“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:20 NKJV).

 

Patience is fast becoming an unpopular virtue in our fast-paced society that is given to instant gratifications. However, for Christians patience still remains an indispensable virtue.

The Scripture sternly warns against hastiness or impatience.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Prov. 21:5 NKJV).

“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Prov. 29:20 NKJV).

The Scripture also offers us the opportunity to learn about the folly and danger of hastiness or impatience.

Saul, the first king of Israel, was a great example of a hasty or impatient person in the Bible who paid dearly for his hastiness or impatience. Saul took no delight in waiting patiently for God for anything. Consequently, he suffered great losses in life.

It is wise to examine the life of Saul to see the folly and danger of impatience.

After Saul had reigned for two years over Israel the Philistines mustered all their forces and came up and pitched their camp against Israel. The Israelites also gathered together to Saul in Gilgal. In those days, the Israelites would not go to any battle until the priest had made supplications to God for them by offering burnt and peace offerings to God.

Samuel was the priest and prophet in those days and he gave explicit instruction to Saul, saying, “You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do.” (1 Sam. 10:8 NKJV).

But Saul would not wait for seven days, he became restless and impatient and so he offered the burnt offering contrary to God’s commandment.

Having waited six days for Samuel to show up at Gilgal, early on the seventh day, Saul grew impatient because he saw that the people were scattering from him and he arose and broke God’s commandment. Immediately after that, Samuel showed up.

Seeing Saul’s folly as a result of his impatience, Samuel rebuked him in 1 Samuel 13:

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.” (NKJV).

If Saul had waited few more hours for Samuel, God would have established his kingdom over Israel forever. Impatience costs Saul an eternal dynasty. It robs his descendants the honour of being kings in Israel.

What a huge lesson for us today!

Your impatience can rob you and your descendants of great blessings. The Scripture warns: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Prov. 21:5 NKJV).

Furthermore, while the Israelites were at war with the Philistines, Jonathan the son of King Saul and his armour bearer went out secretly from the camp of Israel and descended upon the garrison of the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:15).

When Saul got to know about the falling and melting away of the Philistines in their camp, he immediately summoned the priest, saying, “Bring the ark of God here” (for at that time the ark of God was with the children of Israel).” (1 Sam. 14:18 NKJV).

But before God could speak to Saul and give Him divine instructions, he became impatient and restless and thus fled to the battle field without receiving any word from God.

The Scripture records: “Now it happened, while Saul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines continued to increase; so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” (1 Sam. 14:18-19 NKJV).

The aftermath of his impatience was huge!

Let us consider some of the consequences of Paul’s hastiness in this matter.

First, as a consequence of Saul’s impatience to receive divine instructions from God, he rashly placed the Israelites under a curse, thereby restraining the fainting soldiers from taking the honey that God had graciously provided for them in the wood to strengthen them for complete victory over the Philistines (1 Sam. 14:28-30).

Unaware of Saul’s rash curse, Jonathan tasted the honey and his countenance became brightened. But when he was told about the curse, he exclaimed, “My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey. “How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?” (1 Sam. 14:29-30 NKJV).

Saul’s impatience brought a great trouble upon Israel and robbed them of a complete victory over their enemies.

Likewise, your impatience can bring great trouble upon your family and hinder you from appropriating and experiencing the complete victory that Jesus Christ has won for you through His death on the cross.

Second, as a result of Saul’s rash curse which prevented the men of Israel from eating the honey God had graciously provided to replenish their strength, the men became very fainted and so rushed on the spoils and ate the animals with the blood, thereby breaking God’s law and becoming abominable before God (1 Sam. 14:31-34).

Similarly, your hastiness or impatience could lead others to sin.

Third, the men also rebelled against Saul by disobeying his order to kill Jonathan when he heard that he had broken the oath he made all the men to swear.

The people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die.” (1 Sam. 14:45 NKJV).

Saul’s impatience diminished him, reduced his authority, and provoked rebellion against him.

Above all, later in the day when Saul consulted God for further counsel, God would not answer him any word.

The Scripture records: “So Saul asked counsel of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You deliver them into the hand of Israel?” But He did not answer him that day.” (1 Sam. 14:37 NKJV).

Early in the day when God wanted to give him counsel, Saul was impatient to hear or listen to God. Eventually, Saul and his men returned from pursuing the Philistines and missed the full victory God had planned for them.

Behold the consequences of one man’s impatience!

Like Saul, many believers today are no longer hearing God’s voice because they are always impatient to wait upon God to speak to them. While they may have the time or patience to pray to God, they don’t have the time or patience to wait for God to speak to them. This is the primary reason why many believers today are confused and stumbling and failing in life.

The Scripture admonishes:

“Do not go hastily to court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame?” (Prov. 25:8 NKJV).

“Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.” (Eccl. 5:2 NKJV).

“Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Prov. 29:20 NKJV).

Beloved, it is indeed foolishness to be hasty or impatient. Impatience is a fruit of unbelief.

The Scripture states: “…Whoever believes will not act hastily.” (Isa. 28:16 NKJV).

Being hasty in your words and actions is an indication that you are walking in the flesh, and not walking in the Spirit. Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The Scripture states: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…” (Gal. 5:22 RSV).

Therefore, the more you renew your mind according to the truths of God’s Word and the more you surrender or yield to the Holy Spirit, the more you will grow in, exhibit or manifest patience.

 

Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me today for my hastiness or impatience in my decisions and actions. Dear Holy Spirit, teach and help me to manifest increasingly the fruit of patience you are producing in my born-again spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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