In the life of Saul we see the fruit of Israel’s desire for a king. Israel had rejected God as their leader. They departed from Him and in His place providence provided them a manifestation of their own hearts.
They say that power corrupts but absolute power corrupts absolutely. Saul was not given absolute power but he acted as though he did. Saul rejected the appeals and rebukes of Samuel.
“But in rejecting God's chosen instrument, they rejected Christ, their invisible leader. They insulted the Spirit of God; and judgments followed close upon their sin. They were deceived by Satan, but by their own consent; because they placed themselves in his power.”
“Thus was it with Saul. He had the most decisive evidence that Samuel had been divinely appointed and inspired. It was in opposition to all the dictates of reason and sound judgment, that he ventured to disregard the command of God through the prophet. His fatal presumption must be attributed to this Satanic sorcery, which made him blind to the sin, and reckless of its consequences. Saul had manifested great zeal to suppress idolatry and witchcraft, decreeing that all found guilty of these practices should be punished with death. Yet the prophet shows him that in his disobedience to the divine command he had been actuated by the same spirit of opposition to God, and had been as really inspired by Satan, as though he had practiced sorcery.” ST Sep 14, 1882