A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
1 Samuel 15: Saul doesn’t kill Agag and God gets mad
Samuel tells Saul – God wants you to kill the Amaleks – all of them, including their sheep. Leave nothing alive. So Saul musters an army, defeats the Amaleks and takes their king Agag prisoner. The people take the best of the sheep to offer as sacrifice to God. God has a word with Samuel and tells him, I’m not happy. I told them to kill everything. So Samuel goes to Saul and asks – why do I hear bleating sheep? Saul says – well, we were going to sacrifice them to God. Samuel reminds Saul – God told you to kill everything. He would rather you obey him then offer sacrifice, even though he REALLY likes the smell of burning flesh. Saul says – well – yeah, but the people REALLY wanted the sheep and I was afraid to go against them. Please help me repent. So Samuel prays with Saul. The next day Agag is brought to Samuel who hews Agag into peices. He leaves, never to see Saul again, since the Lord repented in making Saul king.
In other words:
God orders Saul to kill all the Amaleks, but because Saul leaves the king and the best sheep alive, God repents having named Saul king.
1 Samuel 15:14: What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
2nd favorite bit:
1 Samuel 15:22,23 – And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delighyt in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou has rejected the word of the Lod, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Least favorite bit:
1 Samuel 15:33 – where Samuel hews Agag with a sword. On the one hand – Samuel was not to be messed with. On the other, was it really necessary?
Samuel didn’t like the fact that Saul wasn’t doing what he told him to. God had nothing to do with it. He just didn’t like sharing power.
Moral Lesson Learned:
You can’t control the actions of other people. (1 Samuel 15)