Friday of the Sixth Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 13:1-18; Acts 23:12-35

And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you." (1 Samuel 13:13-14)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Clearly King Saul had blown it. Having reigned as Israel's first king for two years, he had successfully defeated the Philistines at Geba. In response, the Philistines regrouped and came against the Israelites in numbers "like sand on the seashore." The Hebrews panicked. They were to gather with Saul at Gilgal but instead they scattered. Then Saul panicked. You see, Samuel had specifically told Saul in 1 Samuel 10:8 to trust Yahweh and wait seven days for Samuel to return, who would offer a sacrifice and counsel the king as to his next move. Saul grew impatient. In offering the sacrifice himself he took the situation into his own hands and, as a consequence, he lost his kingdom.

Are we not the same way? Sure, we don't have a prophet giving us express commands, but we have the full counsel of God's Word (even better). We know what He asks of us. But, like Saul, we grow impatient and decide we are going to do it our way. Sometimes God works through the wisdom of your parents, who counsel you to wait on something. Surely, they don't understand what's really going on. It's not like they're older and wiser than you are. You can handle it yourself. More often than not, you discover how wrong you were, sometimes with painful consequences.

It's this way, too, when we, like the panicked Israelites, face the onslaught of sin, death and the devil. Any attempt to save ourselves is futile. Thanks be to God we don't have to! David, a man after God's own heart, was anointed by God to take Saul's place as king. In the same way Jesus, the ultimate Man after God's own heart, was anointed by God to take our place...to take the punishment for our sin and to win the battle. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

If thou but trust in God to guide thee And hope in Him through all thy ways, He'll give thee strength, whate'er betide thee, And bear thee through the evil days. Who trusts in God's unchanging love Builds on the rock that naught can move. (If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Thee, LSB 750:1)


This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.