I Had to Do It


Samuel is upset that Saul has disobeyed God and offered a sacrifice.

Saul gives his reasons as to why it was necessary and then claims he “forced himself to do it.” He’s saying he didn’t have a choice. He had to do it.

This is what we call justifying our actions. We may deceive ourselves into thinking we’re right, but when we do, I believe there’s always a part of us that knows we’re just making an excuse.

If you have to tell yourself the reasons why what you are doing or did was okay, then you are justifying. It wouldn’t keep bothering you if it were okay! Right now, you are giving the excuses again to justify yourself. You need to stop it, whatever it is! It doesn’t even have to be something really wrong. It’s wrong for you because it’s violating your conscience (Romans 14:23, 1 Cor. 10:28).

You should be willing to walk away from anything that you think might be hindering your walk with God. Why wouldn’t it be worth it to you to give it up? Not being willing shows your heart. You love it more than you love God. You’d rather cling to it than let go to hold onto God tighter.

Maybe God will allow it back in your life to a degree, but maybe not. Would it matter if God’s choices are the best for you?

Saul didn’t have to offer the sacrifices. He was fooling himself. We’re actually pretty good at deceiving ourselves. We distract ourselves with many things to avoid the truth of our lives.

In Samuel’s response, we see how God did no harm to Saul in all this. Samuel says that God would have established Saul’s throne forever. That is not a lie. God does not lie. God intended good for Saul. He intends good for all of us. God is good all the time. He is good. He can’t not be good. There is no maniacal laugh behind God’s plans.

God couldn’t have prevented this by having Samuel arrive earlier. God just exposed what was already in Saul’s heart. His heart would have shown itself one way or another.

God knew the end from the beginning. God had Samuel arrive at the appointed time just after Saul disobeyed. God already had David in mind to be the king.

None of that changes that God was good to Saul, desired his success in leading Israel, and chose a great blessing for him. Saul rejected the good gift when he rejected walking humbly in God’s ways.