Saul's Unlawful SacrificeSeries: Authority
To wrongly interpret and wrongly apply the Old Testament is to use it unlawfully (1 Tim. 1:8). The one who recklessly handles God's word will reap dire consequences (2 Pet. 3:16).
Saul's unlawful sacrifice is tied to the specific instructions that were given to him in 1 Samuel 10:7, 8. We can learn great lessons on authority as well as develop themes of patience, trust, obedience, hope, confidence, etc.
However, these instructions are limited to one king: Saul. They are limited to one priest: Samuel. When Samuel died, the instructions would have been rendered void and inoperative. To apply these instructions to subsequent kings would be as wrong as applying the Sabbath command to the church. Likewise, to apply these instructions against the generic options that churches and individual Christians use when facing distressing times such as war, famine, plagues, or even natural disasters is disingenuous and erroneous. Saul was to go to Gilgal in these times. David would flee and seek refuge. Disciples of Christ were to flee to the mountains (Matt. 24:16).
"Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," says the LORD, "and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all," says the LORD.