One of the saddest stories in the Bible is captured when Saul was rejected by God from being King of Israel:
25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the Lord.
26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord hath rejected thee from being king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15;25-26 (KJV)
Saul was instructed by Samuel the word of the Lord to go and destroy the Amalekites. God had said to destroy every man, woman, child, and animal to compensate for the sins they committed against Israel when they had left Egypt. Nothing was to be spared! Saul set out to do this task, but upon arriving, he decided to spare King Agag who he brought back with him, as well as the best of the sheep, goats, and other cattle. When Samuel came to him, Saul was so proud of himself, telling Samuel that he had accomplished the mission. Samuel had this reply;
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?
18 And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? 1 Samuel 15:17-19 (KJV)
In this statement, Samuel reminded Saul that it was God who picked him up off his father’s farm and made him to be King over all of Israel. That God did not need his intellect to follow his instructions, which is what Saul had done. Saul DECIDED that he would follow the Lord’s instructions in the manner that he saw fit.
As I read this account, I had to acknowledge that more often than I want to admit, I have been a Saul. Desperately wanting to follow the Lord, I would petition Him to use me. After He would give me an assignment, I would then reason it out in my own mind. If not directly disobeying Him I would alter assignments because of feedback I would get from others, often aborting the assignment because I was made to feel as if I was not the best one to do it. Reading these words, were a mirror to me:
24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 1Samuel 15:24 (KJV)
Saul’s appeal to have Samuel intercede for him was useless for Samuel told him:
28 And Samuel said unto him, The Lord hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.
29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.1 Samuel 15:28-29 (KJV)
When God turns away from His disobedient children, it is indeed a sad thing. Saul’s kingdom, so promising, ended in disgrace. In this hour of grace, granted to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who is our advocate with the Father, may we petition Him for our sins and misgivings, and pray that our earthly assignments can yet be fulfilled.