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.(I) 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,(J) 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.
Saul rushed ahead of God. We hear his plea and cry for mercy in the following verses: 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.”
WOW! How often we force ourselves to sacrifice and send up an offering instead of waiting upon the Lord. Saul missed an opportunity for the Lord to permanently establish his reign over Israel, instead he lost his reign and he slowly starts to spin out of control and out of the favor of God. God had anointed Saul and thought he was worthy, however, Saul was disobedient, impatient and not willing to surrender his will to the Lord’s or see beyond what his circumstances dictated.
In stark contrast to Saul we see God developing David into the future leader of His nation. Just as Saul only saw chaos and havoc within his camp, David sees Goliath as a big bully defying His God. He is a little shepherd boy standing among men as the giant Goliath comes out each day and challenges anyone to fight him. David doesn’t see the fear of the older and wiser men, he only sees the defiance to his God and he puts his faith in the God of Heaven’s armies. He quickly reacts to what is unseen that God is in control and He will rescue His army from the hands of the giant. Where others were frozen in fear, David stepped out in faith. He saw God in an impossible situation and put action to his faith. David proclaimed to Saul in 1 Samuel 17:32; “Don’t let anyone be discouraged by him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” David prepared to fight in the name of the Lord. He knew that the Lord that had rescued him in his past is faithful to rescue him in the present regardless of the situation. He went forth in the name of the Lord and God was faithful.
What a powerful contrast and a wonderful lesson in our reading today. May we see beyond our circumstance and see God! He is faithful yesterday, today and tomorrow and may we put some faith into our actions today! May we honor our God in word, thought and deed! Thank You, Lord, for Your word! Thank You for this group of blessed woman to spur us on in our faith and remind us of Your goodness! We love You and honor You! In Jesus name, Amen!
Love and hugs,