In 1 Samuel 13 we find the King Saul of Israel and his armies in big trouble with the Philistines. Saul’s armies numbered somewhere around 3,000 and the Philistines were numbered like the sand on the seashore. Not good odds.
And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. (1 Samuel 13:5a)
Not surprisingly, the men of Israel were trembling in fear, so they hid.
6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, …. 7b Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. (1:Samuel 13:6, 7b)
That’s the current picture. Now let’s recall the instructions given to Saul from Samuel back in chapter 10:
“And you shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and show you what you should do” (1 Samuel 10:8).
Simply put, Saul was instructed to wait. His response… he waited until he thought it was long enough, but he didn’t follow the instruction to wait until Samuel came to him. With this one act of fear, impatience, and self-reliance Saul’s legacy as king was destroyed.
On one hand this seems like a harsh punishment for one mistake, however Saul was entrusted to be king over all of Israel, a huge undertaking and great responsibility. We can also assume this wasn’t Saul’s first sin or act of disobedience.
My takeaway is that God has all of us waiting on all sorts of situations right now. Pause for a moment and mediate on what you’re waiting on an answer to or direction on. Consider things like health, friendships, career, major purchases, living accommodations, family relationships, or education.
For me, with each opportunity to wait, there is the battle between taking matters into my own hands or seeking God’s guidance, as though He is saying “just wait… trust me”.
There is this pull at my flesh. I desperately want to give Him all control however if I’m real truthful, I want it all, and I want it now (and that’s not okay because that is a reflection of sin in my life). This struggle brings me to my knees because the more I let go, the closer I feel to Him and I sense His love, power, and ultimate wisdom. His answer and timing is often far different than my own plans but the God of the Heavens and the Earth has never let me down, nor will He let you down either.
Through it all, he’s not impressed with our outward sacrifices, he wants our heart and our faith to be in Him alone so that we may grow closer to Him and be a living example to our family, friends, and colleagues.
Challenge: Identify at least one situation right now in your life that needs a resolution involving waiting, and commit to giving it over to God, 100%. Journal the story (privately or on this site as a comment) and share what God does with it for his glory.
Dear Jesus, we thank you for your ultimate faith and obedience in The Father’s plan for us. Forgive us for our impatience and futile self-reliance. The glory is yours God. Amen.
Today’s readings: 1 Samuel 13 & Psalm 14