Samuel rebukes SaulSamuel rebukes Saul - As Saul's reign progressed, he began to disobey the will of the Lord.  Initially, it brought mild rebukes from Samuel and Jonathan, but eventually it got to the point where the Lord rejected him outright as king.  It came when the Lord ordered Saul to battle the Amalekites and completely destroy them and all they had in order to punish them for what they had done to Israel.  Saul defeated the Amalekites, but failed to carry out the Lord's order in its entirety (I Samuel 15:1-9).


"Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, 'I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out my commands.'  And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night.  Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, 'Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal.'  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?'  Saul said, 'They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.'  Then Samuel said to Saul, 'Wait, and let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.'  And he said to him, 'Speak!'  Samuel said, 'Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel?  And the Lord anointed you king over Israel, and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, "Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated."  Why then did you not obey the word of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?'  Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.'  Samuel said,


"'Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.'


"Then Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned.  I have indeed transgressed the command of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice.  Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.'  But Samuel said, 'I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.'" (I Samuel 15:10-26, NASB)