April 29
1 Samuel 13:5-14

Saul on a mission

The Philistines were back! They had gathered to fight the Israelites again and were in such a strong position that the Israelites hid in caves and behind rocks.

Meanwhile Saul was waiting for Samuel at a place called Gilgal. He had been waiting for seven days and was becoming impatient. Many of Saul’s people started deserting him, so Saul decided to make a sacrifice to the Lord by himself, instead of waiting for Samuel.

Just as Saul had finished his sacrifice, Samuel arrived and said, “What have you done?”

Saul replied; “The people were leaving me and you had not come. So I thought I could win the Lord’s favor by offering a sacrifice to Him myself.”

Samuel said, “That was a foolish thing to do. Because you have done this, your reign over the nation of Israel will end.”

Why was God not pleased with Saul’s sacrifice?

Saul must have thought to himself: “I will win this battle—no matter what! And, if Samuel doesn’t come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord soon, I’ll just have to bend the rules a bit and do it myself. I will do whatever it takes to get the Lord on my side so He can help me win this battle! And if I don’t do it now, everybody will leave me… and there goes my popularity!”

Saul wanted to do something religious in order to get God to help him win. Saul was impatient and disobedient. He was relying on his own ‘good ideas’ instead of trusting God to do things His way. Saul only wanted God’s blessing so that he could win; afterwards Saul would take all the glory for himself.

Verse for today

…To obey is better than sacrifice… 1 Samuel 15:22