During a chaotic period of my life, I came upon a group of older gentlemen, three to be exact. Two were twins, and the third was the oldest of the three. He befriended me, began to call me’ nephew,’ and imparted wisdom and knowledge into my life. The first time he encouraged me was after my response, “trying to stay out of trouble,” when he asked, “How are you doing?”. He allowed me to get away with that response that one time. However, the second and subsequent times when he asked, I would provide the same answer, and he would say, “At this point, you should be staying out of trouble and doing something more with your life.”
Samel 13 1:14
13 Saul was 30 years old when he became king, and he reigned 42 years over Israel. 2 He chose 3,000 men from Israel for himself: 2,000 were with Saul at Michmash and in Bethel’s hill country, and 1,000 were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. He sent the rest of the troops away, each to his own tent.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine garrison that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. So, Saul blew the ram’s horn throughout the land saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 And all Israel heard the news, “Saul has attacked the Philistine garrison, and Israel is now repulsive to the Philistines.” Then the troops were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines also gathered to fight against Israel: 3,000 chariots, 6,000 horsemen, and troops as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Michmash, east of Beth-aven.
6 The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul, however, was still at Gilgal, and all his troops were gripped with fear. 8 He waited seven days for the appointed time that Samuel had set, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the troops were deserting him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” Then he offered the burnt offering.
10 Just as he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived. So, Saul went out to greet him, 11 and Samuel asked, “What have you done?”
Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, 12 I thought: The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor. So, I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”
13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command which the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man loyal to Him, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.”
Saul had reigned over Israel for many years, saw the Lord do many wonders, and was given many victories. So why could he not be patient on this day, on the day he was being tested? Why did Saul not do what he knew he should do? Why did he give in to the fear of the flesh despite knowing the Lord’s track record? How many times have we ignored what God has told us because we fear waiting or we feared missing out on the joys of this world? At Saul’s moment of failure, more than enough knowledge and wisdom were placed in him to pass the test. Over the years, in Saul’s position as King, he had attained more than enough knowledge and wisdom to stay the hand of the enemy and to establish his rule and children’s future.
16 This is what the Lord says:
Stand by the roadways and look.
Ask about the ancient paths:
Which is the way to what is good?
Then take it
and find rest for yourselves.
But they protested, “We won’t!”
Our Heavenly Father consistently provides us with wise counsel and revelation before our tests. The main question we must ask ourselves is: Are we looking to and accepting God’s revealed knowledge and wisdom as we continue down our path? Will you be only trying to stay out of trouble, or will you seek to follow and listen to our Father. When I was counseled, I had to learn to pause and listen even if I disagreed with them. Many days later, as I journeyed down the path of life, their words of counsel began to make sense.
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