Verses 1-3 – God knew that the Israelites could never live peacefully in the Promised Land as long as the Amalekites existed. The Amalekites lived by attacking other nations and carrying off their wealth and their families; they were the first to attack the Israelites as they entered the Promise Land; and they continued to raid Israel’s camps at every opportunity.
Verse 9 – Anything under God’s ban was to be completely destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:16-18). This was set up in order to prevent idolatry from taking hold in Israel because many of the valuables were idols. To break this law was punishable by death (Joshua 7). Selective obedience is just another form of disobedience.
God Rejects Saul as King
Verse 11 – God’s comment was an expression of sorrow, not an admission of error (Genesis 6:5-7). An omniscient God cannot make a mistake; therefore, God did not change His mind. He did however; change His attitude toward Saul when Saul changed. Saul’s heart no longer belonged to God. He was only interested in his own interests.
Verse 12 – Saul built a monument in honor of himself. What a contrast to Moses and Joshua, who gave all the credit to God.
Verses 13, 14 – Saul was only deceiving himself when he said the good animals were for a sacrifice to the Lord. Dishonest people soon begin to believe the lies that they tell others. Then they lose the ability to tell the difference between lies and truth. When people’s lies are found out, they will lose all credibility in relationships with others.
Verses 22, 23 – Samuel was God’s spoke person, so even though it grieved him, he had to tell Saul what the Lord had said to him. Have you ever spent all night crying over someone who has turned his or her back on the Lord? Samuel did. In today’s society people think that witchcraft is someone who conger up evil spells to do harm to others, but God calls “rebellion” witchcraft and “stubbornness” iniquity and idolatry. Then Samuel says the words that were painful for Saul to hear, “He has rejected you from being King.”
Verse 23 – Rebellion is a serious sin. It’s much more than arrogance, independence, or strong-mindedness. Scripture equates them with divination (witchcraft and idolatry). Rebellion against God is perhaps the most serious sin of all because as long as a person rebels, he or she closes the door to forgiveness and restoration with God.
Verse 26 – If we don’t act responsible with what God entrusts us with, eventually we will run out of excuses. One day, we all must give an account for our actions (Romans 14:12; Revelation 22:12).
Verse 30 – Saul begged Samuel to go with him to worship so the people would think God still supported him. Saul was more concerned with “saving face” in front of Israel than guilty of disobeying God.