And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 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.” 1 Sam 13:13-14
First of all, what was the LORD’s commandment that Saul did not keep?
“You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you must do.” 1 Sam 10:8
This was Saul’s specific commandment, which had been given to him by the LORD’s prophet. We assume that what Samuel was going to tell him, in showing him what Saul must do, is the strategy and the battle plan for overcoming the Philistines. God always has a battle plan and a strategy, and it is usually not what man would have thought of. Who would have thought to march around Jericho for seven days? Who would have thought to go against an army of Midianites as the sand of the seashore with 300 men? But God’s strategy and His battle plan always brings victory and deliverance!
By waiting for Samuel, Saul would have displayed regard for the word and authority of the LORD, and himself as merely the human vessel God was using to enact His authority spoken through His word. But Saul went ahead on his own authority as king, showing that the power of his position as king was already corrupting him.
A man after the LORD’s own heart never forgets where the LORD is in the hierarchy of authority, and where he is. The king who is after the LORD’s own heart, knows that as king, he is really just the servant of the LORD, the true King of Israel. As the LORD’s servant, he must wait for the instruction of his Master!
But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mar 10:42-45
Saul’s other breach, was to act as priest, when he was not consecrated or anointed to act as priest, neither was he a Levite. Only one King in Israel will ever serve in the office of judge, prophet, priest, and king — all the offices of authority established by God, outside of family authority (Deu 16:18-18:22) — and that is Yeshua, Israel’s Messiah. Saul prophesied when the Spirit of God came upon him, so he served in the office of prophet, and was also anointed king. By taking upon himself the authority of priest also, he was taking for himself the mantle of Israel’s Messiah.