It is a word of warning to any who may be trusting in his or her own righteousness for eternal salvation, who expects that God will surely welcome you with open arms though you have rejected His provision for salvation in the person of Jesus Christ.
The young Amalekite takes Saul’s life thinking he is doing Saul, David, and himself a favor. He supposes he is putting Saul out of his misery, that he is getting Saul out of David’s way, and that he is in the process of gaining David’s favor and gratitude, perhaps in the form of a reward. Instead of being rewarded, he kindles David’s wrath and is put to death. We are tempted to be more shocked that David had this young man killed than that the young man killed Saul. David was right to put this Amalekite to death, on more than one count. First, he could and should have killed him simply because he was an Amalekite (see1 Samuel 15, 31). Second, he was obliged to execute him for killing God’s anointed. David was right to be angered by the Amalekite’s treatment of Saul, and he was right to put him to death.
Many people know that Jesus Christ claimed to be God incarnate, God’s Son. They know that He died on the cross of Calvary, and that He rose again from the dead. They know that He claimed to have died for their sins, and that He alone is the way to eternal life. In spite of all this, they reject Him as their Savior. They suppose there are other ways of salvation, in addition to the shed blood of Jesus Christ. They think that when they stand before God, He will accept them on the basis of their good deeds, or their faith in some other method of salvation. They expect God to receive them warmly into His kingdom and to reward them with eternal life. They are greatly deceived.
If David was right to be angry because a man had killed Saul, God’s anointed, how do you think God will deal with those who reject Jesus Christ, His anointed? If there was more than one way for God to save men from their sins, do you think He would have sent Jesus Christ to die an agonizing death on the cross of Calvary, as one option among others? Those who trust in any other way of salvation reject Jesus Christ as God’s anointed One. And those who reject Him as God’s anointed are as guilty of putting Him to death as those who stood before Pilate centuries ago, crying, “Crucify! Crucify!” How foolish to expect God’s approval and acceptance when one has rejected God’s only provision for salvation. As David dealt harshly with the Amalekite who slew Saul, so God will deal harshly with those who reject His Son, Jesus Christ. The way to receive the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life is to trust in God’s anointed One, Jesus Christ. He is God’s King, who will reign forever and ever. He is also the Lamb of God, who died for the sins of men. All who trust in Him will be saved. All who do not await God’s eternal wrath. If you have never acknowledged your sin and trusted in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on your behalf, will you not do so today?