1 Chronicles 10:13-14
So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not…
We have no right to understand this account of Saul's death as referring to one act of his life. It speaks as well of his general transgression against the Lord. Saul consulted the witch the night before he died; and whether it was his worst offence or no, it was the immediate precursor of his destruction, the last drop which made the cup of vengeance overflow: there remained for him no other recorded act of sin before his self-murder. Look well to the next sin you are tempted to commit. It may be your last act. If indulged it may prove a step on the road to destruction from which there is no receding. Was Saul a man who lived and died without repentance? In one sense — the highest sense of repentance — he was; in another he was not. The repentance which God acknowledges is not momentary sorrow or good resolutions, soon repented of in the wrong direction; it is that thorough change of heart which works in us the steadiness of real Christian principle; which makes us, who have been baptized and reared as Christians, to love the Lord Jesus Christ above all things; to hold His favour dearer than life itself; and to have no stronger desire than that our thoughts, feelings, life may be conformed to His will. Such a change the history leads us to believe King Saul never knew. After his first interview with Samuel, we read that "God gave him another heart." But his after-life shows that this change was not an abiding change. Sin springing up, reckless self-indulgence, blighted and destroyed feelings of good which gave such hopeful promise at first. The true change of heart must be abiding. Look at the recorded acts by which Saul grieved God's Spirit.
1. His sacrificing to the Lord (1 Samuel 13:9). Self-will was at the root of this act — that self-will which poisoned all Saul's after-life.
2. The rash vow by which he forbade the people to taste any food (1 Samuel 14:24). This showed the same unchecked impetuosity, reckless in its self-willed way of honouring God.
3. His sparing the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:9) These earlier acts of Saul's rebellion were but the precursors of what was worse.
4. His yielding himself up to the one master passion of envy (1 Samuel 18:7-9). The king obviously is lost now, and there is no compunction, for he cherishes his sin.
5. The atrocious massacre of the priests (1 Samuel 22:17, 18). And now his own life hurries to its miserable close. He feels that he is deserted of God, and that nothing prospers with him. Forsaken of God? Why? Because of unrepented sin. No wonder that the degraded king seeks death by his own hand, when life has become intolerable. Read here the melancholy end of the self-will and evil passions long indulged, till the soul becomes their slave, and all hope is gone, and God with it. The reckless self-willed life must lead to a death without hope.
(Bp. Archibald Campbell.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
WEB: So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against Yahweh, because of the word of Yahweh, which he didn't keep; and also because he asked counsel of one who had a familiar spirit, to inquire [thereby],