Whose glory are you chasing?
In 1 Samuel 15-16 Saul is rejected by God as Israel’s king, and the Lord removes his spirit from him. God then chooses his successor, who, as 1 Samuel 13:14 tells us, will be a man after God’s own heart.
How did this happen? The passage tells us exactly how it went down. Saul was a very insecure man, and he let those insecurities rule his life. Wanting to alleviate those insecurities, he chased after his own glory and did what he thought was right in his own eyes. As the passage states, he setup monuments for himself. He also did whatever he could to please the people, so as to have their favor. This was evident in his failure to completely destroy the Amalekites & their possessions. He reasoned in his own mind that he was obeying the Lord.
In response, Samuel tells Saul that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” Saul only did half the job in destroying the Amalekites. But, he kept king Agag alive & kept the spoil for himself. Everything was to be destroyed. In essence, Samuel’s words teach us that we must do what God says to the letter, not what we think he said, or what we think is best.
When I read Samuel’s words I cannot help but think about all those seemingly boring chapters in Exodus about the Tabernacle. Yet, they show the importance of obeying God’s instructions. Not only did Moses write it all down, but we are shown how he executed the work to perfection.
Finally, God said Israel’s next king (David) would be a man after God’s own heart, as we stated above. When you look at David compared to Saul, which heart most accurately reflects your relationship with God?