WAITING FOR THE WORD (Part 1)
1Sa 13:8-14 (8) And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. (9) And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. (10) And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. (11) And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; (12) Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. (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. Saul the Benjamite had recently been anointed of the LORD "to be captain over his inheritance" (1Sam 10:1), "king over his people" (1Sam 15:1) and by this time had "reigned two years over Israel" (1Sam 13:1). As our text reveals, Saul's reign was already in jeopardy. The heaven-sent fingers which pronounced Belshazzar's sentence (Dan.5:5) were many years away but Samuel's message to Saul was essentially the same: "MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting" (Dan.5:26-27). Samuel's pronouncement was not as dramatic, but it was just as emphatic, and the judgment every bit as certain: God would cashier Saul's services. The royal covenant (Gen.48:10) would not be established with Israel's first king, but with its second: David of Judah. Thus, Saul would join a curious list of rejected "firsts:" firstborn Cain, Ishmael and Esau must give way to second-born, spirit-born Abel, Isaac and Jacob; natural Israel to spiritual Israel; the priesthood of Levi to the priesthood of Melchisedec; the Old Testament to the New Testament----and all to teach us by repetition that our hope rests not in the first Adam who "was made a living soul", but in the Last Adam Who "was made a quickening spirit" (1 Co.15:45), in Whose inheritance the elect share, not of the tainted first earth, but of a "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pe.3:12-13). Like King Uzziah many years later (2 Ch.26:16), Saul here presumed to do the office of a priest. Burnt offerings were the sole province of the Levitical priesthood, not of the king nor anyone else. "No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb.5:4). Usurpers and pretenders to the priesthood advanced their arrogancy at great risk, "and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death" (Num.3:10). What God has joined together is not meant to be put asunder (Mat.19:6) and it may be equally concluded that what God has intended to keep separate, man should not unite. The LORD pointedly intended to keep the offices of king and priest separate until they should be both delivered into the hands of Jesus Christ, "a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec" (Heb.7:17), a king-priest (Heb.7:1). Only a perfect man, the God-man, could ever be fully entrusted with both state and ecclesiastical authority and His kingdom "is not of this world" (Joh.18:36). Saul was no Messiah.