December 15, 2015


1 Samuel 13:1-14

[Samuel had told Saul:] “I will surely come down to you…but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

—  1 Samuel 10:8

Saul’s sin may not seem so bad to us. He just didn’t wait for the prophet Samuel to come to offer sacrifices to God, and he offered sacrifices himself. What could be so wrong with that? But Saul had been told to wait till Samuel came.

Saul did wait, but the situation changed while he was waiting. The enemy Philistines had ­assembled to fight. Saul’s men were greatly outnumbered and were hiding in caves, thickets, pits, and cisterns. Quaking with fear, they were beginning to scatter. Worse yet, Samuel did not come when they expected him. Saul waited for seven days, but then just before Samuel came, Saul took matters into his own hands and offered sacrifices to God.

Sometimes any course of action seems better than waiting, especially when it seems as if everything is falling down around us. We reason that we are at least doing something instead of nothing. But in our impatience we often make things worse rather than better. We show that we don’t really trust God to guide us and give us what we need.

Saul thought the people needed a leader who could take action. Samuel knew they needed one who could show them how to trust and obey. But Saul did not obey, and his disobedience cost him a kingdom.

Are you willing to trust, obey, and wait?

Everlasting God, help us to understand that you are not slow in keeping your promises, so that we may wait patiently in Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Norman Visser

Norman Visser has served as a pastor of churches in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and South Dakota. He states that while he is “not known for waiting patiently,” he is “working on it.” Norman and his wife, Marcia, have three children.

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