“Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command’…And the Lord was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel.”
1 Samuel 15:10-11, 35
When it was time to punish the Amalekites for attacking HIS kids, God chose Saul to destroy EVERYTHING in their entire nation. But instead, Saul and his men spared the king and kept the best animals for themselves.
God’s response? “I am sorry… he has refused to obey my command.” Why would disobedience cause God such grief? Surprisingly, Saul’s lie to Samuel reveals a truth that God already knew: They had saved the plunder “to sacrifice to the Lord your God.” Evidently, God was not really Saul’s god. In fact, Saul had already set up a monument to himself! (v. 12)
We understand that God wants obedience rather than sacrifice, but God’s sorrow stemmed from a deeper issue--broken relationship! When Saul did not destroy the enemy who harmed GOD’s kids, he proved that pleasing God was not important to him. No wonder God said, “I am sorry…he has not been loyal to me.” Without loyalty, how can there be honest relationship?
Even though Saul made excuses for his failure, they could not change the fact that he did not trust God enough to obey; therefore God could not trust him. Furthermore, God loved Saul, but Saul loved himself. Relationship, the most important thing to God, was broken; and for that, God was sorry.
May I never hear God say, “I am sorry” concerning MY relationship with Him!