Summary: The disobedience of King Saul and his rejection. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over the desert.

• All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for.

• They thrive on that diet.

• But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals.

• Instead, they look for the colourful blossoms of desert plants.

• The vultures live on what was. They live on the past.

• They fill themselves with what is dead and gone.

• But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life.

• And they fill themselves with freshness and life.

• Point is - Each bird finds what it is looking for.

• And so do we all!

King Saul’s attitude was wrong:

• Like the vultures Saul was living on what was – that which was in the past!

• He himself was spiritually dead and therefore his spiritual experiences of God were dead!

• Because he no longer has any spiritual life and therefore help;

• He has and will commit a variety of sins;

• And these three sins would ultimately cost him the kingdom!


• The key word that you could write over 1 Samuel chapter 15 is Disobedience!

• In this chapter Saul seems to have one more chance to prove himself;

• But yet again Saul manages to blow it!


• In January 2006 a visitor to a British museum destroyed a set of priceless vases;

• The vases were from the Qing dynasty and were 300-years-old.

• The Daily Telegraph reported:

• The three Qing (‘q’ is pronounced as 'ch' - ching) vases,

• They were over 300 years old dating from the late 17th or early 18th century,

• And had stood on a windowsill for at least 40 years.

• Their prominent position made them among its best-known artefacts,

• The paper said.

• ‘The culprit who destroyed the vases was an unnamed man in his 40s’

• Steve Baxter, another visitor to the museum who saw the accident,

• Was quoted as saying:

• "We watched the man fall as if in slow motion.

• He landed in the middle of the vases and they splintered into a million pieces.

• He was still sitting there stunned when museum staff appeared.

• Everyone stood around in silence, as if in shock.

• Then the man started talking.

• He kept pointing to his shoelace and saying, ’There it is; that’s the culprit!’”

• Transition:

• Like that man King Saul was willing to blame anyone or anything for his failings,

• That is anyone but himself!


• Because of his disobedience, his breaking of God’s rules and his foolishness;

• King Saul lost three things.

(1). He lost his character (vs 1-21).

Key verses: 13-15:

“When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions."

14 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?"

15 Saul answered, "The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest."”

• Sadly Saul lived a lie;

• He was supposed to be ruling the people on behalf of God, the God of truth;

• And yet we see him blatantly lying to God’s prophet Samuel;

• Unashamedly lying and expecting to get away with it!

• We are told in verse 3 that Saul had been given clear instructions:

• He was to utterly destroy Israel’s old enemies, the Amalekites.


• In the times and culture in which he lived.

• For Saul a seasoned soldier that should not have been hard.

• He knew his enemies would do the same to him and his people;

• If they were given the opportunity.

• Remember he was not a squeamish or delicate person like you and me;

• He was a hardened soldier who had fought many a military campaign;

• We know that he had already tried to kill David his musician;

• And he was also willing on occasions to even to kill his own son!

Once again this incident illustrates another occasion when Saul did not obey the Lord;

• After the victory of the battle Saul kept the best spoils for himself;

• And he also failed to kill Agag, the king.

• For a short time he appeared to get away with it;

• And he probably felt quite pleased with himself!

• Then Samuel the prophet turned up.

• God had told Samuel what Saul had done,

• And Samuel’s appearing was not good news for Saul;

• Read verses 13-15:

“When Samuel reached him, Saul said, "The LORD bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions."

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