The Voice of the People

By Irvin Himmel

King Saul was sent by the Lord to utterly destroy the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15. He was told plainly to “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.”

The haughty Saul spared Agag, the Amalekite king, and the best of the livestock were brought back. When Samuel the prophet rebuked Saul for his disobedience to God, the rebellious king admitted, “I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.”

As the leader of the people, Saul had the responsibility to go before them in the fear of God. No matter what the people desired, God’s will should have been respected by the king. Saul let the people lead him when he should have been leading them.

Elders in the church sometimes cave in to the demands of the people when they should insist on following the New Testament plan for the church. Preachers often are influenced by the voice of the people. They preach what the people want to hear rather than what the people need to hear. Such men ought to read, believe, and obey Paul’s charge in 2 Timothy 4.

Let us always fear God and obey his voice.


Guardian of Truth XL: No. 21, p. 9
November 7, 1996