In this section Saul is rebuked and God removes his blessing of kingship from him. Samuel’s command to wait seven days for him to come and initiate the sacrifice is broken when Saul goes ahead and commences the ceremony because he is afraid all his troops would desert. Instead he should have been concerned with obeying the Lord and retaining his presence. Jonathan leads an attack on a Philistine outpost after receiving confirmation that the Lord will deliver them into his hand. His attack is successful but leads to trouble in that he ate some honey although Saul had declared a day long fast as they pursued the fleeing Philistines. This breaking of Saul’s vow is discovered but Saul’s men save Jonathan’s life from the due punishment. Saul’s total lack of leadership and common sense are demonstrated through these events. His son Jonathan is shown to be a godly man but he will die before he develops.
Saul leads the army against the Amalekites as he was commanded, but again he did not follow the Lord’s command and spared the best livestock and also their king Agag. Saul claims that he allowed his men to keep the livestock so that they could sacrifice it to the Lord at Gilgal. In response Samuel utters the famous line: “To obey is better than sacrifice” (15:22). Samuel then put Agag to death and left Saul, never to see him again.