1 Sam 13:11-16 Saul’s Spiritual Character Flaws CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Saul did something very foolish when he offered a burnt offering. His foolish decision revealed some spiritual flaws in his character that plagued him for the rest of his life. These flaws were that:
He knew what he was doing was wrong – 1 Sam 13:12 – he forced himself to offer the sacrifice. When making a decision or considering an action, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “Is it right?” And if it is not right, then you have no business doing it. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “It’s never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right.” No matter that Saul thought he might have a genuine reason to offer the sacrifice, he knew it was wrong, and that was reason enough not to do it.
He did not consider the consequences – 1 Sam 13:13 – his disobedience cost him the throne. Saul had to know that the conditions of meeting Samuel in Gilgal and waiting for him to offer the sacrifice were connected with his anointing as king of Israel [1 Sam 10:8]. The failure to do those things was connected with his removal as king. You cannot do evil and get away with it. There are always consequences to sin and disobedience [Gal 6:7-8].
He formulated his spiritual excuses before making his decision – 1 Sam 13:11 – he had three excuses for doing what he did. Saul blamed the people, he blamed Samuel, and he blamed the Philistines. You cannot excuse disobedience. The idea that you are even considering your excuses before doing something wrong only shows your determination to be a fool. And Saul was certainly foolish [1 Sam 13:13].
He didn’t consider the Lord in his decision – v.11 – it seemed to never enter Saul’s mind to inquire of the Lord in his decision. He decided to offer a sacrifice just because his troop strength was being diminished. This is very contrary to the way that Gideon and David handled similar situations. They both knew that their ability to defeat the enemy was not dependent upon the number of soldiers, but rather the presence of the Lord. And you must make your decisions based upon what the Lord tells you to do and not based upon what you see.
He didn’t even bother to repent – 1 Sam 13:15-16 – it was bad enough that Saul disobeyed, and even worse that he lost the kingdom as a result of his foolishness. But to then just go right on about business as usual without repenting was, as they say, “over the top.” He was completely callous to the Lord’s reproof. You must not be that way. When you mess up and the Lord makes you aware of it, you need to drop what you are doing and get right with the Lord [2 Chr 33:11-13, 18].
Conclusion: don’t be as foolish as Saul by these same character flaws. If you have these flaws in your character, change them by the grace of God.