S (Scripture): 1 Samuel 13:9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” Then he offered a burnt offering. 13:10 Just when he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel appeared on the scene. Saul went out to meet him and to greet him.
13:11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the army had started to abandon me and that you didn’t come at the appointed time and that the Philistines had assembled at Micmash, 13:12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me at Gilgal and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt obligated to offer the burnt offering.”
O (Observation): Saul’s job was to rule the people of Israel, as their king. Samuel’s was to be the priest/prophet. Samuel was the one passing along messages from God to the people. In this case, when Samuel didn’t return when expected, instead of waiting and trusting in the Lord, Saul (the King of Israel, not the lawyer from Breaking Bad) took matters into his own hands by making a sacrifice to the Lord, on his own.
And what’s more, he felt this offering was an obligation rather than a joy – based on fear, rather than faith.
Better call Saul…and tell him to just wait a minute.
A (Application): We all have a tendency to want to act on fear rather than faith. We wait for a sign, but feel like we haven’t received one. So we go forward anyway with our own plans (kind of like Saul).
When we start taking leadership roles, whether it’s in church or business, we tend to confuse God’s will with our own will. We don’t want to do this. In fact, we even pray that God’s will be done and not ours, when we pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Waiting on the Lord can be scary. It can even cause you to lose face. When moments like these come, and they will, seek wisdom and counsel from your friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.
I’ve been on both sides of this issue before. I’ve taken steps that I thought were God’s will, but it truly was my own (and thus fell flat on my face). And I’ve also sought counsel and used that wisdom to make a decision.
When we are wise enough to hear God’s will and do it, let us be thankful. When we go our own way and follow our own will, let us seek God’s grace and mercy.
In what area of your life are you awaiting God’s presence? Where are some places that God has definitely showed up?
P (Prayer): Lord, why is it so hard to discern your will? Please continue to send us prophets who can remind us of your will in this place, in this time. Amen.