November 03, 2021

My Way

1 Samuel 13:1-15

[Saul] said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering.

—  1 Samuel 13:9

“Saul was thirty years old when he became king,” and he was probably at the peak of his physical and mental abilities. Saul’s world was filled with possibilities and potential. The young, tall, handsome man was just what Israel wanted as their king—a model leader for their times.

Along with that, nothing promoted national unity like a good war. In the interests of security and possible kingdom expansion, the young king knew that victory could bring glory and fame. Besides, their old enemy, the Philistines, would serve as the perfect villain in the fight for good over evil. Patriotism grew, and the young men of Israel signed up for battle by the thousands.

But the Philistines came with a vast army and chariots, and “all the troops with Saul were quaking with fear.” So Saul took matters into his own hands. Samuel had said he would be there to make an offering and to ask God what they should do, but Saul did not want to wait any longer. His troops were beginning to run away. So Saul decided to make the offering himself. He decided that he was in charge and that they didn’t need to do things God’s way. But when Samuel arrived, he told Saul, “You have done a foolish thing. . . . Now your kingdom will not endure . . . because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

Dear Lord, in times of uncertainty, I too have taken matters into my own hands. Help me to trust in you at all times, and to follow your way rather than insisting on my way. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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