The Disobedience of Saul

The Disobedience of Saul


INTRODUCTION: 1 Samuel 15:1-31

A. In 1 Samuel 8 we find an incident that forever changed Israel’s course – and it was a change for the worse.

1. 1 Samuel 8:1-7

a. They rejected God as their King and wanted to be like the nations around them.

b. They were warned of the results of this kind of rebellion… 1 Samuel 8:18-19

2. Saul was the people’s choice to be their first king

a. Saul’s reign was filled with one indiscretion after another

b. But, Saul’s error in 1 Samuel 15 was the straw that broke the camel’s back – this caused rejection by God

B. Samuel gives the Lord’s instructions to Saul (1 Samuel 15: 1-3)

1. Samuel begins his instruction to Saul by reminding him where his kingship came from and that his total loyalty belonged to God

2. Samuel tells Saul how the Lord remembered the Amalekites’ evil deeds toward Israel, and wants them exterminated

3. The command: 1 Samuel 15:3

C. Saul makes ready for the battle (1 Samuel 15:4-5)

1. Saul gathered 210,000 men to battle …

2. Saul laid in wait in a valley outside Amalek

D. The battle was completed, but not as ordered (1 Samuel 15:6-9)

1. Saul and company came and smote the Amalekites

2. But notice what is said in verses 8-9

3. Saul won the battle, but he didn’t do everything the Lord said. He decided he would do it his way.

E. God declares Saul’s disobedience to Samuel (1 Samuel 15:10-12)

1. God tells Samuel that He is very grieved with the fact that Saul, whom He appointed king, would not follow Him

a. Saul was disobedient

b. Some might say, "The ends justify the means,” but God says it is simply disobedience.

2. This grieved Samuel and cried in prayer unto the Lord all night. Have we ever done this?

3. Samuel rises up to meet Saul and is told he is in Gilgal

F. Saul is confronted about his disobedience (1 Samuel 15:13-23)

1. First, notice the lies that are told by Saul in verses 13-15

2. After the lies told by Saul, Samuel proceeds to rebuke Saul for not obeying the commands of God. Samuel says, after all that God has done for you – why have you committed evil in the His sight

3. Notice Saul’s reply …

a. Verses 20-21

b. He lies to himself and blames the people

4. Samuel then in verses 22-23 responds to Saul’s lies and excuses

G. Saul pleads for mercy (1 Samuel 15:24-31)

1. Still making excuses, notice how Saul begins his plea for mercy… verse 24

2. Saul begs Samuel to stay to help him go to the Lord to ask for forgiveness

3. Samuel said NO. He says, "You rejected God, now God rejects you”

4. Consider what is said in verses 27-29

a. God has rent the kingdom from Saul just like Samuel’s coat was torn

b. God will not change in this matter

H. Let us now consider some of the valuable lessons we learn from Saul’s disobedience




1. 1 Samuel 15:14-15, 20-21

2. The Lord told Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3 what was required of him, and when he was confronted about his disobedience- he blamed the people

3. This is an age old problem:”Passing the Buck” … It is the "I am never to blame attitude”

4. Do you remember when this problem first occurred? It was found in the garden of Eden.

a. In Genesis 3 the serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit – she did and gave also to Adam

b. As a result their eyes were open to their nakedness, and they hid from God

c. Notice what happened in Genesis 3:9-13

1) Adam blamed Eve and God

2) Eve blamed the serpent

5. How do people "pass the buck” today?

a. Blame others for their not coming to worship, etc.

b. Blame others for what is not being done, when they themselves are doing little or nothing

c. By always passing responsibility on to someone else

6. Remember, when you point the finger there are three more pointing right back at you.

7. In the day of judgment there will be no "passing of the buck”

a. John 12:48 - The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.

b. 2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.


1. 1 Samuel 15:19-20

2. Saul evidently thought that doing only part of God’s command was alright

3. Samuel informed Saul that to do a part of God’s will to the neglect of other commands is doing evil

4. There are many in the world who think they are doing the good, but are only partially obedient – therefore do evil:

1) Neglect to teach God’s complete plan of salvation

c. Doing some good things is not enough

5. Remember the parables in Matthew 25 – they were all lost because of something they neglected to do

6. Are we obeying parts of God’s law to the neglect of others? If so, we are involved in evil. Are we involved in evil by:

a. Not telling others of Christ and His church?

b. Not encouraging one another

c. Giving as we have been prospered

d. Attending faithfully? etc.


1. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

2. Saul disobeyed God, but thought it was alright since it was done to worship Him

a. The sheep and oxen were used to worship God

b. But God said destroy all

3. From this we see that simply worshipping is not enough

a. It must be done in obedience

4. John 4:24 - God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."


1. 1 Samuel 15:24

2. This is one of the reason there is so much error in the world today – because man fears man instead of God

3. Saul blamed his error on fearing the people – what about today?

a. Afraid of losing friends, or not being popular

b. Afraid of losing social status

c. Afraid of loosing a promotion

4. Notice what Jesus said … Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

a. Proverbs 29:25 - The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.

b. "Fear God and give him glory …” (Rev. 14:7)