I read the story of Saul again the other day. It really is an awful story if you read straight through from his being chosen as king to God saying He will tear the kingdom from Saul and Samuel refusing to ever see Saul again. (Read I Samuel 9-15.) He falls so far, so fast. But the thing that struck me this time as the saddest part of the whole situation comes at the very end of chapter 15. “And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.”
Wow. I don’t ever want to live in such a manner that the Lord “regrets” where He has placed me! Looking back over Saul’s life, I think the biggest key to avoiding that outcome is humility. Saul went from knowing he was nobody to believing he was somebody. He forgot, in his position of authority and fame, that it was the Lord and only the Lord that raised him to that place. He had done nothing to deserve it. But it all went to his head. Suddenly, nothing was his fault anymore. He didn’t make decisions based on anyone’s good but his own. And he used the outward appearance of worship only when it elevated him in the eyes of his subjects, not because God deserved it or required it of him.
It’s a good lesson for us all.