1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV): 22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
God determined to destroy the Amalekites because of how they opposed Israel when they were in the wilderness. Samuel brought God’s message to King Saul to utterly annihilate everything of the Amalekites.
Saul, instead, saved the best of the flocks and did not kill the Amalekite king. God revealed this to Samuel and Samuel confronted Saul.
Interestingly, Saul never owned up to disobeying God’s command. Saul first claimed that he had obeyed God’s command. Later, he admitted that God’s command was not completely followed. And he insisted the spoil was saved for an offering to God.
Yet in all of this, Saul continued to insist that the people were at fault, not himself.
Could it be that saving the spoil and the king were not Saul’s idea at first? Could some of Saul’s men, greedy for spoil, questioned the king’s command? We cannot say so with any certainty.
Regardless, Saul was at fault because he was the leader and God had given him the command to annihilate everything.
Whether our excuses are flimsy or ironclad, God sees through all of them.
Heavenly Father, help me to live with integrity, obeying you fully. Amen.