God regrets making Saul king. He simply will not obey. He clings to an external works based faith, but his heart is not true.
The demonstrations here are that god decided to obliterate the amelakites. People hate this, but by this stage into the story of God and humanity I’ve accepted it is God’s right to destroy nations. Death is universal for the human race, and the timing is all God’s prerogative.
But the destruction god brings is not to advantage others. The Israelites are to destroy everything, no plunder. This Saul does not obey. And he builds a monument to himself. And keeps their king, a traditional humiliation.
He excuses it by saying “the people told me to”. And offering some of the livestock they stole as offerings to God. But of course god requires obedience. Samuel bares the news.Saul kingship is over in all but name. Jonathon will not be king. He’ll lose it during his lifetime.
The chapter is very sad. The fate of the spared king, who old Samuel must kill, is sad… His life is misery. A nightmare “beyond the bitterness death” as he puts it.
Saul asks Samuel to go through the motions one last time to offer a public sacrifice in a joint appearance, and Samuel allows him to save face that way, but then doesn’t come to him anymore.
But Samuel grieves for Saul all his days. There is love between the men, despite the sadness of Saul’s failure.
Obedience. Being real your heart. I am not an obedient man. Make me more obedient father. Let me live your love.