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April 26, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 2 Kings 15-17
Audio: 2 Kings 15-17

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Samuel 13 (ESV)

Saul lived for one year and then became king, and when he had reigned for two years over Israel, Saul chose three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent home, every man to his tent. Jonathan defeated the garrison of the Philistines that was at Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear.” And all Israel heard it said that Saul had defeated the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become a stench to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal.

And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”15 And Samuel arose and went up from Gilgal. The rest of the people went up after Saul to meet the army; they went up from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin.

And Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16 And Saul and Jonathan his son and the people who were present with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash. 17 And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies. One company turned toward Ophrah, to the land of Shual; 18 another company turned toward Beth-horon; and another company turned toward the border that looks down on the Valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.

19 Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.” 20 But every one of the Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen his plowshare, his mattock, his axe, or his sickle, 21 and the charge was two-thirds of a shekel for the plowshares and for the mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening the axes and for setting the goads. 22 So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people with Saul and Jonathan, but Saul and Jonathan his son had them. 23 And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

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Next: 1 Samuel 14

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. 1 Samuel 13:13

    What Command?

    I don't know about you but as I read 1 Samuel 13, I was struck by Samuel's reaction to Saul in verse 13. It wasn't until I went back to 1 Samuel chapter 10 and read the specific instructions Samuel gave Saul that it made sense. 

    "Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do" (1 Samuel 10:8). 

    Isn't that what Saul did?

    1 Samuel 13:8-10 says, "He [Saul] waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, 'Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.' And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came."

    What command did Saul break?

    If we compare the command from chapter ten with the events of chapter thirteen, it is clear that the people scattering from Saul while they waited for Samuel to come was cause for Saul to offer the burnt offering. 

    Samuel said, "Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do" but Saul did what he felt was right instead of waiting for Samuel. As king, Saul can do what he wants (and does). But Saul's role as king does not automatically give him the right to offer a burnt offering as that would have been done by a priest. 

    When Saul went out to greet Samuel and Samuel asked him what he had done, Saul says, "When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering" (1 Samuel 13:11-12).

    What were the three reasons Saul offered the burnt offering himself?

    1. The troops were scattered
    2. Samuel had not come
    3. The Philistines were gathering

    Saul judged the situation by what he saw and as such did not act by faith; trusting in God's timing and His reign over the situation. While it's true Saul had the authority to make "kingly" decisions, it's clear by his actions that he didn't trust God enough to wait for Samuel no matter what was happening with the troops, or how late Samuel was, or what the Philistines were doing. 

    No matter what is going wrong in our lives, disobeying God is never the right thing to do. God is King. He is sovereign over every single event that happens. Even when things "go wrong" in our lives, God is still sovereign.

    It's often in difficult times and uncertain situations where we find out just how much faith we really have in God; how much we truly trust Him and if we really do walk by faith and not by sight. 

    Saul walked by sight and as such, proved that he was not the king of Judah from Genesis 49:10 . . . 

    The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
        nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
    until tribute comes to him;
        and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
     

  2. I'm glad to have your clarification (always), as I was confused also about how Saul did wait the seven days, and yet had disobeyed God. He was to obey all of God's command, not just half.

    I listen carefully to God now, although I make mistakes all the time, and I am always concerned about my obedience. I literally cringe and immediately ask forgiveness when, for example, a frustrated swear comes out of my mouth. My relationship with God is growing and becoming closer everyday, and I want to obey Him. 

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