"THEN SAID SAUL, I HAVE SINNED: RETURN, MY SON DAVID: FOR I WILL NO MORE DO THEE HARM, BECAUSE MY SOUL WAS PRECIOUS IN THINE EYES THIS DAY: BEHOLD, I HAVE PLAYED THE FOOL, AND HAVE ERRED EXCEEDINGLY."
Intro. Wrong to think that a man does not know the truth about himself. We spend most of our lives trying to hide the truth from others, but often if caught in an unguarded moment we will utter the truth.
I. A LOOK AT THE MAN WHO MADE THIS CONFESSION.
A. Natural advantages.
Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name [was] Kish,
And he had a son, whose name [was] Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and [there was] not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward [he was] higher than any of the people.
1. He was big and good looking.
a. Looks isn't everything.
b. Size is not everything.
2. When we are first introduced he is searching for his father's donkeys that have strayed away. We had better go home, my dad is going to quit worrying about the donkeys and he is going to start worrying about me.
a. Good home, he knows that if he is not home on time his parents will start to worry.
b. If you came from a good home, put that at the top of the list, as you count your blessings.
3. He was a humble man.
a. When Samuel greeted him with the statement, "Are you not the man that all Israel desires?" He responded "I am from the smallest tribe and my family is the least in the tribe."
II. THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT CAME TO HIM.
A. To be the first king of Israel.
B. The Holy Spirit came upon him.
C. There went with him a company of men whose heart God had touched.
III. MANIFESTATIONS OF HIS FOLLY.
A. Hiding on the day of coronation.
B. Raised a standing army for the first time in Israel. Saul was over two thousand men, and his son Johnathan was over 1000. And Jonathan smote the Philistines and Saul blew the trumpet in Israel, so that Israel heard that Saul had smitten the Philistines.
C. His offering of the sacrifice at Gilgal.
And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and [that] thou camest not within the days appointed, and [that] the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;
Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.
And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him [to be] captain over his people, because thou hast not kept [that] which the LORD commanded thee.
D. His foolish vow.
And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed [be] the man that eateth [any] food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted [any] food.
Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land: see, I pray you, how mine eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey.
How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?
E. His disobedience in regards to the destruction of the Amalakites
Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee [to be] king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember [that] which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid [wait] for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed [be] thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
And Samuel said, What [meaneth] then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
And Samuel said, When thou [wast] little in thine own sight, [wast] thou not [made] the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.
F. His jealousy and turning on David.
G. His seeking the witch of Endor for help.
IV. THESE ARE ALL MANIFESTATIONS, WHAT WAS THE TRUE FOLLY?
A. His failure to yield his life totally to God. He was ruled by his flesh rather than by his spirit.
V. WHAT DOES THE STORY TEACH US?
A. Natural advantages are no guarantee of success.
B. Opportunities do not always crown a man.
C. A man plays the fool when:
1. He tries to hide from the call of God.
2. When he begins to seek glory in the eyes of the people.
3. When he intrudes into areas where God has not called him.
4. When he makes rash vows and promises.
5. When he tries to excuse his sins. Religious excuses are the most damnable of all.
6. When he turns against his Godly allies.
7. When he turns to the occult spirit world for guidance.
D. A man is a fool who does not totally submit his life to God.
Any young man or woman who lives their life in total submission to God will never end their life with the confession, "I've played the fool."