1 Samuel 13:11 MEANING

1 Samuel 13:11
(11) What hast thou done?--The deeper aspects of King Saul's sin are discussed in Excursus F. On this memorable occasion the king plainly told Samuel that though he would gratefully receive any help which the prophet of the Most High could and would bring him, still, in an emergency like the present, sooner than run any risk, he preferred to act alone, and, if necessary, to go into battle without Divine consecration and blessing. The danger at this juncture was imminent; to ward it off, he considered that the direct Divine intimation which he allowed he had received through Samuel must be disregarded. Acting upon this persuasion, he set it aside, acting according to the ordinary dictates of worldly prudence. He must in his action at Gilgal either have forgotten or disbelieved the story of the Joshua conquest, and of the signal deliverances under the hero Judges, when the Glorious Arm fought by the people, and splendid successes were won in the face of enormous odds through the intervention of no mortal aid.

Saul might have been, and was, a valiant and skilful general, but was no fitting Viceroy of the invisible King in heaven, who required from him before all things the most ardent unquestioning faith.

Saul and his house, it is too clear, would only rule the Israel of God according to the dictates of their own haughty will.

The twice-repeated assertion of Samuel, "Thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord" (1 Samuel 13:13-14)--an assertion uncontradicted by Saul--shows us that this whole transaction was an act of overt rebellion against the will of the Eternal.

Verse 11. - What hast thou done? The question implies rebuke, which Saul answers by pleading his danger. Each day's delay made his small force dwindle rapidly away, and the Philistines might at any hour move down from Michmash upon him at Gilgal and destroy him. But it was the reality of the danger which put his faith and obedience to the trial.

13:8-14 Saul broke the order expressly given by Samuel, see ch.And Samuel said, what hast thou done? This question he put to bring him to a confession of what he had done, otherwise he guessed at it by his countenance; or rather, by the prophetic spirit he was endowed with, he knew it certainly that he had offered the sacrifices without waiting for him:

and Saul said because I saw the people were scattered from me; they were deserting, and he feared, if he stayed any longer, they would all leave him; this was one reason of doing what he did:

and that thou camest not within the days appointed; seven days were appointed, and because the seventh day was come, though it was not gone, he concluded Samuel would not come at all; and that was another reason why he did what he did; and by this would have laid the blame on Samuel, as if he did not keep his time; whereas it was Saul's impatience that hurried him to this action:

and that the Philistines gathered themselves together to Michmash; where his station before was, and from thence he might quickly expect them at Gilgal; and this was another reason why he hastened the sacrifice.

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