Day Five – The testing begins

Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 10:8, 13:1-14

Right after anointing Saul, Samuel gave him explicit instructions, “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.”

Most Bible scholars believe Samuel was testing Saul’s character. If that’s the case, Saul flunked, since later he became impatient and offered the sacrifice without Samuel. If he had just waited a bit longer, Samuel would have shown up and all would be well.

My husband calls the Lord “The God of the 11:59.” Sometimes it seems like He waits until the very last minute to come through. Of course, we forget that the Lord is not limited by time and space. We, however, pray, work, and live within such limitations—as if we keep God on a countdown. If He doesn’t do something in ten . . . nine . . . eight . . . I’ll take things into my own hands. Not only is this a disaster waiting to happen. It’s a sign that our trust in Him may be seriously lacking.

In all fairness to Saul, he was a new king and his army was scattering from fear of the Philistines. His men were hiding in caves and pits. The military was decreasing—from 3,000 to 600—and the Philistines were headed their way. Saul had to do something—right?

When Samuel confronted him about not following the instructions, Saul’s reasoning sounded plausible. However, he had succumbed to fear, panic, and impatience, weakening his ability to think clearly.

Human logic coupled with erratic emotions results in regretted decisions.

  • What do you do as the clock ticks while you’re waiting for God to come through? Why does the Lord seem to take His time?
  • How has the Lord tested your character? Did you pass or fail?