Saul: chosen, anointed, presented, hailed. Experienced the Spirit “rushing upon” him twice.
1 Samuel 13 portrays a picture of the people of God in weakness and under oppression. Cometh the hour, cometh the man? Saul, where are you? He was there, but not there if you know what I mean. He had his eye (or his ear) on the wrong thing. It is a syndrome that happens all the time – a position that Christians regularly take.
He put aside God’s word, but he kept up religious activity.
Instead of waiting for Samuel, the Lord’s prophet, Saul went on ahead with out him, offering sacrifices.
When Samuel turned up, in his defence Saul claimed his move came out of a desire to seek the favour of the Lord. Isn’t that enough? But Samuel described Saul as a fool and declared that his kingdom would not continue. A replacement was already in line.
Does that seem harsh? Over-critical? Judgemental?
Only if you believe that God’s word is optional. Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Saul didn’t believe that. Many Christians don’t (really) believe that.
The need of the day, the need of the hour, no matter what the pressures upon us, is to listen to God’s word. Indeed, the pressures of work, family, finances, may be the very prod we need to consider our ways thus far. Let’s learn to believe this truth: God’s word is food. Mere religious activity is not. Saul’s sacrificing was not a bad thing in itself, but there was/is a greater priority. We need to be hungry and feed if we are to be healthy. We are at our hungriest and neediest when we are most under pressure.