After Saul’s victory over the Ammonite (I Samuel chapter 12) Samuel meet one more time with the nation to make his last speech to them. In I Samuel 13:24,25 Samuel ends his speech with these words: “Only fear the Lord and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.” (KJV) This message was directed to their desire to have a king over them like the other nations. With this decision the people of God turned from the twelve tribes of God where every man did that which was right in his own eyes, to a nation ruled by a king. A point to remember that Samuel was not only a judge but also a prophet, seer, and a man of God. His authority as overseeing the religious matters of Israel did not end with Saul becoming the king.
As recorded in I Samuel 13:1-14 Saul’s self-will and his self-glorification caused him to be denounced by Samuel. It started by Jonathan Saul’s eldest son smiting a garrison of Philistines in Geda The message soon when out in all Israel that Saul had smitten a garrison of Philistines and the nation of fighting men were called together at Gilgal. In the mean time the Philistines also gathered their forces together to a point that cause the men of Israel to hid and flee to other places. Samuel set a time to offer up a burnt-offering to the Lord, but was late. So Saul offered up the burnt offering himself instead of waiting for the priest. When Samuel arrived and confronted Saul about what he had done, he answered that he had to offer up the burnt-offering to be able to rally the troops. Saul had been foolish and did not keep the commandment of the Lord concerning burnt-offerings which were only to be performed by the priest. This was when Samuel informed him that his kingdom would not continue. When you read these verses notice that Saul never shows a repentive heart.
Saul was given the opportunity of being the first king of the nation of Israel. With this opportunity also came the responsibility of being a true Godly leader. One that would follow God’s way and instruct the nation to follow this lead. However, instead of leaning on God and his promises Saul chose the path that he saw best. We see Saul in I Samuel 14:35 again building an altar unto the Lord to keep the troops from eating meat with blood so that they would not sin against the Lord. And at the same tiime he himself was breaking the law. Israel defeated the Philistines that day but it was under the leadership of his son Jonathan. His kingdom survived for now, but at a huge cost to Israel. For we see in I Samuel 14:52 that there were sore wars all the days of Saul and when Saul saw any valiant man he took him to be part of his army. The fathers of Israel lost their strong sons to the king.
Over the years I have witness many people who have taken matters in the own hands. No time to wait on God. In my youth I use to say, when you are good, you are good, but when you are great you are like me. As I look back now on the foolishness of such a statement like that I an amazed that God still loves me and worked in my life to change my walk with Him. However, as I look at young people today who have the same outlook on live, I step back and wonder, will they stay on the path of self-glorification or will they heed God’s interventions and return to walking in His way and giving Him the glory for all the victories in their life. Paul’s life was transformed on the road to Damascus when he faced the Lord. Christ said to him “Saul, Saul, why persecutest me” (Acts 9:4) and Paul who was called Saul at that time answered “Who art thou Lord” (Acts 9:5). Paul realized his zeal against the disciples of the Lord was wrong and he turned from his ways. The choice is yours.