From 1 Samuel 13
8 Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to [e]greet him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, for now the Lord would have established your kingdom [f]over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” NASB
Saul didn’t wait long enough. He took matters into his own hands. Rather than staying single-eyed unto the Lord, he surveyed his circumstances and decided to act. His action was unholy and disobedient- and it had terrible consequences- far more terrible than the circumstances he was facing in the moment- people scattering and enemy pressure rising. He lost his kingdom altogether and forfeited generations of blessing. His heart was not satisfied in God and kept wholly for Him. And rather than recognizing his grievous action, he defends his sin to Samuel. My own heart is convicted. Do I justify my sin? Do I live single-eyed for God in the face of all the worldly pressure? Do I value God and His ways so keenly that I will wait faithfully in the unknown and not grasp and strive with my own fleshly actions?
The world roils and shudders. I feel small and puzzled. I read Psalm 29.
3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over [d]many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord hews out [e]flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord [f]shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
The Lord sits as King forever. He will give strength to His people. He will bless His people with peace. The Lord is glory and honor. The Lord is Holy; He thunders. I hide myself in this Psalm. I sit small before Him. His voice is over many waters. Ascribe (attribute, assign, proclaim, associate, give credit for) greatness to the Lord our God!
Lord, strengthen me and grant me faith that I might be single-eyed and wait in the unknown. Give me a pure heart to discern Your way. Help me to be quick to recognize and confess my sin. Thank You for Your Word that comforts me in my smallness. When the world roars, and I am dismayed, Your Scripture instructs me in Your glory and Your greatness. Lord, give me this strength; give me this peace as promised in Psalm 29. It is good to worship You and be face down in my heart before You – to be renewed in my mind in Your Power, Holiness, Majesty, and Strength. You are King forever!