Fear Causes Saul to Make a Bad Decision
Though God chose Saul to be the first king over Israel, Saul has some character flaws that lead to his undoing. One time the Philistines come up against Saul and his army. Overwhelmed by the force opposing them, Saul’s men cower in fear.
Impatience and Fear
Samuel had told Saul to wait seven days. Then Samuel would come, offer the sacrifice, and seek God’s favor. Then Saul and his army could go into battle with confidence that God was with them.
Saul waits seven days as instructed. Samuel does not show up. Saul’s men began to desert. With dwindling numbers, Saul panics. He offers the burnt offering and fellowship offerings himself instead of waiting for Samuel.
He hopes this will keep him from losing any more men and prepare them for battle with God on their side.
Right when he finishes, Samuel shows up and chastises Saul. “It’s a foolish thing you did,” Samuel says. “You failed to keep God’s command.” As a result, Samuel declares that Saul’s reign will not endure, that God will find someone else to take his place, a man after God’s own heart.
We later learned that David is that man.
Wait or Act?
When confronted with a dire situation, Saul had two choices. He could do as instructed and wait for Samuel, trusting God with the outcome. Or he could take control of the situation and act, doing something he wasn’t supposed to do but which seemed necessary if he had any chance of success.
The logical choice was to act; the illogical choice was to wait. But God’s perspective is different than ours. Waiting would have been the right choice, while acting was the wrong choice.
Saul made the wrong choice and acted when he should’ve waited. It cost him his kingdom, his legacy, and ultimately his life.
Are we willing to trust God and wait when it seems we should act?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.