1 Samuel 15:32-35 (Part 3) – This Is Going to Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You!

Posted: February 7, 2018 in 99-Uncategorized

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

I remember when I was kid that when you got a whipping for bad behavior, my dad would use the cliché line, “this is going to hurt me worse than it’s going to hurt you!” I would never say it out loud, because that would have made the whipping worse, but I would think, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me! I am the one getting a whipping!” Dad was not abusive with his whippings (so all you millennials out there get your hand off the DSS hotline), but he would make it sting for sure. I had a healthy fear of my dad with his steely blue eyes. He was the ultimate authority in our house and I did not want to get on the wrong side of him. Even the threat of a whipping was an effective behavior modification tool.

My dad was one who was not a standoffish dads. He would play ball with us. He would wrestle in the floor with us (while mom would get on him for being too rough – you know moms!) We would laugh and cut up with dad. He would play tricks on us and us him. He was a fun dad. But we know that he was dad and we were the kids. His authoritative voice was a show stopper. He had boundaries that we could not cross with our behavior and we knew what they were. He was consistent in his discipline. There were grade levels of punishment. Restrictions were the most common form of punishment for the minor offenses. But there were offenses that when we were younger that drew out the belt, “The Black Spirit of Power” as he called it. I even used that title for the belt when I became a parent.

But that old saying that dad would use when he would give us a whipping used to just stick in my craw. How could him giving me a whipping hurt him more than it hurt meeting. I mean, dude, I was the one getting the strap to the rear-end. Like I said, he didn’t maliciously whip us but you sure did know it that you had been whipped. The rear end was stinging for a little while after one of those whippings. Dad probably only whipped us a dozen times or less when we were under age 12 (after that it was just restrictions when you would have rather had a whipping than lose freedoms). So, the whippings were for egregious violations of Daddy law. How could that stinging in my tail area be worse for him than me? I was the one being whipped! That’s just whacked out parent psychobabble I thought! Geez! Nothing was being applied to his rear end at light speed. I was the one with the back porch being painted red.

How could that being hurting him more than it hurt me? I did not understand it and thought dad was just out and out lying to me just to get through a bad situation – my serious misbehavior and him having to do something about it. Boy, did I not understand being the parent at all. When I became a parent in April 1985 and again in September 1990, all that changed. When you hold your oldest child the first time and even when you hold your youngest for the first time five years later. Something just happens to you. You know a love that you never knew existed before. And, as a dad, when you hold your little girls in your arm you feel this overwhelming daddy-daughter love and this overwhelming sense of responsibility to this little girl.

I know that it must have been hard for dad to whip us even as boy children, but oh my God, when you, as dad, have to spank your daughter. It is the absolute toughest thing in the world to do. Because let’s face it, little boys are just NOT as a adorable as little girls. My girls were just the most adorable girls on the planet to me. Cute faces. Cut child expressions. The mulitiple aaaaa’s in Daddy when they say, “Daaaaady!” When they think that their dad is the most handsome, most powerful, most smart, most every thing man in the world. They adored me. They loved me with an innocence and purity when they were little girls that made you feel so loved and also so maybe even unworthy of it. And they were so little and dainty and so beautiful with the cutest little girl voices.

How could whipping them hurt me more than it hurt them. Let me tell you, the few times that I had to whip Meghan or Taylor, and they were very few, it would literally make me want to throw up afterwards. To hear them cry as if the world was ending would rip my heart out. Usually with both Meghan and Taylor, I could just look at them mean and they would stop doing what they were doing and be sad for having made their hero dad mad. If that didn’t work a really stern talking to and they would never exhibit the offending behavior again. But there were those few times though that obstinate and rebellious behavior or fighting between the girls I would have to use the last resort, “the Black Spirit of Power”, my belt. I came then to know what my dad had said was true. This is going to hurt me worse than it hurts you. I would literally throw up after having to whip one of them. You knew you had to enforce discipline against the worst violations of family law and common decency, but those were my little girls. They adored me. And I too just adored them. I still do to this day. Even when I have had to be tough on them in our relationship as dad to adult daughters, it makes me want to throw up to punish them. But those few whippings back in the day when they were little truly did, as my dad would tell me, hurt me worse than it hurt them. Funny thing being a parent, huh? All those things that you didn’t understand as a child become crystal clear as a quiet lake first thing in the morning when you become a parent yourself.

That was the thing that I immediately thought of this morning when I read through this passage one final time before we move on to the next one. This time I was concentrating on the second half of the passage, vv. 34-35. How could Samuel mourn over Saul? Saul was like an impetuous child – only thinking of himself. Saul would violate God’s commands at a drop of hat if it suited what he wanted. He was just like a precocious child in that way. But yet Samuel mourned over him. How could he do that? It doesn’t make sense. Samuel knew exactly why Saul was going to lose his throne – he had not obeyed his Father in heaven. The punishment of losing the kingdom was just and right. However, Samuel still mourned. That idea of hurting me worse than it hurting you was what the Holy Spirit planted in my brain after having read this passage this morning. Let us read today’s passage, 1 Samuel 15:32-25, for third 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 that Samuel grieves over the way that Saul has acted. He grieves because Saul could have made better choices and simply trusted the Lord enough to have obeyed him completely. However, actions have consequences. Sins have consequences and Saul chose to violate God’s commands. That Saul could have been a great king if he had been obedient was what Samuel grieved over. He could have been so much more if he had loved God more than anything else. If Saul had not been a selfish, self-centered, out to protect what was his, it’s all about me precocious child, he could have been much more of a king than he was. He goes down in history as having been a petty, selfish, paranoid, self-preservationist king whose line of kingship was taken away from him. Samuel was grieving that the actions of Saul caused his punishment. Samuel grieved over the poor choices of Saul just as a parent grieves over the poor choices of his or her children. We love our children but sometimes we cannot save them from the punishment that must come when they act sinfully. God allows our sins to have their own toll on our lives – not because he is a mean ogre but that is just the way sin is. It is never good in the end. It brings its own punishment.

Just as I grieved over having to execute punishment over my children as they were growing up and it made me want to throw up afterwards. How much more do we grieve our Father in heaven when we commit our wanton and daily sins. He knows that there are consequences that will inevitably result from our sins and it most assuredly makes our Father in heaven want to throw up. After all, he gave us all the instructions for lives well lived in his Word and we have much of God’s goodness wired into us directly by Him (knowing right from wrong innately) but yet we wantonly and brazenly violate His commands each and every day. It make our Father in heaven sick to his stomach daily. He knows the consequences of any sins is that we become separated from Him permanently. Since God is perfection and sinless, we cannot exist in His presence eternally with the stain of sin in our souls – even just one sin disqualifies us. We are sunk with the first sin we commit. We are done. We are sentenced to hell with the first sin we commit (and there is a 100% probability that we will sin) much less the ample additional evidence of our need for eternal punishment with every next sin that we commit daily throughout our lifetime. It grieves the heart of God that we are separated from Him on our own merits by our lifetimes of sin. Like a parent of a wayward child, he grieves over our rebelliousness. It makes Him want to throw up.

Because the Lord our God is so grieved by our separation from Him, and the fact that He loves us so much (just like a dad and his children), he made a way for us to be reunited in His arms. That way is Jesus Christ. He came to earth as God in the flesh and lived the perfect life and demonstrated to us what the Kingdom of God should look like and taught us about the heart of God and how our relationship with Him should be. The main purpose though of Christ’s first advent was to reconcile us to God through His atoning death on the cross. It was there that He took on the eternal wrath and punishment of God for our sins so that we could be escape unharmed from our rightful sentence to hell before a just and righteous God. It is the equivalent of Meghan taking a whipping for Taylor that Taylor deserved but Meghan did not want to see Taylor get punished because she knew that Taylor really didn’t understand the implications of her behavior. Meghan taking a whipping that Taylor deserved is a demonstration of immeasurable love for her sister. That’s how much God loves us. He had the right to eternally separate Himself from us and allow our sin to punish us in hell. But He sends Himself in Jesus to take our punishment for us. God’s Son taking the punishment we deserve. Through Jesus taking our punishment, we are made right with God. We are seen as innocent before Him through our faith in Jesus Christ that He is the Son of God and that He died for our sins. We are restored to a right parent child relationship. We are loved.

Just think about how much God loves us. He took on the pain of punishment for our sins. Talk about the old saying, “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you!” God loves us enough to send Jesus to the cross to take on all that suffering and pain for us…for us…FOR US. Just think about how much THAT LOVE is.

Amen and Amen.

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