“What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” “You have done a foolish thing,” 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. 1 Samuel 13:11-13
Understanding behavior means unpacking motive because an action is driven from the inside out. Earlier in the story, the prophet of God gave explicit instruction to Saul. He was supposed to head down to Gilgal with the troops and wait until Samuel arrived. But Saul decided that the situation at hand warranted a different course of action. Saul’s explanation helps us to understand the reason behind his situation. Action must be compelled by God and His instruction, not by life circumstance. Saul had misaligned motives.
There are a couple of different lessons to be learned from the action of King Saul. These hit men hard because, whether we like it or not, we face the same struggle that Saul did. If you’ve ever attempted to take something into your own hands instead of doing it the right way or waiting for the right time, you know what I mean. Saul’s reaction was a shortcut to God’s instruction. Also learned, is that situations should never justify an action that goes against God’s instruction. Men of God will stand firm and do well to follow God regardless of feeling or circumstance. Next time you are tempted to act outside of what you know God has instructed, follow God.
DO THIS TODAY: Pray that next time you face a trial you can stand firm in your conviction to follow God.