The foolishness of being too busy to wait on God.
The Lord is seeking out men and women, boys and girls after His own heart. So says Samuel in 1 Samuel 13:14. What does it mean to be a person “after God’s own heart?” It means we want what God wants, when God wants it, in the way God wants it. Such a desire is fueled by the confidence that God is good and faithful. And it means that we are willing to wait until we know what He wants.
Let me get a caveat out of the way. This does not mean that we wait for some special word from God on matters that He has already clearly communicated in the Bible. As we read the Bible, the Holy Spirit makes clear to us what God wants within the general parameters of righteousness. As we read the Bible, we joyfully agree that we want what God wants in our lives and in our world and we ask Him to help us be faithful to that will.
Like many of us, Saul feels the pressure of the moment and rather than waiting on God, acts in a way that is contrary to God’s expressed will in order to help God out or himself out, or both. Contrast Saul’s rash decisions in today’s reading with the bold faith of Jonathan, his son.
There are always consequences when we get too busy to wait on God or weigh our actions against His word, as we see from the reading. First, we see the consequences on himself. We cannot disobey God’s word and expect there to be no consequences. It is a satanic lie that makes us think we can disobey God’s word without consequence. We also see the snowball effect it has in his life. Disobedience builds and grows. We do in the end what we would never have done at the outset. Second, we see how Saul’s disobedience hurts others. His foolish words would have cost righteous Jonathan his life were it not for the love that the soldiers had for him. His foolish actions caused all the people to sin themselves by putting them in a position where they were tempted to sin. Our sin never only impacts us. Finally, we see the impact of Saul’s sin on Samuel. Samuel had invested greatly in Saul, as others have in us. Samuel grieved for Saul.
There may be a time today that the situation seems to demand you do something against the will of God or without knowing the will of God. Wait. Don’t rashly and foolishly charge forward as if God were not good and faithful to give you His will when, where, and how you need it. It always cost more than we think.