1 Samuel 13

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years. Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes. Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!”

So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.”

And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.”

And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

“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. But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”

– 1 Samuel 13:1-14

Devotion

Saul was impressive on the outside; but on the inside he was an insecure people-pleaser.
In this passage we learn that God looks beneath our external performance and appearance to see the true condition of our hearts. Saul’s life was ruled by fear. God has called each one of us to live by faith, not fear!

The Big Question

Just as Saul was called to live by faith, we too have been called to live by faith – faith in the Son of God, who gave Himself up for us and reconciled us to God.

Like Saul, we sometimes allow fear to dictate how we respond to life’s circumstances.

How are you allowing fear to control your thought processes today?

How can you surrender your fear to God and move forward in life by faith?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.

Questions?