Two Opportunities To Be King
Saul was set to be king. He had the looks, the Prophet Samuel had anointed him, he had a sceptor. He had the support of the people, as well. I think Saul must have had an idea of what a king should be and set out to be that ideal. The only thing was—he forgot that a king answers to a higher power. He blew two opportunities to be the king he was anointed to be.
Before going to battle, Israel’s army waited on the prophet to sacrifice to God. It was an acknowledgement that God would be their Standard. He would go before them, guard the rear and protect them from the enemy. There were strict rules. The prophet must offer the sacrifice.
- Early in his reign, King Saul heard that the enemy army advanced toward them, and the Prophet Samuel did not arrive when Saul thought he should. Saul offered the sacrifice himself. Not his place to do. Samuel arrived shortly after and expressed displeasure. Saul made excuses. But God was displeased and this act cost Saul his kingship.
- Another time, another battle: King Saul and his army were instructed to destroy everything and everyone in a battle. He did not do it. He kept the spoils of war and allowed his men to do the same. But when the Prophet Samuel confronted him, Saul insisted that he kept the best of everything for sacrifice to God. More excuses.
God did not accept sacrifices from the disobedient king. Not only that, but the Prophet Samuel had to complete the task that King Saul had been assigned. That would be insult to injury for God!
Attitudes. Maybe Saul’s attitude was noticeably arrogant toward God.
To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice
It’s easy to click our tongues at King Saul. He had his instructions. All he had to do was obey them. Simple.
Except that it is not so simple. How many times do we take matters into our own hands because we think God has not heard our prayers, or He is taking too long to do something about our situation. I can’t count the times I have been guilty of this. It does not turn out well, either, and I’m sorry I acted without waiting on God.
Moody Bible Institute’s Today In The Word comments that Saul tried to manipulate God into doing what he, Saul, wanted.
Now, that hurts! I never considered that I have tried to manipulate God. How can God even be manipulated? Of course, He cannot. But we want what we want when we want it and our attitudes grow huffy when we find out that He can’t be coerced.
Attitudes. Maybe my attitude has been noticeably smug toward God.
Submit to God
I wanted to be disgusted with King Saul. But I found I could not. Not when I have been guilty of those same sins!
God has our best at heart. If He waits to act on a situation that seems urgent to us, it is because He has a better plan. It will work out much better in the end.
We only need to submit to His Lordship. A change of attitude is needed. It’s in our best interests.
“The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14 NKJV).