD's anointed is before Him!' But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Man naturally judges based on outward appearances, but this is not wise. Samuel would have anointed the wrong king based upon looks alone. Saul doubted the young shepherd's looks, too, when it came to fighting Goliath (cf. I Sam. 17:33). But, although David didn't look like a king or a warrior, he had the heart and character required! God knew this because God doesn't judge on externals, and neither should we. We should, instead, make judgments that are righteous (cf. John 7:24). Doing this requires time, wisdom, and discernment.