OBEDIENCE is the KEY for lasting success: "Has the Lord as great 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 witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king." (1 Sam 15:22-23)
King Saul started out well, but when the Philistines gathered to attack Israel at Geba, the Israelites were badly outnumbered. Samuel delayed in coming as promised as Saul waited for him to come and offer sacrifices. As the Israelites started to desert, Saul grew tired of waiting for Samuel and made a fatal error as he offered the burnt offering instead of Samuel.
In the second instance, God through Samuel commanded Saul to attack and destroy Amalekites completely and not spare anyone. Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' “(1 Sam 15:2-3) The Amalekites had defeated the Israelites earlier (Num 14:45, Judges 3:13), so Israel was commanded to destroy them (Deut 25:17-19, 1 Sam 28:18). There were various prophecies against Amalekites as well (Exodus 17:14, 16; Num 24:20). However, Saul did not obey God as he was supposed to do. "But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed." (1 Sam 15:9)
We should note that obedience is the key for our lasting success. Obedience to God is our moral duty and an absolute necessity. God is not pleased with anything else that we do for Him at the cost of obedience. We need to obey God’s commandments under all circumstances. Saul lost his kingdom because he disobeyed God. It is easy to compromise when people are waiting for us to act quickly. We should determine that no matter the pressure, no matter the cost, no matter the delay, we will act only when our response honors God. We should never compromise our integrity to satisfy others.