Saul was confirmed by the people, as well as anointed by God. As the new King, he and his son began to make a name for themselves and for Israel. Jonathan attacked an outpost and Saul made sure everyone knew Israel on the attack. In the reading, however, there is nothing that indicates that God told Saul to attack, to put his troops together, or to trumpet his victory. Those all seem to be Saul’s ideas. The result was Saul angered the Philistines. Philistia put together its army, and the army looked like an ocean compared to a pond of Israel’s troops.
SO, Saul called for everyone to come back and prepare for battle. Instead, when the troops saw what they were facing, they ran and hid and some even deserted the army. Saul saw things getting away from him, so he took matters into his own hands and did the pre-battle sacrifices and prayers–the priest’s job. When Samuel appeared, he was not pleased. Saul started and continued the entire scenario without once seeking God, His leadership or His prophet. Make no mistake–Saul meant well. He was trying to be a great king and establish his name as leader. The problem was God would never honor a king that operated on his own, and without God’s direction.
In our lives, so many times, we start off on a journey of our own making–never seeking God’s direction. As we progress, we look for ways to make a name for ourselves–without God’s direction. Then when things grow tense, we wait for God to jump in. When God does not swoop in and save us, we forge ahead, on our own and without God’s direction. We mean well, but in the end, we make a mess of things and rob ourselves of God’s blessing. Our first step should be to seek God’s direction. We must allow God to lead, and allow him to have the glory.We need not make a name for ourselves, we need to glorify the name for God. He promises that if we will seek Him and trust Him–then He will lead and bless us. It is a daily choice. Help me, Lord to seek You first and allow You to call the shots!
God Bless You
Saul was thirty[a] years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-[b] two years.
2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand[c] chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited sevendays, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.