35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Jesus had been ministering from a boat to crowds gathered on the shore. At the end of His meeting, He directed His disciples to travel to the other side of the sea. A storm began to rage around the boat as they traveled. It was so bad that his disciples thought they were going to sink. Jesus slept as the disciples panicked.
There will be times when storms will seem to be raging all around us as we travel the path of God’s plan. We can choose to panic as the disciples did, act impatiently as Saul did, or rest as Jesus did. The choice will always be ours to make!
Saul had his eyes focused on the attacking Philistine armies. He chose to act but then tried to hide what he had done from the prophet of God. We will all have moments when it becomes apparent that our choices during a storm were the wrong ones. God is merciful but we must admit our wrong choice. Saul did not do this.
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
It will require patience to walk through the storms we encounter walking in the plan of God. Saul was not patient enough to wait for the prophet’s arrival and it cost him the kingdom.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Walking in the plan of God will require us to stand when our flesh is screaming at us to move. This will require us to develop patience which is something most Christians have not done.
Saul provided an excuse when the prophet asked why he had offered the burnt offering. There will always be an excuse for not doing the right thing. It will require courage to admit our mistakes and ask forgiveness.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.
1 Samuel 13:13-14
Samuel rebuked Saul for what he had done. God would take the kingdom from his family as a result!
Many people mistakenly think God has a plan that is unique to each of us and only we can complete it. Saul was God’s first choice to be king but God had another choice when he sinned.
Samuel told Saul that God had “sought a man after his own heart” whom He had commanded, “to be captain over his people”. This man was David. God’s plan for David to reign over Israel was a result of Saul’s sin. David was not God’s first choice!
God’s plan for Saul’s family to reign over Israel was forfeited by sin. It is obvious that his family then was not the only one capable of fulfilling the plan of God. One man’s sin did not result in the plan being left without being completed!
This story reminds me of something Katherine Kuhlman once said. The Lord had shown her that she was not the first choice to walk in the miraculous ministry He had set her in. Five others had been called but did not answer.
We do not know if she was ordained from before her birth to pick up the slack for those who had not answered or if she was rerouted from her original plan. David was also not God’s first choice. The timeline shows Samuel’s statement was made eight years before David’s birth! God chose him to reign over Israel years before he was even conceived.
We see in this account from Saul’s life that sin can cause us to miss the plan of God. This does not necessarily mean that it will not be completed through someone else’s life. We can run the race set before us or God will have someone else do it in our place. I do not want to stand before Jesus at the end of my life and have to give account for the plan written in God’s book that I never entered into!
Jesus is referred to in Scripture as the lion of the tribe of Judah. Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. I cannot help but wonder if we would call Jesus the lion of the tribe of Benjamin had Saul waited for Samuel and not offered the burnt offering in disobedience to God’s Word.
This is sobering to think about. David became king of Israel as a result of Saul’s sin. Each one of us can look back and find places where we missed God. Saul did not repent and therefore no mercy was given.
God is merciful. The Holy Spirit will never condemn us for our mistakes or disobedience. He will lovingly lead us back to the plan of God.
Our past decisions may mean that someone else needed to step into the place we had been called to walk. This does not mean we will not find mercy and be led back into the plan if we will just humble ourselves and let the Holy Spirit lead us back to the proper path.
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