Topic: Respect Protocol
Text: 1 Samuel 13
Key verse: So I said, ‘The Philistines are ready to march against us at Gilgal, and I haven’t even asked for the Lord’s help!’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.”
Leadership in the kingdom of God runs on a different set of rules. God determines what is good and acceptable. These rules are revealed in his commandments and laws. Whether you are a leader or servant in the kingdom you are not exempted from living by the kingdom rules.
Soon after Saul became King over Israel their longtime enemies, the Philistines arose against them and their soldiers totally outnumbered the people who have come out to fight with Saul. The practice at this time was for Samuel the priest to offer sacrifice to God to seek his favour before they go into battle. Samuel did not arrive at the time expected and Saul driven by fear crossed the line, taking up the role of a priest which he was not ordained for.
You may be concerned with the reaction of Samuel on his arrival soon after Saul completed the sacrifice. You may feel that Saul meant no harm in what he did, but consider that in the kingdom, there are guiding principles set in place by the king, these principles are spiritual, there may not sound logical to the human mind, you may not explain its workings, but if the King who is immortal, invisible and the all wise God set it in order, it is your responsibility to obey.
Obedience is a key success factor if you will be a vessel in God’s hand. Saul’s response to the question Samuel asked revealed his heart at the time he offered the sacrifice. Saul replied, “I saw my men scattering from me, and you didn’t arrive when you said you would, and the Philistines are at Micmash ready for battle.”
His action was motivated by fear. He reasoned that the men going to battle with him were few and he needed to offer the sacrifice to assure them of God’s presence and favour as they marched into battle. He knew it was wrong for him to take Samuel’s place, that’s why he said …”I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering myself before you came.” Who compelled him? The fear in his heart put him under pressure.
How many times have you made decisions out of pressure from people, or based on fear of rejection? I have failed so many times too. When you set your eyes on the problem you will always end up with fear. When you listen to men who do not have faith, you will give in to their pressure and disobey God.
“There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.” -Corrie Ten Boom
Seek to discover God’s plan for the battle you are facing. Gideon didn’t need everyone to win the battle against the Midianites, God chose only a few. God wants to wean us from fear; his desire is to raise men and women who have implicit trust in him that is rooted in his character and ability and not in their human reasoning or circumstances. Those that will do exploits are those who fear nothing but God!
Saul failed to recognize the power behind the office of a prophet; he presumed the art of offering sacrifice was an ordinary service. God respects protocol and order. He qualifies who he calls, and he appoints men as it pleases him. That you can do the same service better than the one appointed for it is not important in the kingdom. Stay in your office, respect divine order.
Saul eventually lost, big time. He lost his own office by one act of disobedience. The position that would have become transferable to his lineage was taken away and given to another. When you leave your place and calling, you offer strange fire to the Lord. Quit reasoning over divine principles, just obey them. Deal with your fears before it costs you the kingdom.