1 Samuel 15:13-15—And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
Saul is still blessed by God and empowered by God to defeat the enemies of Israel. He was commanded by God to destroy the Amalekites and do as Joshua did to Jericho. He knew the story of Achan. Saul has been compromising, thinking that it is not all God but that he is a pretty great guy He just built a monument to himself. And since he is so great, he can change what God has said to fit his desires. I’ve heard it a number of times in the stories of fallen Christians. “You don’t understand the pressure I’m under. God makes exceptions for me because of my great need. I’m in special circumstances.” Saul saw the good plunder and decided God didn’t need it destroyed. Saul needed it for himself. When confronted by Samuel, Saul justified his sin. Here is the main difference between Saul and David. Both are anointed, both empowered, both successful, both disobeyed, but their reaction when confronted couldn’t be any more different. Saul justifies his sin. “My flesh isn’t that bad. It makes necessary choices.” David repents with a broken heart. There is the telltale evidence that a heart is either after God or turned to self as lord.