Waiting is Worship (1Samuel 13-15)



Recently in our move I somehow lost my passport. Over the last several weeks we have searched boxes, bags, cars, and my office to no success. Fortunately I was able to obtain a new one by going to the national DC office. Yet, even then I had to wait another week for it to be processed and delivered in the mail.

Waiting is not fun. Especially as American’s we have been conditioned to instant gratification.

–        Waiting for grocery line is too slow so we have self-check
–        Waiting for traffic is too slow so we have GPS & apps to re-route (locals upset that waze app routes people through neighborhoods instead of keeping traffic on the highway)-        Waiting for coffee to brew is to slow so we have Keurig
–        Waiting for fast food is too slow so we have store apps
–        Waiting for internet wifi to load is too slow so we use alt device or the network paid plan.

Today’s passage I want us to understand the value of waiting and that waiting is worship.
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EXAMINE           1Samuel 13-15         Waiting is Worship

1Samuel 8-12 (review)
Israel seeks a king in place of God’s provision for leadership. Israel wanted to be like the other nations in spite of God’s desire for them to be unique among the nations. Israel wanted a human leader that they could tangibly see go before them to fight their battles. Yet, God’s presence and power was just as tangible in removing enemies and providing victory.

1Sam 13-15 Religious activity is not a substitute for agreement with God.
Saul becomes king and reigns for ~40 years (cf. Hebrew text is vague literally saying Saul was son of a year… and reigned two years [perhaps until the Lord disqualified him]; cf also Acts 13:21 saying Saul reigned 40 years).[1]

Saul faces the rival enemy of Israel in the Philistines. Saul’s son Jonathan defeats a Philistine garrison that becomes a song of the Israelites and a stench of the Philistines (1Sam 13:14). Yet, the Philistine army responds with counterattack with an enormous army causing the Israelites to hide in caves and trench warfare.

Saul was supposed to wait for seven days at Gilgal for Samuel and the Lord to reveal the next steps of strategy against their enemies (cf. 1Sam 10:8; 13:8). However, Samuel was late which caused Saul to be hasty with offering a sacrifice to the Lord (1Sam 13:9-13). Samuel observed Saul’s hasty activity, and in essence his disobedience, and rebuked Saul: “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you” (1Sam 13:13-14).

è Saul was insecure and more concerned about personal achievement than obedience to God. The pressure was on the Israelites causing them to scatter and hide. Saul rushed to sacrifice because the people were scattering from him and he feared being conquered. While these are rightful concerns, Saul’s approach showed a lack of trust in God to provide and protect.

o   – – – > Does your work week have planned time for spiritual growth? Daily & Sundays.

o   – – – > Is your identity built upon God meeting your supposed needs or you serving God’s demands?

o   – – – > When the pressure of life’s circumstances increase, is your first reaction to lash out at others, blameshift responsibility, and neglect faith in God?

Insecurity is defeated through the decision to please an audience of ONE!

–        Psalm 20: 7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

–        Isaiah 33:22 “For the Lord is our judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our king; he will save us.”


1Samuel 14:24-46
è Saul was impatient which led to his disobedience to God. He rushed to sacrifice when He should have waited on God and not assumed Samuel’s role (1Sam 13:12). Saul rashly vowed to kill individuals in his army who ate before they avenged all the Philistines (1Sam 14:24). Saul’s impatient character set a poor example for his army as they ate meat with the blood in it (1Sam 14:32-33; contra Gen 9:4; Lev 3:17; 7:26). Further, Saul’s rashness and not repenting or listening to the Lord was going to lead him to kill his own son (1Sam 14:44).

o   – – – > How do you respond when your patience is tested?

  • When you have to repeat or prove yourself right multiple times to spouse, children, co-worker, or church member before action is taken?
  • 1Cor 13:4 “Love is patient and kind…”
  • When a friend or church member’s personality is irritating too frequently or at the wrong moment?
  • Eph 4:2 “with patience, bearing with one another in love” cf. Col 3:12
  • 1Thess 5:14 “be patient with all [persons]”
  • When the plans of your day/week/life are not according to your desires? When God does not answer prayer with a yes or no, but instead is either gives silence and calls you to wait?
  • Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”


  • The life of faith is one of waiting

o   Isaiah 26:8 “O LORD, we wait for you; your name and remembrance are the desire of our soul”

o   Isaiah 40:31 “those “who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” 

o   Isaiah 64:4 “who acts for those who wait for him”

o   Romans 8:23 We “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies”

o   1Corinthians 1:7 We “wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ”

o   1Thessalonians 1:9–10 We are those who “wait for his Son from heaven”

o   Titus 2:13 we are a people “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

o   Hebrews 9:28 “who are eagerly waiting for him”

o   2Peter 3:11-13 waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”

o   Jude 1:21 “waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” 

  • God’s patience teaches us the value of waiting

o   Romans 2:4 “Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

o   1Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 1:6 Christians wait in the confidence that God is sustaining our salvation and completing our sanctification to the very end.

o   1Peter 3:20 He was patient when the first man and woman sinned. His “patience waited in the days of Noah”

o   1Timothy 1:16 Jesus displays God’s perfect patience toward sinners.

o   2Peter 3:9, 15 God is “patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance… and count the patience of the Lord as salvation”


The Christian must learn the value of pursuing God and patient trust in His purpose & provision for our life.



1Samuel 15:1-35 [7-14, 22-23]

è Saul was insubordinate which led to his disobedience to God. God commanded Saul to destroy the Amalekites for the evil. Yet, Saul spared the king Agag and kept their best possessions of sheep, oxen, fattened calves, and lams, and all that was good, and would not destroy them; but all that was despised and worthless they destroyed (1Sam 15:9). When Samuel saw Saul’s actions he asked, “What is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of oxen that I hear?” (1Sam 15:14). Later the word of the Lord is “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1Sam 15:22). In essence, Saul’s religious activity was substituted for full obedience to God.


–        – – – > What sounds of ring in the ears of God and your Christian family as sin that instead you view as sounds of selfish pleasure and entitlement?

o   Fornication?

o   Withholding time, talents, tithe… while others give generously?

o   Unwilling to follow through in commitment with church membership, baptism, serving in an area He’s called, or going on mission trip, or witnessing to a friend…

o   – – – > What commands of the Lord are you disobeying through sins of commission or omission?





WHEREAS Adam disobeyed God and was taken out of the Garden


WHEREAS Saul disobeyed God and had the kingdom removed


–        Jesus obeyed God and rescues us from punishment and restores to us the presence and provision of God.

–        Jesus calls us by Spirit-empowered grace to obey which is better than sacrifice.

o   Defeat insecurity through deciding to please God.

o   Defeat impatience through deciding to trust God.



[1] Bergen, R. D. (1996). 1, 2 Samuel (Vol. 7, p. 148). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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