1 Samuel 15:17-19&24-25, “So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel? Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?” … Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.””
From chapter 13 to 15 we see the fall of Saul. I chose these two verses because they capture the core of his fall. The irony of Saul is that he described as being taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward (1 Samuel 10:23); but in his eyes, he was the smallest person in Israel. He never honestly believed he deserved that seat. So, when it was time for him to make a leadership decision that the people would not like, he was afraid. He chose to obey the people than to obey God.
It is easy to look at Saul and be angry at him for his disobedience, but the reason behind his fall is something we all struggle with a lot. Saul struggled with his identity. Look at this verse in 1 Samuel 9:21, “And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?”” This is how Saul saw himself. For as long as he saw himself like this, he would never have been successful. The major difference between Saul and David is who they identified themselves with. Saul identified himself with the smallest tribe, while David identified himself with God. As a result, when push came to shove, they each ran to their vindicators. Saul’s vindicator was man, but David’s vindicator was God.
We today struggle with the issue Saul struggled with. 1 Corinthians 5:17&21, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new…For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” These verses tell us we are righteous, but time and again we claim that we are sinners. For as long as we claim to be sinners, we will never achieve what God has called us to be. See Saul was made King of Israel, but he never saw himself as king. We are made righteous by Jesus, but we still cling on to being sinners. I urge you today to start reading scriptures that talk about our identity in Christ and start believing them. It is not just about reading it but about believing it.