Today’s Bible reading is 1 Samuel 13 and John 16.
In 1 Samuel 13, the dreaded Philistines had mustered to fight with Israel. Thirty thousand chariots. Six thousand horsemen. Troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude.
Saul had been Israel’s first king for two years. His people were hiding in caves, holes, tombs, and cisterns. Some had already fled across the Jordan. “All the people followed him trembling.”
[Saul] waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. Samuel said, “What have you done?” (1 Sam 13:8-11)
Sometimes, the most faithful thing we can do is wait. Wait on the Lord. Trust his timing. Rely on his promises. Saul didn’t.
“When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the LORD.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” (1 Sam 13:11-12)
He felt control slipping away. He didn’t understand why Samuel hadn’t already arrived. He saw a powerful enemy gathering to pounce. He knew he was hopelessly outnumbered. And he reasoned, “My best choice is to force myself to overstep God’s instructions. Take control back. Go ahead, do what needs to be done, and worry about the consequences later.”
And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly.” (1 Sam 13:13)
Many today live with the motto, “Better to ask forgiveness than permission.” But if 1 Samuel 13 teaches us anything, surely it teaches us this: sometimes, the most faithful thing we can do is wait.
As a new God-given week unfolds, we are waiting.
The creation waits with eager longing (Rom 1:19). We ourselves groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Rom 1:23). We are waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness (Gal 5:5). According to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13).
Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. (2 Pet 3:14)
That’s a better motto to live by this week. Despite fears, obstacles, worries, disappointments, heartaches, and even your own pride, wait on the Lord. Trust his timing. Rely on his promises. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude 21).