Tonight in Lamplighter Theatre, Teddy finally meets an enemy and is very happy about it. Then we’re beginning The Story of Cactus Ranch, that will take us all the way to Christmas on Thursday nights. After that Saul does something very foolish.
10/6/11 Devo Transcript
1 Sam. 13:8-14
Tonight was going to be our last night in the book of 1 Samuel, but the story only gets better from here, so we’re going to stick around for a bit longer. So far Israel has rejected God as their king, so now Saul has been made the king. But God has promised to continue to bless Israel as long as they do what is right and follow Him. Right now, a huge army of Philistines has gathered against Israel and is threatening to wipe Israel out, and the soldiers are terrified. Many have either fled across the Jordan River or found caves and holes in the ground in which to hide. So let’s see what Saul does.
1 Sam. 13:8-14
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”
Wow. Saul took matters into his own hands because his army was shrinking and he thought he had better do something about it. But if we go back to 1 Samuel 10:8, what were his instructions? Wait for Samuel for seven days, and then Samuel would come and offer the sacrifices to God. Did Saul wait for seven days? Kind of. Really, though, he waited only until he couldn’t stand waiting any more because the army was slinking away. He waited until his fear got the best of him. But there was still daylight left in that seventh day because as soon as Saul finished with the sacrifices, Samuel showed up. Uh-oh. Now Saul is in hot water, and God has decreed he will take the kingdom away from Saul.
Seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it? Well, think about it this way: God is looking for people who are willing to trust him, and, without fear, to step out in faith…or in Saul’s case, to WAIT in faith. It all boils down to are you willing to trust God or not? And Saul didn’t have a whole lot of trust in God. That’s why God found a new man to lead.
What’s your trust look like? Do you wallow in fear or do you rest in confidence in God? What kinds of things in your life push you to be afraid? I’d love to hear about it. Fill out the comment form below to weigh in on the conversation.
But remember: Do not be afraid. Let’s pray.
God, you are always with us, wanting us to rest in peace because you are always with us. There is no reason to be afraid. Help us to trust you more than Saul did. Amen.
If you’d like to go on a fantasy adventure through the first nine chapters of the Bible, pick up a copy of my book, Jak and the Scarlet Thread. 12-year old Jak Hamelton gets thrown back to a particular garden paradise where he meets a man and a woman who get into trouble with a snake (sound familiar?). The comments coming back to me from kids, parents and ministry leaders are overwhelming and humbling. Would love to hear what you think!