Saul was Israel’s king for 42 years. Sadly, they were not years of overall victory. Saul was not the godly leader that Israel needed.
In 1 Samuel 13:9-13, we see Saul’s impatience & disregard for God’s instructions. From verses 6&7, we see that the Israelites were afraid & in an overwhelming situation. In verses 9-13, Saul, rather than waiting for a priest, performs the offerings to God on his own. Samuel was to come by the seventh day. While Saul did wait until the seventh day, he didn't wait until the end of the day when Samuel arrived.
Why couldn't Saul have waited the last few hours?
If Saul was really committed to obedience & sincerely believed, what would an extra few hours have been? Rather, he could justify saying “I've waited the seven days, now I'll do it my way.” He didn't really respect God's ways, thinking it was just a ritual & was too impatient to follow God's timing.
God uses these opportunities to test our obedience & faith. How easy is it for us to doubt God's ways/timing & take matters into our own hands.
Saul, then, makes excuses for his disobedience (the men were scattering & Samuel was late). We can't make up excuses for our disobedience, God knows our true motives. Only when we acknowledge our sins & lack of faith can God forgive & restore us.
God knows our heart. Are we just giving him “lip service” without really giving him our heart or are we ready to trust & obey him completely? God tested Saul & he failed (& as a result, would lose his kingdom). We need to remember that God is on our side & not panic when opposition moves in. In that time we can trust God to be true, even when his ways/timing are not our own.