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Saving Face; Ignoring Grace

Read 1 Samuel 15:24-31

Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.”

But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.”

As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”

Then Saul pleaded again, “I know I have sinned. But please, at least honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that I may worship the Lord your God.” So Samuel finally agreed and went back with him, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
(1 Samuel 15:24-31)


Saul became both rebellious and arrogant, so it is little wonder that God finally rejected him and took away his kingdom. Rebellion against God is perhaps the most serious sin of all because as long as a person rebels, he or she closes the door to forgiveness and restoration with God.

Saul was more concerned about what others would think of him than he was about the status of his relationship with God (1 Samuel 15:24). He begged Samuel to go with him to worship as a public demonstration that Samuel still supported him. If Samuel had refused, the people probably would have lost all confidence in Saul.

Saul’s excuses had come to an end. It was the time of reckoning. God wasn’t rejecting Saul as a person; the king could still seek forgiveness and restore his relationship with God, but it was too late to get his kingdom back.


All of us must one day give an account for our actions (Romans 14:12; Revelation 22:12). If we do not act responsibly with what God has entrusted to us, eventually we will run out of excuses. Ask God for light on choosing the right priorities.

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