It Doesn’t Take Long

Read: 1 Samuel 13:1-15

But now your kingdom shall not continue. (v. 14)

It’s funny how quickly we can tell whether a leader will be successful or not. We carefully observe their first moves and evaluate the decisions they make. We notice if they fall asleep in meetings or make people cry when they’ve done something wrong. Their strength and assertiveness matter just as much as their kindness and patience. And we are able to feel the success (or failure) of a leader in our lives as much as we can see it.

Lamentably, it didn’t take long for the people of Israel to recognize that Saul was not turning out to be a successful leader. He disappointed people and God alike. Saul’s own army followed him with a degree of trembling and wandered away while waiting for battle to begin, probably fearing Saul’s ineptitude. He made a catastrophically poor decision when he refused to wait for Samuel to arrive and offer the pre-battle sacrifices. When Saul wrongfully assumed priestly responsibilities, he angered God and disappointed his people. Scarcely two years in, Samuel told Saul that his foolishness had cost him the kingdom.

Leaders have clear paths set for them, but they also have room to cast vision and cultivate growth. A leader “after God’s own heart” will not force their own way, but will seek God’s kingdom first, to the ultimate glory of God and not self. These are the leaders we should honor and commit to.

As you pray, give thanks for healthy, wise leaders and commit to joining them for God’s glory.

About the Author

Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.

This entry is part 14 of 31 in the series 1 Samuel: Trusting God through Big Transitions