Saul knew that God had appointed Samuel to make the burnt offering and the peace offering. It was not his place. God had other plans for him. He was going to establish a kingdom for Saul. But Saul couldn't see very far. He couldn't see beyond the support of his men, which he was losing very quickly. He felt things were out of control, and he had to do something more than wait. So he forced himself to make the burnt offering to gather his people. He forced himself to quench God's Spirit. He forced himself to disobey God! And as soon as he did it, Samuel was there. As soon as he did it, Saul lost touch with God.
Saul did not repent; he made excuses. Saul lost the good things God had prepared for him. If he had waited for Samuel, he would have understood what his eldest son, Jonathan, knew. Jonathan knew that there is nothing to prevent or restrain the Lord from saving by many or by few. Jonathan had it right. He had faith in God, and the Lord used him and his armor bearer to deliver Israel from the great multitude Saul feared.
Jonathan reminded me of Romans 5. Jonathan was justified by faith; he had peace with God. We also can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We can rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Like Jonathan we can glory in tribulation, knowing that trouble works patience, and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.
The Amplified Bible says it this way, “Let us exalt and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character produces joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us.”
When trouble comes, we need to already be trusting and resting in Jesus. We need to find Him as our hiding place and watch Him move on our behalf. We need to let Jesus reign in us all the time: 24-7. We need to remember that He is still the same as He ever was, and He still is able to deliver us from our troubles.
The children's song says, “Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” There is a reward for the overcomers. We need to hold fast, watch and pray, keep our garments, put on our armor, let no man take our crown, fight the good fight, run the race, and having done all, stand as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart. Samuel had admonished Saul and the people of Israel to do the will of God from the heart: “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.”
The Lord is seeking men and women after his own heart. Second Chronicles says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” He wants His people to trust Him.
After Saul made the offering, and Samuel reproved him, Saul continued to make bad decisions. It seems his mind was clouded, and he couldn't seem to get a grasp of what was good and right. Remember, Saul did not repent; he made excuses for himself. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us.