May 14

1 Samuel 13:11-12 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 Micmash, 12I 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."

The Philistines were gathering to fight Israel. Their numbers and technology were vastly superior. Samuel had told Saul to wait seven days, and he would come to offer sacrifices before the battle. Saul could see the enemy gathering and the Israelites deserting. He thought he needed to rally the people. The time Samuel promised to come was about up. Saul leaned to his own understanding instead of obeying in faith.

Samuel arrived immediately after the sacrifice was offered and asked, "What is going on?" Saul justified his actions. He sounded very religious. "I had to seek God's favor before the battle. I felt compelled." But that was not what he was told to do by God's prophet. Compelled by whom? By his own fears, reason, and doubt. He took matters into his own hands. This began his pattern of rebellion.

Today we would probably be referring to Jesus as the son of Saul instead of the Son of David, if Saul had remained obedient to God (though of course Jesus had to come through the line of Judah). We have choices of faith throughout our life that have far ranging consequences. Do we trust God even when our eyes see great trouble? Will we take matters into our own hands, because we think God will not or cannot help? Or will we walk in faith and be blessed?

Consider: Do I respond to circumstances or to the Word of God?