TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 13:7-14
TO CHEW ON: "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
One day after Saul had been king for a while, Saul’s son Jonathan attacked a Philistine outpost. This was like poking a stick into a wasp’s nest. Immediately the Philistines gathered their army and came against the Israelites to fight.
Saul’s army was only two thousand men. In a panic he sent trumpeters through the land to call back the rest of the army and anyone else able to fight. Then he and his men waited. They waited for more soldiers to come. They also waited for Samuel, the prophet and priest, to offer a sacrifice and ask for God’s help. Saul knew that it would be useless to go to war without that.
Meanwhile every day the Philistine army grew larger. It swelled to three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers and thousands upon thousands of soldiers.
The men in Saul’s army watched and grew more terrified by the hour. Soon they lost all courage and began to run away and hide in caves, among trees, behind rocks and in cisterns.
Saul too felt afraid and desperate. Where was Samuel? He said he’d come in a week. The week was over and he still hadn’t arrived. If they didn’t get going soon, his army would be down to nothing. Even though he wasn’t a priest, Saul decided to make the offering himself.
He was just finishing when Samuel arrived.
“What have you done?” Samuel asked. When Saul told him, Samuel said, “You have acted foolishly.” Then he told Saul that God was displeased with him and there would be consequences of his impatience and disobedience.
PRAYER: Dear God, please guard me from the impatience that would cause me to do things my way instead of Your way. Amen.
MORE: Waiting. . . waiting . . . waiting. . .
Do you like to wait? What things make you impatient?
It’s easy to get impatient with things, people – even God, especially when He doesn’t seem to hear and answer our prayers.
Here is a verse that reminds us God is always on time. You might want to memorize it.
"In that day they will say, 'Surely this is our God; we trusted in him and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.'” Isaiah 25:9
Next time you’re tempted to impatiently do things your way instead of waiting for God’s help in His time, remember the story of impatient Saul, review this verse and wait for God's timing.