Saul and how he partially obeyed God:
Let’s look at the account of Saul and how he partially obeyed God (1 Sam. 15:9-11). Saul shifted blame for sin away from himself onto his people (1 Sam. 15:15). If you assign blame, you cannot truly repent of your sins. Saul did great things, but he did them with incomplete or wrong motives. Thus, God rejected his position of leadership (1 Sam. 15:17-23).
The rejection of Saul’s anointing was made final in 1 Sam. 15:26-28. The Spirit of the Lord then departed from Saul, meaning the special indwelling given for the purpose of leadership was gone (1 Sam. 16:14). Before Jesus Christ, many great men of faith experienced the Holy Spirit and once the work was done, he would leave.
Jesus has not died on the cross yet during these accounts. The man was still contaminated with sin and they could not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for the rest of their lives. During these times, men needed to sacrifice often to atone and to cover the sin in their lives. A righteous God could not find His dwelling in a sinful man. It was a hard life for these people because they did not have the Holy Spirit within them to make the right choices, and they had to wait on God to “come upon them” before they felt Him. The weight of sin was upon them. The coming of Christ broke mindsets for the early church. For the first time, the anointing came, and it remained.
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