Anyone out there love the process of waiting?
I didn’t think so… especially when access to information, our friends, 300Mbps downloads, Uber Eats, or online shopping is all at our fingertips.
I can’t be the only one who slaps a second coat of paint on, way before the time specified on the paint can.
Don’t laugh at me. I have seen you try to sneak past the gate agent way before your seating section has been called to board the plane.
King Saul suffered from the same malady and paid a huge price for his haste.
In Saul’s day, Gilgal was a sacred place, recognized in all Israel as the place where you went to wait on the Lord… where you recognized Him as your Source, your Wisdom, your Strength.
When the handsome young Saul was first set apart to be king, Samuel the prophet sent him to Gilgal, to wait there for seven days for Samuel to come and offer sacrifices to the Lord for Saul’s calling (1 Samuel 10).
Then, when Saul was later crowned king over Israel, Saul and the whole nation gathered “before the Lord at Gilgal,” Samuel sacrificed peace offerings, and the people rejoiced greatly (1 Samuel 11).
The lesson of Gilgal is the priority in all of our lives of WAITING on the Lord.
The early church, with everything in their world stacked against them, wrote volumes on the importance of patient trust in the Lord, whose Kingdom, they were convinced, would, in God’s time, prevail.
That trust trumped everything!
The next time Scripture records Saul being at Gilgal, 30 or 40 years older, he was surrounded by an enormous Philistine army. This time at Gilgal Saul had way more to lose…
- A successful reign over Israel
- His reputation as a military leader
- His status as a king
- His way of life
- His very life, if he were to fall into the hands of his enemy
The prophet Samuel had instructed Saul, again, to wait with the army at Gilgal for seven days, until he arrived to offer sacrifices to the Lord… to invoke the guidance and blessing of God on the upcoming battle with the Philistines.
WAIT on the Lord, Saul!
But, in Saul’s eyes…
- The Philistine soldiers were as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore.
- His own army was terrified…many running to hide in the closest caves, tombs and cisterns.
- And the people who did stay with him were trembling.
So, when after six days and 23 hours, Samuel had not yet arrived at the scene, Saul was done waiting.
Somebody had to DO something.
“So, Saul offered a burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:9)
He later told Samuel he had “forced himself” to do it.
He knew it was wrong.
But couldn’t wait.
Wouldn’t wait on the Lord.
And it cost him his kingdom.
The life lesson for us, when it comes to the calling, the anointing, and the promises of God in our lives, is to not yield to the temptation of wanting everything to happen NOW… every promise fulfilled NOW… every battle won NOW.
So, instead of waiting and patiently trusting in the Lord, we take things into our own hands… and the results are usually disastrous.
I’m preaching to myself here.
God will prevail.
Not one word He has spoken over you will fall to the ground.
Trust His faithfulness to you!
Lord, teach us to wait on You!