When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews 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.
Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice
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 greet him.
Comment: The Israelites were terrified and they were in trouble! Saul and his quickly collected troops, not trained in war and poorly equipped weapon wise, were coming against a huge army angry as a disturbed hornet’s nest. We are are not told of the arrangement but Samuel as the Priest was going to meet them and sacrifice seeking God’s intervention and blessing after seven days. Presumably sometime as the seventh day dragged on and Samuel didn’t appear, Saul thought that he could kill a cow as well as Samuel could and make the sacrifice. As the smoke dies down Samuel appears. Saul, with maybe quaking fear, went out to greet him.
Prayer: Help me to do what I should and trust others to do their bit, O Lord.