By Lori Rodeheaver
The self-righteous king, Saul, has finally made an honest confession. The prophet, Samuel, in turn, showed mercy and prayed for him. The very next thing Samuel does is quite shocking. It’s brave, it’s bloody, and it’s barely believable.
Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said,“As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal. ~1 Samuel 15:33-34
Samuel calls for King Agag. King Agag was the leader of the enemies which Saul was commanded, but failed to, destroy completely.
Notice how the enemy responds to Samuel’s invitation. Agag came “cheerfully.” So sure and confident that he is going to be fully accepted and met with a good ‘ol boy friendship by those who had spared his life for self-interests.
Agag ain’t scared of these easily deceived followers of God. He knows if they’re anything like King Saul, they’ll let him slither away unscathed. Apparently, King Agag doesn’t know the prophet Samuel. That, or he doubts an old man of peace (Samuel) will harm him any more than a young man of war (Saul) did.
Agag was wrong. Dead wrong, in fact. As soon as he arrives, Samuel reminds him of his guilt and then busts out his machete.
What is with this guy?! Always telling people they’re guilty and dealing God’s wrath! I guess we all have our gifts…
Anyway, he “hacked Agag to pieces.” Sounds like somebody’s got anger management and revenge issues, huh?
Not quite. Here, in this bloody affair, we find Our Savior.
Who prays for we reprobates when we finally come to the end of our excuse making self-justification and offer an honest confession? Who turns back in mercy after us when we actually admit our wretched guilt? Who interceded for we scoundrels before bravely calling the king of our enemies to the carpet? Who hacked that enemy to pieces in a bloody affair by his own two hands? Who succeeded in killing what we so often disobey God to keep alive?
And the answer is: JESUS! Jesus did these things! He offered mercy when we didn’t deserve it. He interceded for us and called the enemy out. He showed up and destroyed what we were unable and unwilling to destroy alone – sin. He won the bloody war single-handedly but is known as the Prince of Peace. We use peace-keeping as an excuse not to fight the Enemy but are so obviously men of self-preserving war.
Samuel’s wasn’t a hatemonger. His machete foreshadowed the cross…where Christ was willing to be hacked to pieces for the sake of fulfilling God’s righteous commands…because he knew we weren’t willing and that we wouldn’t fulfill them.
What a Savior.