Wait and Worship Instead of Worry and War

by Fred Alcain on April 12, 2024


'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 13:7-14


It’s here where the story of Saul and his self-centric worship begins it’s spiral downward.  Now when I think of Saul at Gilgal, I picture that scene in “The Return of the King” where the king of Rohan and soon to be king Aragorn are on the cliff of the valley readying themselves for the battle ahead.  They’ve sounded their war horns and lit all the beacons, but it’s still not enough men in their minds to march to war.  Here at Gilgal, Saul’s in a similar predicament.  He’s sounded his trumpet, the Philistines are assembled and ready to throw down, but all his men were scared.  They hide in caves and some of them even run away.  Instead of Saul falling to his knees in prayer and lifting his voice in worship, remembering the promise of God on his life, Saul’s impatience and arrogance leads to a fatal error.


When we’re challenged, when worry, anxiety, or conflict rises, our first response should be worship.  Me, I’m more in inclined to hobble to the free throw line, torn achilles and all, and power through with my own strength.  That’s how Saul handles his time at Gilgal. Like the people who made him king, Saul neglects the source of his kingship.  And like both, I tend to look to everything but Jesus to fight my battles.  I would rather rush into the fight and figure things out on my own then wait for God to do His thing, giving worship to my self-centric nature instead of remembering to be still and know that He is God.

When we engage with our Savior and worship, we put our perspective in the right place, we enter a divine appointment. Self-centric worship ignores these divine appointments, leading to self-destruction.  When we handle our Gilgal’s the way Saul did and take on challenges with our own strength and wisdom, we are bound to fail and are operating outside of God’s design for our lives.  He’s made us in His image and as Pastor Wayne so eloquently puts it, “Worship is our time to re-mint ourselves into His image.”  We may not be intentionally trying to neglect acknowledging Christ as King, we’re just inclined to take matters into our own hands.  Like Adam we pick leaves and plants to cover our nakedness after eating the fruit instead of running to the Father, like Moses we kick the rock at Meribah, and like Saul we hurry into battle without the approval and hand of God.


I will be still and know that You are God.  Calm my heart and mind, Jesus. Amen


Previous Page