Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favour of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
Comment: Saul knew his religion’s laws well enough to know that he should not have offered a sacrifice except through the authorised authority. He should have waited. He gave an explanation which was part truth but not in all details, as Samuel did come. Saul was claiming his spirituality to excuse his disobedience and neither God nor Samuel bought it. ‘You have this war to fight but you’ve lost your dynasty. God has already found a worthy man to replace you in due time’. It makes you wonder how Saul felt. Maybe he was – bitter or angry or humiliated? But he was still king at the moment and he did have a terrifying war to fight!
Prayer: Help me to make wise decisions, O Lord.