II. THE AMALEKITES’ OFFENSE
TOWARD GOD AGAINST ISRAEL,
AFTER ISRAEL CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT
In 1 Samuel 15:2 Jehovah said, "I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they set themselves against them in the way as they came up out of Egypt." In the war with Amalek described in Exodus 17:8-16, Moses stood on the top of a hill with the rod of God in his hand, and Joshua went out with chosen men to fight against, and to defeat, Amalek. While Joshua was fighting, Moses was praying. After Joshua defeated Amalek, God declared that He would "have war with Amalek from generation to generation" (v. 16). This shows how seriously God regarded the frustration caused by the Amalekites. At the time of 1 Samuel 15:2, He declared that He would punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel.
III. JEHOVAH’S COMMAND TO SAUL
After Saul was anointed to be the leader of God’s people, he defeated the Ammonites and the Philistines. Eventually, the Amalekites rose up to frustrate the establishing of God’s kingdom, and Saul was charged to destroy them. In verse 3 Jehovah said to him, "Go now and strike the Amalekites; and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, oxen and sheep, camel and donkey." In charging Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites, which typify the flesh as God’s unique enemy, God wisely put Saul on the spot in order to test him.
IV. SAUL’S ATTACKING OF THE AMALEKITES
Verses 4 through 9 describe Saul’s attacking of the Amalekites. Saul summoned the people and mustered them, 200,000 footmen and 10,000 men of Judah (v. 4). Saul then came to the city of the Amalekites and set an ambush in the river valley (v. 5). Before striking the Amalekites, Saul sent the Kenites away from the destruction of the Amalekites, for they showed kindness to the people of Israel when they came up out of Egypt (v. 6). Then Saul struck the Amalekites and captured Agag their king (vv. 7-8a). Saul utterly destroyed all their people, but he "spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings, and the lambs and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them; but everything that was despised and worthless, this they utterly destroyed" (vv. 8b-9). For Saul, this was an opportunity to make himself rich. He was trying to build up his own monarchy within God’s kingdom.
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Samuel, Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)