The Strength of Israel will not lie - What God has purposed he will bring to pass, for he has all power in the heavens and in the earth; and he will not repent - change his purpose - concerning thee.
We may say it was some extenuation of Saul's fault that the people insisted on preserving the best of the prey; for who could resist the demands of a victorious mob? But his crime was in consenting; had he not, the crime would have been theirs alone.
The strength of Israel - A phrase which occurs only here. The word means, perpetuity, truth, glory, victory, and trust, or confidence.
God's repentance is not like man's repentance. “The Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for He is not a man, that He should repent.” Man's repentance implies a change of mind. God's repentance implies a change of circumstances and relations. Man may change his relation to God by complying with the conditions upon which he may be brought into the divine favor, or he may, by his own action, place himself outside the favoring condition; but the Lord is the same “yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. Saul's disobedience changed his relation to God; but the conditions of acceptance with God were unaltered—God's requirements were still the same, for with Him there “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17. PP 630.1
With an aching heart the prophet set forth the next morning to meet the erring king. Samuel cherished a hope that, upon reflection, Saul might become conscious of his sin, and by repentance and humiliation be again restored to the divine favor. But when the first step is taken in the path of transgression the way becomes easy. Saul, debased by his disobedience, came to meet Samuel with a lie upon his lips. He exclaimed, “Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord.” PP 630.2
The sounds that fell on the prophet's ears disproved the statement of the disobedient king. To the pointed question, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” Saul made answer, “They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” The people had obeyed Saul's directions; but in order to shield himself, he was willing to charge upon them the sin of his disobedience. PP 630.3Read in context »