Ever notice how big leader in Scripture lose all their moment when they stop depending on God? Fear keeps them from focusing on God. It is ironic really. When we are faced with fear it should be our natural inclination to depend on God. Fear often instills in us a desire to react quickly. We crave for control in the face of fear. This is where we get into trouble.
I think I may have talked about this on here before. In truth I really can’t remember. (I should probably do a better job of personally documenting what I write about so I can find it quickly). All the same, this bears repetition if I have written on it before.
Have you ever wondered why king Saul was eventually taken off his throne by God? Exactly what did Saul do that made God so angry that he sought a shepherd boy to be the new king of Israel? We often think back to the battle with Amalek. Saul was commanded to destroy everything in this battle. Don’t spare the any of the livestock. Amalek was to be killed for his wickedness and cruelty. Saul and his army didn’t follow through on this though. They kept the spoils of war. They did not destroy the livestock. The left Amalek alive. We look at this and believe that this was the moment where God went on the hunt for a new king. Few realize that the hunt happened sooner than this.
1 Samuel 13 is an interesting chapter. It is even a bit on the odd side. it is one of those chapters where God gets ticked off, and you can easily find yourself wondering what the big deal was. Saul is waiting with his army to fight the Philistines. He has been specifically commanded by God through the prophet Samuel to wait for Samuel to arrive for a sacrifice to be made toe the Lord before the battle. Samuel tells Saul that he will be there in seven days. One problem, Samuel got held up.
Saul made a daring and painfully sinful move in going ahead with the sacrifice. This is wrong for two reasons. First, he was specifically told to wait for Samuel to make an offering. Second, Saul is king and sacrifices were a job for priests. It was a law placed by God on His people. Saul was being disobedient to a specific command, and a command placed for the entirety of his people. Saul was literally leading his army into a sinful act by not waiting for Samuel.
What was Saul’s problem? He believed time was his enemy. He believed that the God who created time was held by the restraints of time. He was afraid to wait on God. Saul was a leader who feared to wait on the Lord. This cuts deep for me. As a leader I have feared to wait on God sometimes. I want to take action. I want to regain control of the situation.
I think Saul believed he was doing the right thing in the moment. He tried to seek God provision and protection, but he demanded it happen on his own terms with his own timetable. I think the church is filled with people who pray for God’s protection, but demand the timing is done the way they desire. They demand to have full control of the situation. Saul’s failure as a king is a failure many of us partake in. it was a failure of dependence on God.
Take a look at the opposite spectrum with David. This is the new king God has chosen. Even upon David’s anointing he has to wait an insane amount of time to be king. During those years of waiting he has multiple opportunities to speed up that process by taking control and killing Saul. What we find in David during the pre-king years is something utterly absent during the entirety of Saul’s reign. We find a heart courageous enough to wait.
Failure to wait is a hunger for control. It cost Saul a legacy. What will it cost you and me?