11 When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.
13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord; he did not keep the word of the Lord and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse. (I Chron 10:11-14) NIV
The valiant men of Jabesh Gilead were the same ones who had turned to Saul to save them from the Amalekites. The Lord was with Saul and Samuel as they fought through the night to protect the city (1 Samuel 11). At that time, Saul was quick to give the glory to God for their victory. In his honor, these men rescued the bodies of Saul and his sons and gave them a proper burial. In tribute, they fasted for seven days. I love that they were willing to risk their lives to do such a noble act.
Time changed Saul and he started depending less and less on the LORD and more on himself and other gods. He decided to do what was right in his own eyes. He chose not to wait on God’s timing but took matters into his own hands. He half-heartedly worshiped the Lord. This was not the kind of king God wanted leading the Israelites—he wanted a man after God’s own heart. And thus ends the reign of Saul—the one who was “asked for”–and enters the reign of David. Saul experienced a spiritual death in his life long before his physical death.
Unfortunately I see a little of Saul in myself sometimes. How often do I trust in myself and my own plans without even thinking of inquiring of God? How often do I ask other people for their advice, or seek wisdom from books or Google rather than seeking answers from God? I know there are times I’ve rushed ahead of Him and done things in my own timing. I’ve learned over the years, that is never a good idea. It usually does not turn out well. How grateful I am to have a God of second chances (and third, and fourth).
Abba, Father, I have tried living life without you and it is so much better with you in it. I want to be a woman after your own heart. I think of the Psalm, “better is one day in your court than thousands elsewhere” and know just how special the time we spend together is. Sometimes it is difficult to pull myself away. Thank you for your patience and lovingkindness towards me when I think I’m too busy to sit with you. I especially thank you for never being too busy for me. In Jesus name, Amen.