Samuel 13 and 14 are about a battle with the Philistines and you start to see the true character of king Saul. He takes credit for a victory won by his own son, Jonathan. The application tells us “Left unchecked, his pride grew into an ugly obsession; thus it destroyed him, tore his family apart and threatened the well-being of the nation.” Saul goes on to offer a sacrifice himself, which was against God’s law, instead of waiting for a priest. He felt the pressure and decided to take it into his own hands. “Like Saul, our true spiritual character is revealed under pressure…God often uses delays to test our obedience and patience” our application goes on to tell us. Saul’s bad leadership continues but his son Jonathan trusts God and takes on a battle with one other man and is victorious. Scripture tells us that the Lord sent panic to the Philistines. “God honored the faith and brave action of these two men with a tremendous victory…If God has called you to action, then bravely commit what resources you have to God and rely upon him to lead you to victory.” (Application). Saul continued to put God last and scripture says, “all the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines.” (14:52)
Our verse today comes as Saul is trying to make a plan of attack against the Philistines. Saul tells his men what to do and they agree, but the priest steps in and says, “Let us inquire of God here” Right before this verse, Saul builds an altar to the Lord (for the first time since becoming king) and then in the next sentence of scripture, he goes right back to his ways. So, then the priest reminds him that God needs to be first! I love that. Two things stand out to me about Saul and this verse. First, the obvious. Are we putting God first? When we are unsure of things, do we scramble like Saul did to try and figure it out ourselves or do we seek God? And second, are we patient to hear from God AFTER we do inquire from him? Both of these are HARD, especially in the uber fast paced lifestyle that’s constantly in front of us. Yet, our application tells us “The timing of God’s plans and promises is known only to him. Our task is to commit our ways to God and then trust him for the outcome.” We need to commit the decision or problem to Him and then wait, and trust in his timing. This is a constant struggle for me, but I’m hopeful that in the more we practice, the easier it gets. My heart immediately went to this song. Continue in this moment and worship through this:
Where is an area in your life that you are jumping to making plans or decisions without going to God first? What came on your heart as you listened to this song? Where can you start inviting Him in, first? Write out why or how you are struggling to wait for his answers.
Heavenly Father, Lord, you see our world, our society, our culture, you see the pressures we have to fill our time and the need for instant everything. Lord, this makes it all the more challenging to seek you first and then wait to hear from you. But we desire this God. We so desire that you are our number one. That we go to you before making decisions or plans, that we feel that every move we make is orchestrated by your will. Help us, guide us, show us, lead our hearts to come in and seek you first, always. Be with us today, open our hearts to invite you in and help us to put you FIRST. In your gracious and loving name we pray, Amen!