“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king” (emphasis added).

1 Samuel 15:23 (NIV)

In 1 Samuel 13:13-14, Saul learned his kingdom wouldn’t last and that God sought someone after his heart. However, that wasn’t the end of it. In 1 Samuel 15, Saul is given another chance to obey the Lord, but he doesn’t. Instead, he kept the best of the plunder for himself and didn’t execute the king of the Amalekites.

Saul listened to his fear and pride instead of obeying God. Saul didn’t, as it might seem, misunderstand his instructions. He wasn’t trying to please God in his own way, as some might suggest. While Saul didn’t understand what Samuel’s correction at first, it was because Saul was blinded by pride. The only “misunderstanding” was Saul thought he could do things his way and still please the Lord.

God doesn’t speak to us with words we cannot understand. Since I don’t speak or understand Chinese, God will never communicate with me in Chinese. If we don’t understand God when he talks to us, we can ask him for understanding, and he will give it. Although I remember sometimes I’ve misunderstood people and did what I thought I was supposed to do, only to be asked later, “If you didn’t understand, why didn’t you say something?” God’s not like that. If we think we understand what the Lord told us, but we don’t, he will make it clear to us. Still, that wasn’t the case with Saul.

Our best action is to always be in touch with the Lord. We can stay in touch with the Lord when we read the Bible, pray, and spend time with him. In other words, we maintain a posture of worship. 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)