16 Now Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude melted away; and they went here and there. 17 Saul said to the people who were with him, “[g]Number now and see who has gone from us.” And when they had [h]numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor bearer were not there. 18 Then Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God was at that time with the sons of Israel. 19 While Saul talked to the priest, the commotion in the camp of the Philistines continued and increased; so Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.” 20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and came to the battle; and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who were with the Philistines previously, who went up with them all around in the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 When all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines had fled, even they also pursued them closely in the battle. 23 So the Lord delivered Israel that day, and the battle [i]spread beyond Beth-aven.
It’s believed based on other manuscripts that Saul actually called for an ephod, rather than the ark, but the idea is the same. Saul’s lookouts saw something in the Philistine camp, and Saul wanted to ask God what was going on.
But the tumult grows so much that Saul loses patience (again) and says “Withdraw your hand.” Others translate this a little more clearly as “Never mind, let’s get going!”
While it’s always important to ask God for direction in our lives, sometimes His message is already clear and we need to get moving before we miss out on the victory He has prepared for us.
When God speaks, when He moves, don’t dilly dally, get moving!