“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 13:13-14 NIV)
Being responsible for people is a considerable responsibility.
Parents know, married people are soon made aware, teachers know, managers of people get to know, those in the medical profession know and for sure those who called to lead people in positions of authority know it full well.
King Saul certainly felt the weight of that responsibility as he marshalled his troops and was awaiting the priest to come and make the enquiry of God. He knew his role, he knew the role of the priest, he was aware of all of this. Yet as the enemy were at the ready, with time getting away and the people at his charge losing heart, losing hope and losing patience, it wore on him. You can see the King fretting away at the fact of losing the people. Something had to be done. He took action, he was decisive … and in doing so he committed an act that would see the turn of his reign.
In committing the act, Saul had taken the step of forgetting his place and forgetting his role. He was not the priest, even as the King He still had instructions to follow namely from God who had made him King. His lack of focus on that overriding priority, his capitulating to the perceived needs of others had cost him dearly.
Seeing everything in the eyes of those we are responsible for is a good skill to have. Recognising who has given us that responsibility and following His instructions, however, remains critical to effectively fulfilling that responsibility.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden