Can You Hear, Smell, or See It?

1 Samuel 15:3, 9-16. Read the whole chapter for all the details.

King Saul, the prophet Samuel, and the Amalekites in 1 Samuel Chapter 15 illustrate the importance of following the commands and instructions of YAHWEH. This chapter sheds light on the character of YAHWEH and how he dealt with and currently deals with his children concerning obedience. Obedience was and is significant to YAHWEH, as he is our Elhom who never changes. (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, Isaiah 40:8, Isaiah 40:28)

Before you start this week’s Food for Thought, please consider this question: What have you been offering or sacrificing to YAHWEH instead of obeying his commands and instructions?

Now go, and you shall strike Amalek and destroy all that he has. And you shall have no pity on him, and you shall put to death all from man to woman, from little one to suckling, from ox to sheep, from camel to donkey .

1 Samuel 15:3 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

The Command of YAHWEH

King Saul was commanded by YAHWEH through the prophet Samuel to eradicate all Amalekite men, women, and children and not pity them. This command extended beyond the Amalekite people as all of their oxen, sheep, camels, and donkeys were also to be killed. After receiving clear instructions, King Saul went to war with the Amalekites exterminating everything they despised and considered worthless. They captured King Agag of Amalek and extended compassion and mercy to him and to the best and second best of the flocks, herds, lambs, and other things that were good in their eyes. They were careful to keep the best for themselves.

YAHWEH’s Disapproval

Initially, Saul obediently followed the commands given to him and went to war, leaving destruction in his wake. However, as time passed, he and his men exhibited signs of favoritism and selective obedience in showing pity towards King Agag and keeping the more valuable livestock. This shift in attitude did not go unnoticed by YAHWEH, who expressed His strong disapproval of Samuel. YAHWEH mentioned Saul’s decision to turn away from Him and disregard His specific instructions to exterminate everything. As a result, YAHWEH became sorry for having appointed Saul as king over Israel. Upon hearing this news, Samuel was left feeling deeply disappointed and angered by Saul’s failure to follow YAHWEH’s commands.

And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of Yahweh: I have performed the commandment of Yahweh.

1 Samuel 15:13 (WOY)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Samuel Confronts Saul

Samuel went to meet Saul to tell him what his fate would be for his disobedience. But, he was astonished when Saul greeted him and pridefully proclaimed, “I have performed the commandment of YAHWEH ” (1 Samuel 15:13). Samuel must have thought Saul was delusional since the livestock that YAHWEH commanded killed “without pity” could be heard, smelled, and seen. Samuel sought to point out to Saul that he sinned by failing to obey YAHWEH’s precise instructions. Therefore Samuel quickly and sharply responded, asking Saul if you did what was commanded, why do I hear the noise of the Amalekite’s flocks and herd? Sometimes our sin is just as obvious, but we ignore or excuse it, just like Saul did.

Sauls attempted to fill Samuel’s ears with deception and utter foolishness of how the people spared the animals so they could later sacrifice them to YAHWEH Samuel’s Elohim. Notice that Saul never acknowledges YAHWEH to be His Elohim throughout this chapter. Samuel stopped Sauls’s Blabbering and declared to him that which YAHWEH spoke to him. After which, Saul again stated a second time to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of YAHWEH, and I went in the way which YAHWEH sent me” (1 Samuel 15:20-21). Yet, in the next part of this same scripture, we see how self-deceived and stubborn Saul is to accept that he has disobeyed YAHWEH. King Saul delusionally describes how they brought back Agag, king of Amalek, as if that was the command. His statement alone proves that he did not follow the instructions. Saul was to exterminate all Amalekites and their animals. And again, he insisted that the people took the animals to sacrifice them as a burnt offering later. To this, Samuel asked Saul the question I’m asking you today. 


  • “Does YAHWEH delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of YAHWEH? (1 Samuel 15:20)
  • Does YAHWEH prefer offerings and sacrifices or obedience to His voice (commands)?
  • Is there any evidence to suggest that YAHWEH’s preference for obedience has shifted?

And Samuel said, Does YAHWEH delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of YAHWEH? Behold! Obeying is better than sacrifice; to give attention is better than the fat of rams.

1 Samuel 15:22 (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Samuel answers his own question, “Behold! Obeying is better than sacrifice; to give attention is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:20). There is absolutely nothing you can give to YAHWEH that is better than unwavering loyalty and obedience. Samuel explained that going against YAHWEH’s commands in rebellion is like working witchcraft, while refusing to follow YAHWEH’s commands through stubbornness is like committing idolatry and iniquity. As Bible Believing Believers (BBBs), these words should ring in our ears and cause us to faithfully commit to following and obeying YAHWEH and his son Yahshua.

YAHWEH’s Decision and Saul’s Confession

The prophet Samuel declared to Saul that since he rejected the Word of YAHWEH, YAHWEH rejected him from being King. Saul was deeply troubled by the prospect of losing his kingdom. Still, his rebellious and stubborn heart towards YAHWEH prevented him from genuinely feeling remorseful. He resorted to expressing false guilt and sincerity by admitting to transgressing YAHWEH’s word and the prophet’s. “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the mouth of YAHWEH and your word.” But he quickly shows his heart again by saying, “because I feared the people, and I listened to their voice,” shifting the blame onto the people, claiming that he feared their voice and they practically made him sin. Saul’s unwillingness to accept full accountability for his sins clearly indicates his inability or want to repent.


What was clear and noticeable to Samuel was blurry and perhaps invisible to Saul. Saul’s heart had clouded his judgment, rendering him blind, deaf, and oblivious to his own sins. Just as Saul failed to notice and acknowledge the sin in his own life, many believers today have blind spots in their situations and experiences. Failure to obey YAHWEH and Yahshua is not a doctrine, philosophy, or belief issue; instead, it’s a heart issue. We need to follow the example of King Saul’s predecessor, his father King David, as he wrote Psalm 139:23-24Search me [thoroughly], O El, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if any wicked way is in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” Therefore, we must always strive to remain faithful to YAHWEH and His son, Yahshua, committing to obey Him. By doing so, we can ensure that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him and in accordance with His Word.

Note: (2 Samuel 1:8-10) Years later, King Saul was KILLED BY AN AMALEKITE. This indicates that King Saul had pity on other Amalekites along with King Agag and did not destroy them all. Disobedience will always lead to unexpected consequences, sometimes physical death!

By David Edwards

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