- Don't Miss Your Moment
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Life is made up of moments. The little decisions you make in these moments determine your destiny. I believe there are 2-3 monumental moments in our lives. These monumental moments are pass/fail. These big decisions can have life-altering consequences for good or bad. Saul had ups and downs with these monumental moments. God brought Saul from absolutely nothing and made him King. Things went pretty well for King Saul for the first couple of years. He stayed humble, He tried to follow God. King Saul and his son Jonathon even had a great defeat of a Philistine fort that was dangerously close to his people. But things turned sour very quickly after that. The Philistines were not happy with the Israelites attacking their fortress. 36,000 Philistines showed up to fight the 3,000 Israelites. The Bible describes the Philistines as the sand of the sea.
When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns. (1 Samuel 13:6)
Saul called for Samuel so that Samuel could offer a burnt offering to God and inquire of God what they should do. They waited for 7 long days for Samuel to come but he didn’t. The people are hiding wells and holes. They’re trembling and getting really scared. People are starting to lose faith in their new king. They thought this guy would solve their problems, now it looks like he is gonna get them all killed! You can picture King Saul giving his men a pep talk on day one “Listen guys, I know we are outnumbered but as soon as Samuel gets here he is going to offer this burnt offering, and then we are going to go out there and whip these guys!” But as the days pass and fear sets in, and Samuel doesn’t show up. The people are getting restless and finally, Saul says on the seventh day, “bring the offering I’ll just do it!” This is direct disobedience to God! Only the priest is to make burnt offerings!
Saul was a King, not a priest! God did not tell Him to do this! There is not much more dangerous than a leader motivated by fear. Clearly, out of fear, out of panic, out of not knowing what else to do, Saul does something sinful. John Tripp said, “If Saul was among the prophets before, will he now be among the priests? Can there be any devotion in disobedience? O, vain man! What can it avail to sacrifice to God, against God?”
It’s ironic that Saul disobeys God to try and obey God. He tries to do the right thing the wrong way. In reality, a lot has changed for Saul over the last few years. He went from the guy that thought he was unworthy to be King, to the guy that thinks he should do the job of the priest too. He goes from the guy hiding because he felt too insignificant to take the job that he was given by God to the guy that steps into a role meant only for Samuel and says he can handle it. Pride is a dangerous thing and it has severe consequences.
Samuel shows up right after Saul is done with the offering. If only Saul would have trusted God for one more hour. “The last moments of waiting are usually the most difficult and tempt us most to take matters into our own hands.” Samuel shows up and says “what did you do?” Saul says “the people were scared so I had to get them to believe in me somehow so I forced myself to do the burnt offering to God. I know it wasn’t right but I had to do something!”
“I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:12-14)
Just like that, in a moment, Saul is disqualified from being King. King Saul really only had one thing that he needed to remember. Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24)
Saul didn’t fear God, Saul didn’t serve him with all his heart. Saul got scared that people weren’t following him. He didn’t wait on God. He thought he could take matters into his own hands. He forgot where he came from. He was just a simple farmer that God chose to be something great, but he let it go to his head.
Sound familiar? Saul looks a lot like us. When we panic, we sin. When we don’t wait on God, we sin. When we think we can handle things on our own, we sin. When we let pride creep into our lives things get scary. Saul went from a guy who couldn’t find his own donkeys to a guy who thought he could disobey God, and that God would still bless Him. He went from a guy hiding from the crowd to a guy to a guy who needed to prove to everyone He was in control. Insecurity can cause you to make some dumb decisions. You shouldn’t find your security in your talent, or in what you have produced for God, or in your own “righteousness.”You should find your security solely on the fact that you are recklessly loved by God. Saul let the fact He was “the chosen one” go to his head, he thought it meant that he was something great.
It’s a great privilege and responsibility when God chooses you to be used. Don’t forget that God doesn’t choose us because we are great, God chooses us so that when the world sees Him use us, that the world knows the HE is great! Don’t be like Saul. Stay humble. Know your position before God is simply a sinner saved by grace and loved abundantly, and anything you are able to accomplish comes straight from God. Wait on God. Don’t take matters into your own hands. Don’t miss your moment.