Samuel’s indictment against King Saul after he failed to obey God’s battle plan to destroy the Amalekites is scathing. Saul was good though. He had a reason for every disobedient act he committed.
Samuel delivers the Word of God to Saul. First, “Saul, you are not the true leader of Israel. The Lord anointed you for the express mission to destroy/exterminate the Amalekites.” Samuel asked Saul, “Why did you disobey the Lord?” Saul has answers. He states he destroyed the Amalekites, he just spared king Agag. His men only brought back the very best sheep and oxen to offer them as sacrifices to God. Saul’s answers were not correct.
What makes God pleased with us? He wants our obedience rather than any sacrifice we can give him. God wants our obedience and sacrifice rather than us determining what we think God wants. When we presume to know more than God we are practicing divination and our presumption is the crime of idolatry. As Christians today we would vehemently deny that we commit those sins, but God reminds us that it can become a dangerous game to play when we assume that we know more than God. It causes all of our actions to produce sin. It allows us to believe that our intentions are better than God’s Word and like Saul we can lose God’s favor. Obedience is better than sacrifice.