Today’s reading in “The Story” is found in your book starting on 141 with the commentary “After Samuel’s stern warning…” and it ends on page 143 with the end of the chapter.
If you do not have “The Story” you may read the passages in the NIV Bible: 1 Samuel 13:1–14, 15:1-5, 7-9
Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and ruled for 42 years. His son Jonathan is a commander of a thousand men who goes right to “work” attacking the enemies of Israel.
1 Samuel 13:3–4 (NIV) — 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
This could be a big mistake as the Philistines were a formidable foe.
1 Samuel 13:5 (NIV) — 5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven.
Outnumbered and “outgunned” Israel’s army heads for the hills in fear to hide in any crevice, hole or cistern they can find. In the meantime, Saul calls on Samuel the prophet to come to seek the LORD’S favor. Samuel ends up being late so Saul decides to take matters into his own hands offering the sacrifices to the LORD against the LORD’S command. The result? Saul breaks God’s covenant which will mean the end of his kingdom and reign.(FYI: Israel’s armies won’t have chariots until Solomon becomes king.)
1 Samuel 13:13–14 (NIV) — 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.”
I guess that’s what happens when we take matters into our owns hands when they belong to others and GOD? Saul forfeited an enduring kingdom all because he did not wait for Samuel.
Do you remember a time when you should have waited, but instead you took matters into your own hands and made a mess of things for you, or for others? I don’t have the time to write down all the times I should have waited but didn’t. Sometimes in our waiting we don’t have a choice to wait or go forward. Like Simeon waiting for the promised Messiah.
Luke 2:25–28 (NIV) — 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God,
Simeon found the Messiah, Jesus, was “worth the wait”. In the waiting, Simeon grew to a greater dependence upon God’s promise to be fulfilled. Sometimes the longer we wait, the greater our joy when our waiting is over. Simeon discovered God kept His word and he had the joy to see and hold the Savior of the world in his arms.
What are you waiting for right now? If you are struggling in your waiting ere’s a promise that might help.
Isaiah 40:29–31 (ESV) — 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Lord, in our waiting give us to grace to patiently wait as we trust in You to guide us and provide for us in Jesus’ name. Amen.