found faithful

I've been doing a study through 1 & 2 Samuel over the last few weeks and months. I came to realize that there's so much in there that I either missed over the years or just never read. One story has stuck out in my mind, and I haven't been able to let it go. The story is out of 1 Samuel 13, and here's the jist of it... Saul had been reigning as King of Israel for 2 years and had built up a great army. Samuel had given instruction to Saul (1 Samuel 10:8) that he is to wait seven days (until Samuel returns) before doing anything. Samuel had promised to come and show Saul what to do at this point.

The thing that kills me here is that when Saul was anointed King, Samuel prophesied all of this to Saul. He knew what was going to happen, and had been given specific instructions as to what to do, but he does just the opposite... he does what is wise in his own eyes, and disobeys God.

So, Saul gets impatient, and at the end of the seven days, he offers a sacrifice before Samuel has returned. Here's what Samuel's response to Saul's disobedience was:

"You acted foolishly," Samuel said. "You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord's command."

Talk about a humbling experience... Saul acted out of impatience and selfishness, and look where it got him. He gave away every blessing and opportunity that God could have handed over to him, and it was now about to pass along to David - a man who wasn't perfect, but who sought God and was a man after God's own heart.

This just hit me in between the eyes when I read it. I think it's because it's something that we all face at one point or another. It may not be over a war, but it could be over many things in our own lives. God gives us instructions, asks for our obedience, and we can't be patient enough to see it through. We deny God the opportunity to bless us or to use us because we are impatient and feel like our way will work out better.

Patience is something that I'm still learning, and it's not easy. I like to be in charge (imagine that!) and it's hard for me to wait on God's best or his answer sometimes. I feel like I can just "fix things" so that they'll be just right, and all the while, I'm just messing things up. Oh, to be found faithful and obedient. He is faithful, and He's never late.


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