‘SELF-IMPORTANCE’ is the FIRST STEP for FAILURE: Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night. (1 Sam 15:10-11)
When Saul was selected by God and confirmed by Prophet Samuel as the first king of Israel, he was a very humble person. There are three definite signs that indicate that Saul was a humble man when he was just a citizen of Israel:
- When Prophet Samuel first indicated to Saul that the desire of Israel was upon him and his father’s house, this was his response: "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?" (1 Sam 9:21)
- When his uncle asked him what Prophet Samuel had told him, Saul did not brag to his uncle that he was anointed by Prophet Samuel as the king of Israel. He just mentioned casually that the prophet told him that his donkeys had been found, but "about the matter of the kingdom, he did not tell him what Samuel had said" (1 Sam 10:16).
- When Prophet Samuel officially drew lots and chose Saul at Mizpah, Saul was nowhere to be found. In fact, he had hidden himself among the equipment, and the people had to bring him out to present him before Prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 10:17-23). He was taller from his shoulder upwards from all the other people of Israel, but he was very small in his own sight.
Sadly, when Saul became the king of Israel, his title, power, riches and position went into his head. He started thinking of himself as someone great, and started giving importance to himself. Saul’s self-importance then developed to such an extent that he disregarded God’s laws. God’s judgment was inevitable, and God rejected Saul as the King of Israel (1 Sam 13:13-14; 15:10-11; 22-26) just barely after two years on the throne.
Self-importance was the first step of failure in Saul’s life! He did not realize the cardinal truth that "…exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another" (Psalms 75:6-7). It began when Saul claimed credit for his position and did not give God the glory that was due to Him alone! We achieve true success in our lives when we stay on the path God has laid for us by following His Word, and give God praise for everything good in our lives instead of receiving the honor and glory ourselves. Let us strive to be little in our own eyes, and make sure that we do not follow Saul’s footsteps in our lives as well!
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Cor 10:12-13)