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Don't Put Your Hands Down


But while Saul was talking to the priest, the uproar in the camp of the Philistine continued and kept getting louder. Saul said to the priest, “Put your hand down.” 1 Sam. 14:19

The story behind the verse: (1 Samuel 13-14)

Saul, Israel's first king has been king for about two years. As he prepares to lead the Israelites into battle against their oppressors, the Philistines, he sees his soldiers that are ready to fight, start to drift away from his leadership. In fear of loosing his army, he makes a hasty decision. The choice appears correct from a human perspective but was disobedient to God’s plan and direction. Saul did not wait for God’s timing or direction! Samuel rebukes Saul’s disobedience and preparations for the battle continue.

The Israelites armed only with farm tools are getting ready to attack a very large, well-equipped army. In contrast, their entire force possessed only two swords! (Sometimes God allows us to be under-equipped so that we can see His power!) Before being directed by Saul, Jonathan, Saul’s son, starts the battle. When Saul hears the fighting in the background, he calls for the priest to ask for God’s direction. BUT…as the priest asks for direction and waits on God, the battle gets louder.  The background noise gets stronger and Saul struggles to listen and focus on God’s timing and direction yet again! As the battle rages, Saul decides that the time for prayer has past and says to the priest, “Put your hand down.”

I was puzzled by the phrase, “Put your hand down” so I did some research. In Scripture, when the priests held their hands in the air, it was their way of waiting on God to answer and give them direction. So, when Saul responded this way, Saul’s was saying to the priest, we no longer have time to wait on God. We don’t need His answer any longer. The battle is happening; we should be fighting! In other words, he said, stop praying, it is time for action! Action without God’s direction is very dangerous.  Saul’s resistance to God’s direction and God’s timing ultimately cost him both his life and the lives of his family members. His throne was taken from him and given to someone that would allow God’s control. 

 
How about you? Do you allow God’s control? Do you wait for God’s direction even when the battle rages around you? If this is a struggle, I encourage you to put your hands in the air and wait! Wait on God. Wait for direction. Wait for guidance. Wait…and rely on Him alone. 

 

*Photos from Free Digital Photos

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