5 Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. 7 And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8 Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.
11 And Samuel said, “What have you done?”
This scene brings me right back to a time when I was a teenager. And also got busted. Preface: I was a really stupid teenager. I loved Jesus. And yet I made really stupid decisions. I say this especially to parents of stupid teenagers. There is hope in Jesus. 🙂 However, this particular stupid decision changed the way I would forever fill out a job application. Even to this day. Now this is a story all about how my life got flip turned upside down…(Do I have to foot note that? I do not want to get busted for plagiarism…but I digress…) I called in sick to work. I wasn’t sick. I wanted to go out with a boy, instead of going to work. Here is where the stupider than stupid part comes in. All week long I had been trying to get someone to work for me. And no one would. Calling in sick after advertising that you didn’t want to work that day, in hindsight, not a good idea. But here’s the thing. People at work said “Oh, just call in sick. You don’t really have to BE sick. People call in sick all the time that aren’t sick. It’s like a “sick day.” No big deal. And I started to believe that this was really common and no big deal. Than Friday came along, and since I had skipped school too (although this was with parental permission to bond with my home from college sister), I thought it would be really convincing if I called during the day. So I called my manager, Jay, …..from the beach…and with my sickest, most pathetic voice told my boss that I wasn’t feeling too good, so I had stayed home from school and therefore could not come to work tonight. He said ok, but it was more like an “OHHH-Kay?” sing songy “are you sure about that” kind of tone. Trying to put that behind me, I enjoyed the sun and sand. Fast forward to that night. My parents were out, so I felt confident that if he called and got the answering machine I could just say that I felt too sick to answer the phone. But knowing my “luck” I thought, as soon I left, my parents would come home, he would call and I would be caught, because oh yeah, I had told my parents that someone was covering my shift. Ain’t no way my parents would let me call in sick to my boss for some boy.Well, short story longer, before I left the house to go on my big date, I turned off all the ringers on the phones, just in case my parents got home before the store closed. When I got back from my night out , all were sleeping. It was eerily quiet. But there was a note. “Jay called” it said. “Call him in the morning.”
My stomach fell. I knew I was sunk. But how!!??? I checked all the ringers. Off. How? Well, when I woke up the next morning, I found out how. I had forgotten one little phone in the guest room that nobody ever used. One silly little phone with a loud ringer. And minutes after I had left, moments before my boss was going to lock the doors and go home, he had called my house just as my parents had walked in the door. And the conversation went like this:
“Is Lauren there?”
“No, she’s out, can I take a message?”
“Oh, this is her boss, I thought she was sick”
“Sick? I thought she got someone to cover her shift.”
“Have her call me in the morning”
And I did, and I was fired. Done. Story of my life. I do something dumb and get caught almost instantly! Every time. I didn’t understand it. People around me were getting away with everything! But me? Never. It was so frustrating! But now I see that it was the grace of God and the prayers of a faithful momma. And I pray that now for my children, that God would bring their sins to light.
13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
Sin has consequences. For Saul they were immediate and delayed. He was caught right away, and Samuel told him right there that God already had a replacement, a man after God’s own heart. Ouch. But the consequences just kept coming as we shall see in the coming chapters. For me, the consequences were also immediate and delayed. I was fired immediately, but also, now every time I filled out a job application I was forced to check “yes” to the “Have you ever been terminated?” question, and explain “I called in sick when I wasn’t sick and learned my lesson.” Some people said to lie. To which my response was “As if!” You see, I did learn my lesson. I learned that you can’t fool God no matter how many ringers you turn off. I learned that He disciplines those that He loves, and that although His forgiveness is sure. Sin has consequences. We lie to ourselves saying that we are different, we can do what is wrong and get away with it. Our sin will be different. It’s not a big deal. No one will be that hurt. They will get over it. All will be fine. But it is Satan’s biggest lie. Watch the news. How do these horrific things happen? One little lie, one little deception, one little compromise at a time. In my case, I was the one who felt most of the pain. But today, in our society, children are the victims. And let me tell you, they are not as resilient as people think. I pray that God’s word would pierce our hearts and that we would remember this passage when temptation strikes. And I pray that those right now, caught in the grips of self deceit would make things right, repent, and find forgiveness and hope in our Savior, because His mercies are new every morning. And there is no one and no act beyond the redemptive power of Christ’s love! However, the irony in my life? I am currently a homeschooling mom…..a job that I adore, but consequently provides exactly ZERO sick days! Ha! God knows I love a good joke!