And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me…
1 Samuel 15:20 ESV
There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.
Proverbs 15:10 ESV
The story of Saul is sad and troublesome. The chosen, changed, filled with the Spirit, anointed one loses the kingdom. He will still reign a long time, but he will never ‘get it.’
1 John 1:9-10 talks about this situation. Saul had to confess his sin, but instead, he says he obeyed. But he who says he has not sinned makes God a liar! Saul is making things much worse.
He hasn’t learned anything. Just like before, he is covering his sin with religious sounding justifications and blames the people.
He faces severe discipline after feeling like he has completed his mission. It is reminiscent of those saying, Lord, Lord, have we not done many works in your name?
Even after repeatedly being confronted with his sin and finally confessing, Saul doesn’t actually repent and have a change of heart. He still fears man. He refuses to humble himself in their sight. He wants to save face.
His heart is still set on himself. That’s how David gets chosen. He was godly; his heart was set on God.