He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering.
– 1 Samuel 13:8-9 (NIV)
by Dave Whitehead, Author of Making Sense of the Bible
One of the recurring faults of Saul’s leadership was his fear of what others thought of him. Saul was threatened by David, he was anxious about the Philistines, and he was governed by the crowds. This caused Saul to prematurely offer a sacrifice, which only the priest could do. The fear of man is a snare and will cause leaders at any level to cross boundaries and do things that they should never do. Every leader faces this challenge. Are we tossed back and forth by the whimsy of popularity, or are we rooted in who God has made us to be?