Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” 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.
In the Old Testament, kings and prophets played separate and distinctive roles. God has anointed Saul to be king, Samuel to be prophet. That means, Saul cannot offer burnt offering to the Lord, which was what Samuel was anointed to do. However, when Saul was waiting for Samuel to come to Gilgal to offer a burnt offering before going to war against the Philistines, he grew anxious after seeing the Israelites gathered with him were scattering from him. He took things into his own hands and offered a burnt offering himself.
Saul was driven by fear into violating God’s order and disobeying God’s commandments. “What’s the big deal?”, we may ask. After all, it was still an act of worship. Firstly, worship must be acceptable to the one who is worshipped. The worship of God is an expression of our total devotion and commitment to God. It must be in an honoring manner, as prescribed by Him. Secondly, if the worshipper dictates the acceptable worship to God and expect Him to accept it, really, who is the one worshipped here!
We often say, “God is on His throne”. Doubtlessly His is. But do we trust that when He is on the Throne, and He is sovereign, He should also be the one fully in control in our lives? Do we trust Him, the King who is on His Throne, to order our lives according to His will? Trust Him enough to surrender control over those circumstances beyond our power to Him? Even if He seems to tarry or delay? Sometimes with our lips (or even in our mind), we acknowledge that God is in control, yet in our plans and decisions we are in full control driven by fear of man, fear of failure, anxiety, frustration, impatience, lack of trust, etc. Little wonder we see little fruit or even experience defeat in life.
If the King is on His Throne, who or what is in control in your life?