1 Samuel 15:20-34


Last 2 Weeks – 1 Samuel 15

  1. Covenant & Consecration
  2. Sacred & Secular
  3. Rationalization & Justification & Judgement & Denial
  1. Rebellion 
  • open, organized, and armed resistance to one’s  government or ruler.
  • resistance to or defiance of any authority, control, or


Rebellion and Stubbornness equated to witchcraft & Idolatry:

This is here called rebellion and stubbornness, and is said to be as bad as witchcraft and idolatry, v. 23.

It is as bad to set up other gods as to live in disobedience to the true God. Those that are governed by their own corrupt inclinations, in opposition to the command of God, do, in effect, consult the teraphim (as the word here is for idolatry) or the diviners.

It was disobedience that made us all sinners (Rom. 5:19), and this is the malignity of sin, that it is the transgression of the law, and consequently it is enmity to God, Rom. 8:7.

Saul was a king, but if he disobey the command of God, his royal dignity and power will not excuse him from the guilt of rebellion and stubbornness.

It is not the rebellion of the people against their prince, but of a prince against God, that this text speaks of!


Fall of Jericho 6

Joshua 7:1-12 Defeat because of sin/rebellion/stubbornness


Witchcraft and Divination:

qecem {keh’-sem} Meaning:  1) divination, witchcraft 1a) of the nations, Balaam 1b) of false prophets 1c) in a good sense (king’s lips as oracles)

Origin:  from 07080; TWOT – 2044a; n m

Usage:  AV – divination 9, witchcraft 1, divine sentence 1; 11

  • nahash;[1][2]as a nounnahash translates as snake, and as a verb it literally translates as hissing. The verb form can be extended to mean whispering.
  • onan;[1][2]onan literally translates as clouds, possibly referring to nephomancy = Consulting with clouds / cloud formations, etc…

Astrology –

  • kashaph;[2][3]kashaph is of ambiguous meaning, being either from a root meaning mutter,[4] or from a compound of the words kash (herb) and

hapalah (using) – hence meaning herb user.[5]

  • The Septuagintrenders the same phrase as pharmakia (poison).

(Peyote, etc.)

  • being a ba’al ob;[7][8]ba’al ob literally means master of spirits. The corresponding parts of the Septuagint refer
    to eggastrimuthos(gastromancy).[9]

  • being a yidde’oni;[7][8]yidde’oni literally means gainer of information from ghosts

Necromancy / Shamanism = a practice of communicating with dead – either by summoning their spirit or raising them bodily.

  • being a doresh el ha-metim;[8]doresh el ha-metim literally means (one who) questions corpses


  • qasam qesem;[2]qasam qesem literally means distributes distributions.
  • khabar kheber;[2]khabar kheber literally means join joinings.



patsar {paw-tsar’} Meaning:  1) to press, push 1a) (Qal) to push, press 1b) (Hiphil) be insolent, display pushing (arrogance, presumption)

Origin:  a primitive root; TWOT – 1801; v

Usage:  AV – urge 4, press 2, stubbornness 1; 7

So to rebel is like witchcraft and idolatry!

Transition: Let me move on to Saul’s desire

  1. Desired / Restoration
  2. Confession‘I feared the people & listened to their voice’
  3. Rejection
    1. Grasps and tears Samuel’s robe, pleads,
    2. God has torn ‘this day’
    3. Given kingdom to someone who is better than you.


Transition: There are some important principles to remember about the last three weeks.

  1. There are matters that are sacred / set apart for God and God alone.

  2. Obeying God is more important than anything else we do.

  3. There are consequences to violating covenant commitments to the Lord.
  1. Rationalization and Justification often cower under the covers of blame and denial.
  1. Rebellion and Stubbornness are not tolerated by our Holy God.