1 Samuel 15:32-35 (Part 2) – A Balled Up Piece of Paper, A Six Year Old Preacher’s Kid and Hidden Sin

Posted: February 5, 2018 in 99-Uncategorized

1 Samuel 15:32-35 (Part 2 of 3)
Samuel Executes King Agag

Have you ever thought you got away with something and felt relieved when you weren’t found out? That’s what I thought of when I read through this passage for a second time today. We have spent the last two blogs talking about Saul and his lack of remorsefulness over his sin. He was more remorseful that he got caught in his sin than he was over the sin itself. In view of Saul’s reaction in that passage, we talked about how much we act that way sometimes. Yesterday, we talked about those who have to deal with the fallout of other people’s sins. We talked about the five single moms that I know who are having to deal with the sins of their ex-husbands who have walked away from their families and how these single moms have had to finish the job of raising kids on their own in the absence of their former husbands. Today, we look those who have sinned and have heaped sorrow on others and seem relieved that they have not gotten caught.

I remember still as a first grader, there was an assignment in class one day for us to do some coloring of a sequence of frames that told a story on each line of a page of paper. There were about eight scenes on the page and there were about five frames on each line. So, this was for first graders going to be like an assignment that would take up like a whole class period or class segment of a day. I don’t think we changed classes in 1st grade back in those days. We just had one teacher all day long. And the day was broken up into segments in which the teacher would teach us the different subjects that we had to learn that year. On this particular assignment, we had to color each segment of scenes and like I said there were about 8 lines of scenes with about five frames each. Each one was telling a story of some sort. So as we were coloring the frames of each scene we were learning something. What that was, I do not remember. I do know that we were supposed to take our time. Use different colors. Make it look good. And learn what we were supposed to learn.

For some reason on this day, I decided that I wanted to break the rules, me and one other boy that I knew who was the class behavior problem kid. I knew he was a bad influence. He was always in trouble. But somehow on this day I was sitting beside him. And I saw that he just took his crayon and just scratched back and forth with one color on each line. Not trying to make the scene pretty. Just scratching the crayon back and forth across the frames of pictures on each line. On this day, I thought that was pretty cool. I thought it was a time saver. The teacher said color each scene. She didn’t say we had to make it pretty. That was just the accepted, unsaid rule. So, to be like my rebellious classmate, I did the same thing. Just taking a crayon and going back and forth across the frames of pictures on each line of the page. Without a care as to what it looked like. Without a care for the unspoken rules of making it look pretty. Without a care. It was freeing to not be bound by rules and social convention. It was … to get us both in trouble. The teacher, whose name escapes me now, lambasted us both for taking the easy way out and not doing the work assigned. She wrote notes on both of us and attached them to our papers on which we made an “F” on or a -0- and were supposed to get one of our parents to sign it and return it.

In those days, parents took the side of the teacher instead of the child. If a child got in trouble with a teacher, there was the natural assumption that the teacher was right and the kid was wrong. You would get punished at school and then again at home. That’s just the way things were back then. Knowing that I would get in a whole heap of trouble of this note being sent home along with the horrible evidence of the ugly slash and burn coloring that I had done with total disregard. I would have gotten a whipping. I know that for sure.

So what did I do. I balled up the paper with the teacher’s note and stuck it as far as I could between the back of my chest of drawers and the wall. Problem solved. I hid the evidence of my sin. I could see it behind the chest of drawers every time I walked into my and my brother’s room. But my parents, not thinking to look for such things missed it. I got away with it all week long which seemed like a long time back then. I was free and clear. No consequence for my failure. No consequence for my sin. However, then came the following Saturday morning. Every Saturday morning was major house cleaning day at the Bowling household. Mom was in charge and dad and the boys were the foot soldiers. My brother and I were responsible for cleaning our rooms and then had our assignments in the rest of the house too like vacuuming and/or dusting, etc. I forgot about the inspections of the dustings and clean up in our rooms. Mom or Dad would look over, under and behind things an in closets to see if had been orderly in our clean up of our rooms. It was then that my sin was found out. Mom just happened to be inspecting the dusting of the furniture in our room and just happened to look behind the chest of drawers, my chest of drawers. There she found the balled up piece of paper. There ended my coverup of my sin. There ended my feeling that I had got away with one. There followed the whipping. There followed the remaining in my room while my brother went out to play. There followed the rest of the weekend of being talked to about what I had done and not just the sin but the cover up.

I don’t remember much about my 6th year of life and 1st grade but I do remember that one thing clear as day. My sin, its cover up, the thinking I got away with one, and the being found out, and the punishment. That was what flashed through my mind when I read about how King Agag thought he had gotten a reprieve. He knew that his sins were great but he was almost relieved that he had gotten away with all of it until Samuel fulfilled the job that Saul was supposed to do. He paid for his sins. With that idea of having thinking we have gotten away with our sins or that there is going to be no cost to sinning, let us read today’s passage, 1 Samuel 15:32-25, for the first of three blogs:

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring King Agag to me.” Agag arrived full of hope, for he thought, “Surely the worst is over, and I have been spared!”[a] 33 But Samuel said, “As your sword has killed the sons of many mothers, now your mother will be childless.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his house at Gibeah of Saul. 35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.

In this passage, we see that the Amalekite king feels confident that since he has not been executed by now, the danger is over. He certainly feels that he is safe while in the custody of Saul. But his confidence is ill-founded. Samuel is now the one he must stand before, and Samuel acts in God’s behalf. As he, the commander-in-chief of the Amalekite army, made women childless, so now his mother will be childless by his death (verse 33). Samuel does not merely put Agag to death, he hews him in pieces, no doubt because this is the way he dealt with the foes he defeated.

Are you committing a sin right now? Are you, for example, fooling around on your wife or husband? It feels great. The newness and freshness of a sexual relationship with no strings attached. Just passionate rendevouses when you can work them in to the life schedule. It’s all fun and games. It’s great. It may go on for years and no one will be the wiser. Sometimes, there may be suspicions but no way to prove it. And you get away with it, maybe for a good long while. That does not mean that you are getting a pass. Sin is always found out. Sin always has consequences. Sin will destroy you and those around you. The thing that you thought was so great will now eat you alive. Even when you are participating in sin and not getting caught, your heart tells you that it is wrong but you go on with it because its fun and you’re not getting caught. And it’s not just sexual sin that is that way. It is any sin. Sin requires cover up to continue in it. Sin wants to be made public. We had to keep the lid on it. We have to lay over the barrel to keep the yeast of fermenting sin from pushing out and being made public and making a mess all over the place.

Just as with King Agag, we think we are getting away with sin when there does not seem to be any consequence, at least not right away. We think that maybe this sin is OK with God for us because we are not being exposed in it. Don’t be kidding yourself that way. You may not be getting caught just yet, but you are in the midst of grieving God. Our sins will come out. They will be found out. That’s just the nature of sin. It must be covered up to continue participating in it and not be found out. But have you noticed how hard it is to keep a lie. The truth is so simple. It needs no defense. But lies and sins need to have this high maintenance fence around them with guards on the towers. We will be found out in our sins. It’s like trying to keep the killer in a horror movie out of the room that you are in.

Let us examine ourselves for the sins that we are protecting and hiding behind our chest of drawers so that no one will see. Let us repent of those sins. Let us expose our own sins. Let us even pay the consequences for our hidden sins. Let us repent of them. Let us seek forgiveness for our sins. Let us then turn away from them and never return to them. Let us then, in repentance, walk in the grace of Jesus Christ.

Amen and Amen.

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