Everything in Saul's life as king started well, until the time, he started disobeying God.
The beginning of being a king-Saul
- Samuel anoints Saul-1 Samuel 10:1
- Saul was filled with the Spirit of God and became a different man and even prophesied-1 Samuel 10:6-10
- Anointed people went with Saul, as he started his term to be king, after being publicly elected as king by Samuel. ( 1 Samuel 10:26)
- Saul rescued the city of Jabesh, the Spirit of the Lord led Saul to win-(1 Samuel 11:6)
The Philistines were gathered together to fight against the Israelites.Samuel had asked Saul to wait for seven days, until Samuel comes and leads them in the sacrifice to the Lord. The enemy was large(about 6000-numerous,1 Samuel 13:5). The soldiers in the Israelites camp started trembling at the sight. They were so scared they started scattering. Saul thought sacrifice would help them win the battle. He did not wait for Samuel to come, and performed the sacrifice himself.The reason Saul gives is "1 Samuel 13:12 I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."
Analysing the fall
- Saul gave more importance to a ritual, than to obedience to God- He thought, the sacrifice would help him out of the situation and give him favor with God, here's where we hear the most precious words from Samuel "To obey is better than sacrifice".Sometimes, in our christian life too, we start thinking of the rituals, whatever they be, are more important than obeying God. Of course the rituals or functions are set so that we may have orderliness and not for creating favor with God. Just by doing 5 extra sacrifices a day, I will not get any closer to God. God had asked Saul, to wait for 7 days, Saul could not even fulfil that simple command. He thought sacrifice is what pleases God.
- Later on in 1 Samuel 15- we see that, when God had asked Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites, with nothing to be spared, Saul spares the best ones, so that he could sacrifice to the Lord.
Lesson I learnt
Saul got severely caught up with rituals and sacrifice which led to his disobedience. He was soooo much into sacrificing and the performance of those rituals, that he didn't have any more space to listen to what God was saying. I think I was a kind of Saul one time, I was so involved with ritualistic christianity, that to me without that, life with the Lord wouldn't work. No wonder I wasn't hearing much from the Lord. Until one day, the Lord showed me that He delights in my obedience, more than my sacrifice. So what does it mean? Should I no longer follow the rituals? Well I don't think so. Its only us, that start giving importance to things, that weren't meant to be given God's place in our lives. God gave us the sun and the moon and the stars so we could get light during the day and a night lamp for the night. That doesn't mean we start worshipping them and make them, to be higher than their creator.
I am learning, now, to be careful in obedience. For right now, I know God is waiting on me to see if I will be more obedient than anything else. I've got to wait, though I long for my breakthrough, and see how God works out everything for me, for my petition is made to the Lord and I know He will not rest until that is taken care of. So for you too, I pray for the reader who's waiting like me for their breakthrough, be it 7 days or 70, will we be able to wait till the time is due for us, or are we going to rush up things on our own, like Saul did?