“And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.” (1 Samuel 15:28)
How did Saul start so well but get so off course? Things began to unravel as it became more about him than the Lord. He became obsessed with the amount of praise and favor David was finding with the people. Instead of staying focused on his own service to the Lord and others, he became eagle eyed as to how well his troops were serving him. He became paranoid that there were those in his ranks who were disloyal to him. He became self-pitying and angry when he wasn’t getting the response and honor he believed he deserved. All of this self absorption showed itself in how peevish he became. (1 Samuel 22:7,8)
Such a fall is possible for any leader who does not walk in humility and seek the reward that comes from God alone. The Lord will send “thorns in the flesh,” he will raise up Davids who go further than us in faster time, he will show us through many ways that we are not as big or important as we think we are. And if through these necessary chastisements, we can stay little in our own sight, we will stay big in God’s sight. If not, the crown will be taken from our head.