1 Samuel 13:14: “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

May 22nd, 2023 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Chapter 12 ended with Samuel encouraging King Saul and the people to follow and be obedient to God, and the very next chapter records Saul disobeying God’s commandments. Saul and his men were encamped against the Philistines and the people were frightened. Saul was to wait for Samuel, but when he didn’t come, Saul grew tired of waiting and decided to take matters into his own hands, offering a sacrifice, on his own, without a priest. When Samuel arrived, God announced through Samuel the end of Saul’s kingdom and that Saul’s descendants would not reign after him. It sounded as if the end of his reign was going to happen at that exact moment. However, Saul reigned another 20 years; nevertheless, that it would end, was a certainty.

God was seeking “a man after His own heart,” meaning someone who desires to obey God. Saul learned that the cost of obedience was slight (waiting a few more days for Samuel) compared to the cost of continued disobedience (the loss of his kingdom). Saul was not a patient man and was quick to shift the blame to others, which would eventually cost him everything.

Life is made up of long waiting periods, linked together by short bursts of activity. The child has to wait until she is old enough to have a bicycle, the young teenager until she is old enough to drive a car, to get her diploma, to meet her husband, to own their first home. The art of waiting is not learned all at once, and patience is in as short a supply today as it was then. Saul is an illustration of the danger of allowing impatience to rule our lives and the folly of trying to run ahead of God. Saul made a wrong choice, and the tragedy was that he refused to repent. He paid dearly for it for the rest of his life. May we learn from Saul and not make the same mistake today.

LORD, we wait on You this day, in Jesus’ name.”