1 Samuel 13:5-14 (KJV)

5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth–aven.
6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.
7 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.
8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.
9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering.
10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.
11 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;
12 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.
13 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.
14 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.

Bitterness is never a proper response for a child of God.

It poisons the mind, emotions, and spirit. When did this resentful attitude take root in Saul? Let’s look at two events in his life for clues.

Saul couldn’t go to battle until Samuel arrived to offer the burnt sacrifice as God had commanded. Before the prophet arrived, though, Saul’s men became scared of the enemy and started to leave, so the king took action and made the sacred offering himself. He may have thought, This has to be done right away. Why shouldn’t do it? He failed to see the necessity of obeying divine commands to the letter. God saw this as a serious act of rebellion, which brought judgment: Saul’s kingdom wouldn’t endure.

God would one day appoint someone else to take over as ruler instead of Saul’s descendants. Imagine Saul’s reaction to hearing the kingdom would not belong to his family.

During the war against the Amalekites, King Saul once again failed to follow the Lord’s instructions fully.

When Samuel confronted him about his misdeed, he lied and claimed that he had obeyed. Later, however, Saul attempted to justify his disobedience. His unrepentant heart grieved the Lord and resulted in further judgment: he, the king, was now rejected by God (1 Sam. 15:10-11, 26).

I believe Saul’s descent into bitterness began with the news that his disobedience would cost him the kingdom.

Be sure to take your disappointments and anger immediately to the Lord. Pour them out before Him, and ask that He help you let them go.

Your spiritual health depends on it.

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