Rashness Vs. Self-Control

1 Samuel 13:6-14

When the men of Israel saw that they were in straits (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, or crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philis′tines had mustered at Mich′mash, I said, ‘Now the Philis′tines will come down upon me at Gilgal and I have not entreated the favor of the Lord’; so I forced myself, and offered the 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 for ever. But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”


According to God’s design, Samuel relates to Saul as a spiritual authority. Samuel is given specific insights into what God wants of Saul, which Saul himself cannot see on his own. Unfortunately, Saul is not always fully docile to this guidance, and because of his lack of obedience, the consequences are quite dramatic.

This is a continual problem with Saul. While he is brave, he is also rash. It is important to note that Saul’s heart is “in the right place,” as they say. It is good for him to entreat the favor of the Lord. But it must be done in the proper way, at the proper time, by the proper person, and so on.

Rashness is ultimately a sign that one lacks discipline and self-control. As Exodus Men, we should know just how important these aspects of our lives are—both physically and spiritually. The Exodus journey is, in part, the journey to discipline and self-control, which the Lord desires for and expects from us.

How have you acted rashly in the past week? How can you discipline yourself to have more self-control? Take these questions to your personal prayer today.

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