15:3 Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation-men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys." Compare:
15:9 Saul and his men spared Agag's life and kept the best of the sheep and goats, the cattle, the fat calves, and the lambs-everything, in fact, that appealed to them. They destroyed only what was worthless or of poor quality.
15:11 And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night. Do we love God and His people enough to do this in times of the sin and rebellion of those we serve with or our loved ones?
15:12 "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal." It is easy to set up monuments for yourself. All it takes is a little pride in your accomplishments and a desire for others to take notice. Very easy to do!
15:13-14 Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" You gotta love Samuel's dry humor. One question I always have...do people really deceive themselves this fully, or did Saul know he had disobeyed? Saul rationalizes his behavior by saying, "I saved the best for the Lord." But the best for the Lord could only be obedience. "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams" (vs. 22).
15:30 Then he said, "I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the LORD your God." There is no end to the pride, lack of repentance, and insecurity of Saul. This is only the beginning!
16:1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go..." There comes a time when God urges us to move on from the person in rebellion whom we grieve over. God tells Samuel to prepare his horn with oil to revive hope of Israel for a godly king. Oil is usually associated with joy-there will be great joy in anointing a new king, even though the people still have to wait many years to see him "coming into office." It is the same with Jesus. He was anointed King on His first appearance on earth, and now we must wait patiently for the physical rule of the wicked to end until our King is ushered in to take over His physical Kingdom.
16:4 So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, "Do you come in peace?" He said, "In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Just like Boaz, a Christ-type and Bethlehemite, David is also from Bethlehem! Here we have a Christ-type (Samuel-priest and prophet), preparing to anoint a Christ-type (David-king). Interestingly, Samuel precedes David and comes in peace. Perhaps Samuel is the picture of the first coming of Jesus (in peace) and David is the picture of the second coming of Jesus (war against physical enemies). Remember how we talked about Jesus riding the donkey the first time as kings coming in peace, but that He will come in on a horse the second time for war. David was known for being a warrior and he also conquered and had relative peace throughout his reign as king.
16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Just as David's brothers were envious of him after this, so Jesus' brothers from His home as well as His brothers from Israel were all jealous and spiteful.
16:18 Then one of the young men said, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him." Just as David was out tending sheep when Samuel found him and anointed him as the next king, and now he was minding his own business when he was selected for a divine appointment to work for Saul, we see that you don't have to try to force the hand of God to make things happen for yourself. He leads us to divine appointements even when we're not even aware of it. We just have to be willing!
16:20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son. I love these kinds of pictures! They are dropped like gems in our readings. This is a total picture of God sending Bread, Wine, and Sacrifice on a donkey with His Son, Jesus. I also believe the goat is significant from our studies of the scapegoat in Leviticus. I believe Saul is a scapegoat type (to understand read our entry from Leviticus on the scapegoat).
Saul was never sorry for disobeying God. He was worried about what people would think, but he never worried much about what God thought. A great take-away is to note that once we have walked in the anointing and fellowship with God, our rebellion will lead to great oppression (sent by God), I believe to try to bring us to repentance or to be used as a refining fire in someone else's life. Saul was a great shaper of the character of David in preparation to be a worthy king. A great book on this topic (understanding how God "appoints Sauls" for your character growth) is "A Tale of Three Kings," by Gene Edwards. It is never more clear than this passage that God still uses His dominion over demons to accomplish His will.
Proverbs 15:8-10 is a great example of the contrast between Saul and David.