1 SAMUEL 13:8-9 AMP “Now Saul waited seven days, according to the appointed time which Samuel had set, but Samuel had not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering away from Saul. So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering [which he was forbidden to do].”
Saul’s reign so far in 5 seconds.
-Hears bad news
-Musters 330,000 men
-2 years pass…
Here we find Saul somewhere in the 3rd year of his reign (even though most of the commentators and versions do not agree on specific dates).
Israel seems to be consistently in conflict with its enemies, the Philistines are attacking after a Israeli assault on an outpost.
This time the numbers are in the Philistines favor, 30,000 chariots, 3,000 horsemen and more troops than can be numbered.
Israel is afraid, they are hiding, they are outnumbered and overpowered.
Saul seems to be in control, he isn’t running into battle without first consulting the man of God.
…but there is a hitch, Samuel is busy or he has some other engagement. He tells Saul to wait for him 7 days.
Why seven days? Idk? I’m not a numerologist, but I know seven is said to be the number of completion. Perhaps he had a previous appointment? We just do not know.
It reminds me of the time when a messenger was sent to Jesus regarding his friend Lazarus’ sickness. Jesus didn’t drop what he was doing, jump up and grab the first 🐫 or donkey and head to Lazarus’ bedside.
Nope! He waited.
Maybe this is just like that?
Samuel arrives towards the end of the 7th day.
King Saul had it in his mind that being late for a meeting is unacceptable and making a king wait seven days is already a stretch.
How dare he (Samuel) be late!!!
In his lack of patience, he makes the biggest mistake of his life. He gets in Samuels lane and tries to run Samuels race, but does he do what is strictly forbidden for anyone but the priest do?
He most likely has a priest with him, and that priest conducted the sacrifice and offering.
But the issue is that he offers the sacrifice and the offering in Samuels absence.
You probably thought it, what’s the big deal?!
I believe this was a test. A test of character and obedience which he failed miserably. And instead of owning it, he gives excuses.
Was this action really enough to rip the kingdom away from him?
In Gods eyes…YES!
In my opinion, it was a lack of FAITH!
Scripture clearly states, “Without FAITH it is impossible to please God.”
You see, Saul’s thinking was… I’m doing a righteous thing making a Sacrifice and giving an Offering. BUT… His ACTIONS pointed to a lack of faith. His eyes were on the PEOPLE who were leaving, and NOT on the person who was on the way.
They (the Israelites) came out in support, but when Samuel delayed, they started to leave, to hide in caves, in thickets and in dry cisterns. This exodus proves too much to bear for Saul, and that’s when he makes the decision not to wait any longer.
So what can we learn? As if it isn’t evident.
1. Patience is pretty important.
2. Making excuses isn’t the same as repentance.
3. I’d rather wait for God to show up, than to rush into battle without Him.
You think David learned from Saul’s mistakes? Seems like humility is an important character trait for a godly leader. After one of the lowest points in Davids life he writes…
Psalms 51:16-17 ESV “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”
Heavenly Father, enable me to be patient when I think you are moving too slow for my liking. Help me to keep my eyes on You and not on what those around me are doing and or how they are reacting. I always want to be a person who is quick to admit when I’m wrong, and help me to remember that in any situation I’m in, or any obstacle I face, if You are with me, it doesn’t matter who is against me.