Saul summoned the army of Israel to gather at Gilgal to fight against the Philistines.Gilgal is one of the places where Samuel stopped on his circuit to judge Israel (7:15-16), the place where Saul had waited for Samuel to confirm his kingship with burnt offerings (10:8), and the place where Saul was publicly proclaimed king over Israel (11:15).
Now Saul was again waiting at Gilgal for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices to the Lord.
When Samuel didn’t appear after seven days and many in Saul’s army began to desert, Saul offered the sacrifices himself, which was in violation of the Lord’s command (vs. 13).
Saul knew that he had violated the commandment that only a priest should offer sacrifices (Numbers 18:7) and started making excuses to Samuel as soon as he arrived at Gilgal.
Saul complained to Samuel that when he didn’t come to Gilgal as planned and many in the army were deserting, Saul didn’t want to start the battle without seeking the favor of the Lord.
These were certainly legitimate reasons to go ahead and offer the sacrifices except for one detail–none of these reasons took into account the command of the Lord for Saul not to make any move until Samuel gave him the word of the Lord.
Saul showed his tendency to be moved by circumstances and to rely on religious rituals to gain God’s favor rather than having a personal knowledge and understanding of God’s will and then actually trusting and obeying that will.
Samuel pronounced Saul’s eventual downfall as king (vs. 14) because Saul was not trustworthy to obey the Lord.
There is no good reason that is good enough to do things your own way and not God’s way.
There’s no excuse good enough for disobedience!
Let God always find you trustworthy to accomplish His plans and purposes no matter how the circumstances appear.