1 Samuel 15:23
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD…
1. The first thought which occurs to us is — In this its first king, as in a mirror, behold Israel itself. Israel, like Saul, was chosen by God to rule the people. Israel was gifted with grace sufficient and upheld by glorious promises. But Israel, like Saul, has turned to his own way. Because he has rejected the Lord, the Lord hath also rejected him from being king.
2. The second thought is — In this character behold multitudes among ourselves reflected. How many are there, against whom nothing morally wrong can be alleged, who are not prone to any palpable vice, who have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, with whom everything for time and eternity trembles on the balance, and the question is whether they will serve the Lord in life or whether they will not. Saul forgot the Lord his God. He sought not to Him for new supplies of that grace which had once been imparted to him. He was like one of those foolish ones who slumbered with their lamps burning, trusting that they would continue to burn on, but took no oil in their vessels for a supply. He went on his way, and thought not of God. But if forgetfulness of God be the passive symptom of the fatal disease, self-will is the active one. It was this which misled Saul. He leaned to his own understanding. He had his own ways, and his own calculations, where God's will had been already positively pronounced.
(H. Alford, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.