Waiting....and waiting...and waiting... Who likes to wait? No one that I'm aware of. Especially in today's world - we have got to be the most impatient generation to ever exist. We are a want it NOW, need it NOW, have to have it NOW society. If we don't have something right away we throw a fit about it until we get what we want. If someone isn't doing something right we feel the need to step in and do it ourselves to accomplish the job faster. If there is an empty position, we fill it ourselves even though our plate is already full, because it needs to be done now.
1 Samuel 13:14 - But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.
Let's back up and find out just why Saul needed to hear these words in the first place. Israel was about to go to war with the Philistines. This process included offering a sacrifice asking favor from the Lord. However, Samuel, who was, by law, supposed to offer the sacrifice was running a little bit late. Saul grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself...which is going against the commandment of the Lord. The verse above, is a direct result of Saul's disobedience.
While to us, this disobedience seems a bit trivial for such a punishment, "It was not little: disobedience to an express command, tho' in a small matter, is a great provocation. And indeed, there is no little sin, because there is no little god to sin against" (Wesley, emphasis added). I love that Wesley points out how there is no little sin! I think that is something we easily forget!
But the biggest thing I learned while studying this verse, was the importance of waiting. And more importantly, waiting on God - "We are taught hereby, how necessary it is, that we wait on our God continually. For Saul is sentenced to lose his kingdom for want of 2 or 3 hours patience" (Wesley). If Saul had waited just moments longer (verse 10 says Samuel showed up as soon as Saul finished the offering) he wouldn't have lost the entire kingdom. Samuel is God's intermediary at this point (which is why he should have offered the sacrifice), so in not waiting on Samuel, Saul did not wait on God.
How often do we jump into a role that is not suited for us because we aren't waiting on the Lord. I have seen it happen so many times in different churches and ministries. There is a need and because no one else seems to want to do it, one of "the usual" people (who already has a full plate and then some) jumps in and takes over. But I don't think that's what we are called to do. Yes, we need to be giving of our time...but not to the point that we are burnt out. And if you don't have the talent that suits the need whats the point in taking over anyhow? Just like Saul, we get ahead of ourselves...when Samuel might be just around the corner. We just have to wait on the Lord! I am a firm believer that if there is a need, He will provide in one way or another. If no one is jumping to fill the role immediately, give it some time. He will provide someone. And if you aren't supposed to be doing it, He will provide someone to take your place eventually anyhow...just as he mentions in this verse. God already had someone to take Saul's place (that someone was David). He knows what we need and when we need it and I have faith He will always provide - it just might not be in our timing!
Isaiah 40:31 - Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not grow tired,
They will walk and not become weary.