Severe Punishment for Seemingly Small Sins
1 Samuel 13:13-14
And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which he commanded you…

Sometimes God punishes small sins severely, and such are set down in scripture record, for weighty reasons. As —

1. To teach us the heinous nature of sin in its self, so hateful to God, and so hurtful to men, that we may abhor all the degrees of it.

2. To show us, that indeed no sin can truly be called a little sin, because there is no little God to sin against; therefore to disobey the great God even in the smallest matters is a ground great enough, and a sin great enough to procure God's severity.

3. That we may not indulge ourselves in the least sin, as we are prone to do in presuming on God's mercy, lest God punish us for them, and lest little sins make way for greater, as little wedges make room for the more massive ones, and little thieves serve to open the doors for the grand crew.

4. That we may all learn the riches of Divine grace and free mercy, in passing by and pardoning such great iniquities in us, when we find the rigour of justice executed upon others for far lesser faults recorded in scripture.

5. That an honest intention will not warrant an unwarrantable action, as some suppose Saul had in sacrificing; two things make a godly man, good actions and good aims.

(C. Ness.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

WEB: Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of Yahweh your God, which he commanded you; for now Yahweh would have established your kingdom on Israel forever.

Saul and David
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