Saul's Disobedience - 1 Sam. 13

Saul's Disobedience - 1 Sam. 13

Here in 1 Samuel we have seen that Saul was chosen of God, equipped to be the leader of God's people, and established as king over all of Israel. In this beginning we notice his humility and self-control. He responds that "am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” (9:21). He listens to Samuel and follows the instructions given to him. When Samuel is singling out the one who is to be king, Saul hides himself. Then, he doesn't take revenge upon those who disrespected him (10:27). Then things change.

In 1Sam. 13, God instructed him clearly and specifically what to do: he was to go to Gilgal and wait for Samuel (vs. 8). Saul's problem was not a problem of not KNOWING, it was that he did not do what he was told. Saul now displays an arrogant attitude of rebellion and disobedience.

A summary of Saul's disobedience would include:

•       He partially obeyed in that he waited the prescribed 7 days (vs. 8).

•       He feared people rather than the LORD (the Philistines were assembling (vs.11).

•       He let the situation dictate his action instead of the word of the LORD (I saw the people scattering.. 11)

•       He acted upon his own thoughts, instead of the word of the LORD ("So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering" (vs. 12).

Samuel's rebuff is quite pointed: “you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you..."; "... you have not kept what the LORD commanded you" (1S. 13:13, 14). To this Samuel added: "You have acted foolishly." Such disobedience brought swift judgment: God chooses a different leader, one who would be a man after God's own heart.

One cannot be a leader of God's people when he himself will not follow God's teaching! No matter how good looking, tall, and popular he may be, he can not lead God's people in God's ways! Those who are allowing themselves to be led must be aware of where and how their leaders are leading! There is no excuse for following such a leader into disobedience and rebellion.

Concerning Jesus we read: "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation" (Hebrews 5:8–9).  Then Jesus asks:  “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46).

Are you following Jesus, or behaving like Saul?  Hugh DeLong