6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns.7…
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quakingwith fear. 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 offeredup 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… (1 Samuel 13:6-14)
Saul was told to wait.
Obeying God and waiting like he had originally been told seemed foolish. His troops were quaking with fear. His troops were scattering and leaving him exposed. Samuel, his spiritual security blanket, wasn’t there and everyone was leaving him alone against a strengthening army.
Saul was afraid of what he saw. He was afraid of what he imagined. His obedience to what he knew God had instructed floundered as he re-thought his next move. And most surely the enemy sneaked in his signature twisted truth, “Surely God didn’t mean….”
as Saul’s heart caved in confusion and fear, “What if? I should have… I could have… Surely He didn’t really mean to wait and do nothing? Maybe I can try this? Maybe He didn’t mean what he said… Maybe He forgot.”
… and Saul ‘felt compelled.’
A heart not sold out to following God in word and deed, no matter what, will re-think life’s decisions a million different ways.
Seeking God. Hearing God. Waiting on God. Hard stuff – not for the weak at heart. Nothing says feed your need, and do it now, better than our “get it while you can fast food America.”
And the enemy of our soul is always very eager to help us “feel compelled” …to accompany our impatience with temporary pleasure and help us bust out a personalized rendition of “I Did it My Way.”
Why is it so hard to believe God wants the very best for us… all the time?
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7)
Jesus. God’s anecdote for weak-hearted man.
Jesus. The Way… leading, guiding, sending us Comfort for the journey
Jesus. The Truth… reminding, coaching, sparking bright the way
Jesus. The Life… everything else is death.
Lord, I am a weak-hearted woman. Thank you for Jesus. May I only be compelled to follow you with a whole heart, a whole life.