1 Samuel 13Saul is leading the Israelites against the Philistines and all his men “lost their nerve,” and were “trembling with fear.” In fact, his men “crossed the Jordan river and escaped into the land of Gad.” They deserted Saul’s army at the moment of attack!
Now, Jonathan (Saul’s son) had just had a surprising victory at Geba since he was willing to move forward and face his enemies. News of his victory “spread quickly.”
Jonathan’s victory should have given heart, courage and grit to the Israelites. However, Saul’s Leadership worked against Jonathan’s courage. So, the Israelite army melted away.
Saul is facing overwhelming odds (you may also feel this way today). Instead of settling his heart down, sitting with God and waiting for God’s deliverance, Saul takes on the office of priest (he was only anointed King and not priest) and offers a sacrifice in complete disobedience to God’s call on his life via Samuel.
Samuel comes on the scene as Saul is selfishly offering the sacrifice and making excuses (avoid this), as to why HE (Saul), felt it was fine to do. Samuel’s response is clear and concise:
“How foolish.” Samuel then tells Saul the Lord is taking the kingdom from him and giving it to another “man after God’s heart.” This would be David.
Bottom line: Saul was selfish, not a great leader and impetuous to have offered sacrifices only a priest was allowed to do. Saul was not content nor was he diligent in HIS SPECIFIC CALL. Saul was not in love with God.