Since the dawn of time man has proclaimed lame excuses for his downfalls and sin against God. Adam blamed the woman God had given him for causing him to sin by eating the forbidden fruit. Eve blamed the serpent for tricking her into being the first to partake of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-13). Moses’ brother, Aaron, blamed the fire for producing the golden calf idol when Moses’ return from Mt. Sinai seemed to be delayed (Exodus 32:1-24). Even King Saul had his share of lame excuses in attempting to blame others for his disobedience.
As King Saul’s patience waned in waiting for Samuel’s arrival in Gilgal, Saul went ahead and took it upon himself to offer the burnt offering for God’s blessing and protection before going into battle against the Philistines, something only a priest could do. Upon Samuel’s arrival as the giving of the offering concluded, Samuel asked Saul, “What hast thou done?” Saul’s defense in disobeying God’s explicit command clearly given in His Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai were numerous: 1) The people were scattered from me; 2) You didn’t come at the appointed time; 3) the Philistines are gathering against me; and, the lamest of all, 4) “I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 10:8; 13:8-12)
Saul’s lame excuse concerning the burnt offering did not prove to be his last, for on the occasion of battling the Amalekites for which he was commanded to destroy both life and property for their coming against the Children of Israel in the wilderness, Saul returned from battle with “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good.” He had also spared the life of their king, Agag, whom he had taken as prisoner. Saul’s lame excuse to Samuel this time was “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.” It is then Samuel replied, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.”
For Saul’s lame excuses and continuing disobedience, God’s judgment was rendered against him. Samuel’s pronouncement from God against Saul was “Because thou hast rejected the Word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” It was then Samuel was sent to the sons of Jesse to anoint David the next king of Israel. (I Samuel 15; 16:1-16)