1 Samuel 15:30 (AMP) “Saul said, I have sinned; yet honor me now, I pray you, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”
This guy oozes pride and self-preservation like a jelly donut that has been squeezed too hard.
This is how the chapter started. In case you hadn’t read it. Samuel is giving Saul a special mission, his next assignment, and he is spelling it out. He is leaving no room for misinterpretation…
“The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts…”
He is saying, “You were a relative nobody until God chose you and made you a somebody. Remember THAT! If you believed that I heard from the Lord then… then you better Listen up!”
Well if you didn’t stop and go back and read the chapter, I’m sure you can figure out how this is going to go.
Saul does NOT do exactly what the Lord commands, and when he is called out on it, he doesn’t take responsibility.
As a leader the accolades usually fall to him, but so do the critiques. But unfortunately, Saul hasn’t led well at all, and he doesn’t take criticism well either.
Saul has the audacity to run up on Samuel and greet him like everything is hunky dory.
What is it about the word “PROPHET” that Saul doesn’t understand? Hello!!!! They KNOW things! Duh.
Saul doesn’t know that Samuel knows the following…
…But Saul and the people spared Agag (the Amalekite King) and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.
You see Saul decided to pick and choose what should be devoted and what should be kept. But the instructions were…Devote it ALL!
He blames the people. Yeah they did it! Samuel tells Saul to – STOP! I feel like he gave him a chance to own it, but once again he blames the people.
Dude, leaders can be so stubborn sometimes.
And things haven’t changed much since then. I believe it has gotten worse. We live in a culture where no one accepts responsibility for their actions…
- It was my up bringing…
- I’m the product of a bad environment…
- My father left us when we were kids…
- We were broke…
- If I had the same shot as, so and so…
- Mom was never there for me…
We assign blame, we deflect blame, we deny blame, but rarely do we TAKE the blame.
The Bible says Samuel really struggled with this one. He cried all night. This was a hard talk and he really didn’t want to have to confront Saul.
Perhaps he cried because he knew this is exactly what the people wanted. They wanted a king and that’s what they got. A prideful man, a sinful man, and a stubborn man. A man who cares more about how he looks in the eyes of the elders and the people than in the eyes of God.
Perhaps he cried because he deeply cared for the nation of Israel and the direction they were heading. He knew once they rejected God as their king, things were going to be rough for his people.
So, what can we learn?
1. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
2. Own your mistakes.
3. God already knows our dirty little secrets, so lying about them when confronted is futile.
Heavenly Father, we all have fallen short of perfection. We all have cherry picked areas and levels of obedience as we saw fit to certain degrees. From the outside looking into our lives, we must look equally as pathetic as Saul did trying to lie to Samuel. God, I’m so sorry for my deceptive ways, and for my lack of total obedience. I repent of pride, and self-sufficiency. Grant me the boldness and courage I need to take You at your Word. I thank you for forgiveness and for second and third chances. Help me to be always teachable, and quick to repent. Love you! -John