The two explanations above are modern day parallels to the views of Saul and Samuel in this chapter. Worried that the soldiers were leaving him because of a lack of activity, Saul decided to offer the burnt offering. Like the Israelites in I Samuel 4 who thought that God resided in the ark of the covenant and cheered when it was brought into the camp in the battle against the Philistines, Saul forgot that it was obedience to God’s will and way that really mattered, not a perverse outward performance of His commandments.
Did a few minutes matter, as Saul reasoned and blamed Samuel for being almost late (v 11). Yet, the truth was that even if Samuel were late or did not even appear, Saul could not offer the burnt offering because he was neither a priest nor a prophet. The books of Samuel contain stories that tell us that we should not lightly change the commandments of God: the portion of the sacrifice meant for the priests (3:13-17, 29); respect for the ark of the covenant and its related procedures (6:19-20; II Samuel 6:6-7); who should offer the burnt offering (13:13); the exact and not the approximate command of the Lord (15:19-23).
The picture above shows the views of a world famous Anglican priest and his fashionably tolerant and popular view on homosexuality. Contrasted with what the Bible says, we see Saul’s sin of pride and gaining popularity at work again. In addition, it was reported in
that he said he would rather go to hell before going to a heaven that “condemned homosexuality as a sin.” At a United Nations’ gay rights campaign function in Cape Town, South Africa, he said:
“I would not worship a God who is homophobic, and that is how deep I feel about this … I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. ‘No,’ I would say. ‘Sorry. I mean, I would much rather go to the other place.’” Closer to our church, we have an ex-preacher who said something similar: “If God does not allow these adorable children into heaven because they do not have the Holy Spirit, then we as teachers would also not want to go to heaven – we would follow these kids into hell.”
Let us rather worship God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible and follow closely His ways. By seeking the approval of man in flowing with the trends of the world, Christian leaders are no longer led by Christ and do not lead men to Christ. Choose to be led by God to be a man after His own heart.
14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.