“Saul waited there seven days for Samuel, as Samuel had instructed him earlier, but Samuel still didn’t come. Saul realized that his troops were rapidly slipping away. So he demanded, “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” And Saul sacrificed the burnt offering himself.
Just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. Saul went out to meet and welcome him, but Samuel said, “What is this you have done?”
Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle.
So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.”
“How foolish!” Samuel exclaimed. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”
1 Samuel 13: 8 – 14, The New Living Translation.
The story of Saul is one that has stayed with me for some time now. From his election up until his death, I feel that if he had done things differently, his life would have turned out much better. Saul was a man who was chosen by God as a leader; however, his character often went against God’s commands. I keep on wondering how someone who hid among the baggage due to his timidity, became so power drunk. It is a mystery what power does to men. (1 Samuel 10:22)
During those days, it was unlawful for a King to perform sacrifices. The only authorized group of people to perform sacrifice were the Priests. Saul took matters into his hands and got involved in what he had no business with.
Saul’s action, which can be justified in the eyes of man, considering the fact he was under pressure, was enough reason for God to find a suitable replacement. God sought a man after his heart as a replacement. King David, was Saul’s replacement.
King David was not a perfect man, per se. God did not handover Israel to King David because he had no sin. So what did God mean when he said he “sought a man after his own heart”?
Such a man is one who seeks Gods will above his agenda. A man who honours God and reverences him in all his doings. A man who possesses a broken and contrite spirit; a repentant heart. A man who loves people. A man whose number one duty is to please God and not mere mortals. These are some of the characteristics of a man after God’s heart.
Unfortunately, Saul was the complete opposite of a man after God’s heart, and he lost out on being a part of God’s divine purpose.
Disobedience is very costly.
Here are a few things I have learnt from this story:
- No man is irreplaceable when it concerns God’s purpose. It is folly to think that because you have been chosen, it is going to remain so despite your actions and inactions.
- When God gives an instruction, even if it does not seem to make sense, it is vital to adhere to Him. He does not give instructions to punish us, but to enhance the quality of our lives.
- Disobedience is a clear display of a lack of trust in God. It shows that you do not hold him in high regards. You probably trivialise Him, which is a dangerous place to find yourself.
John 14:15 says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands”.
A person who professes love for God should not be in constant rebellion towards him. It would be best if you did not profess one thing and your actions tell another story. Let both your actions and your words be in sync.
Several times in the scriptures, God has said that if we claim to love Him, we must keep His commandments. He has not hidden His love language from us. If your relationship with him is not thriving, could it be that you are not speaking His love language?
It is essential to know that whatever God commands us to do is for our benefit. He is a loving God, and He wants the absolute best for us. Having a revelation of this helps me do away with disobedience in my day to day living. Quite frankly, obedience is not always easy. However, if it is the way that I show God that I love Him, trust Him and I reverence Him, then I am all in!
I hope you make a resolve to obey God in every area of your life today.
I pray for you today; I ask for the grace, wisdom, and strength to obey God’s commands. I pray that you will learn to trust God with your life so that it becomes easier to submit to His instructions. Finally, I pray that God’s love is shed abroad in your heart. I pray that obedience will flow as a response to His love for you. In the name of Jesus Christ, I have prayed.
God bless you.