1 Samuel 15:1-3 (1) Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. (2) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. (3) Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. This chapter marks the formal dismissal of Saul as king in Israel, when "...the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel" (1SAM 15:35). Having received a commandment to utterly destroy the Amalekites and all their possessions (1SAM 15:2-3), Saul proceeded to spare "...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 every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly" (1SAM 15:9). He then crowed, "...I have performed the commandment of the LORD" (1SAM 15:13), "...I have obeyed the voice of the LORD" (1SAM 15:20). But he had done no such thing. Regardless of how imaginatively men might try to get around the obvious, the commandments of the Lord are only kept when they are kept as given: "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, THAT ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (DEU 4:2). By his alteration and tradition, Saul had made the word of God of none effect (MAR 7:13), he had "...rejected the word of the LORD" (1SAM 15:23) and no amount of substituting ritual for righteousness justified his disobedience (1SAM 15:21-23). Saul's rejection of the word of the LORD was countered by "...[the LORD] hath also rejected thee from being king" (1SAM 15:23). Such things are written for our admonition (1CO 10:11 c/w ROM 15:4). Saul spared when God said "Spare not." Parents should thus consider the gravity of "Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying" (PRO 19:24), and "He that spareth his rod hateth his son..." (PRO 13:23). The man of God must consider the gravity of "Cry aloud, spare not..." (ISA 58:1) so he may say that he has "...kept back nothing that was profitable..." (ACT 20:20), he has "not shunned to declare....all the counsel of God" (ACT 20:27). Churches must consider the gravity of "neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you" (JOS 6:12) and "...Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1CO 5:13), and so not spare to withdraw from the disorderly (2TH 3:6). A curse attends such sparing: "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood" (JER 48:10). We may bless the God of heaven that He did not spare when it may have pleased Him to do so for that is our salvation: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things" (ROM 8:32)?