In I Samuel 25:1, Samuel died and the people mourned. And now, even though David’s calling is yet to be realized, life still goes on. The people have practical needs. David’s army is hungry. David attempts to provide for them, calling in a favor from a man he had helped in the past. This man, Nabal, however, refuses. Now what? Instead of praying for guidance, David relies on what he knows. He prepares for battle. He will get what is due him by force. Providentially, however, Abigail, Nabal’s wise and winsome wife, gets wind of what is going on. Upon hearing of her husbands refusal to help David, she knows his actions will likely bring disaster to her family. So she collects some food and supplies, and sets off on foot to hopefully stave off any potential harm. And it works. David is moved by her kindness. He is thankful. And consequently David is saved from making a big mistake.
There are many lessons to be learned from this passage of scripture. First of all, David did not seek God first about this potential battle. He just barreled on full steam ahead. God, however, had other plans.
“A man plans his way, but the Lord directs his path.”
Too many times I have gone ahead and made plans without truly seeking God and been stopped right in my tracks. Sometimes it was not a pleasant stop, but I was stopped nonetheless. How good is God to warn us when we are headed in a way that leads to destruction?
When I was a teenager I couldn’t get away with ANYTHING. Not one thing. That praying mom I mentioned here? The mom that was always fighting for our family? I blame her prayers. Whenever I did anything dishonest, it was sure to backfire. That verse “Be sure your sin will find you out?” That could have been my life’s verse.
Yet there was a girl in my high school who had the opposite life. She was allowed to do anything that she wanted. I was so jealous. One day while we sat waiting for our respective rides home on the bench after school, I let her know how lucky she was that her parents didn’t care what she did. Staring off down the road she answered soberly without skipping a beat, “Yeah, they don’t care.”
And I understood. That short conversation has stayed with me all of these years.
Hebrews 12:6 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves and punishes every son He receives.
And in this moment, my heart is overwhelmed with His love for me. Seriously. This passage in I Samuel. Today. I am just reading through I Samuel. Who could know the relevance for this my life right now? God. That’s who. A sovereign loving God who has treasures in His word, waiting for us, just to read and receive.
God warns us. He woos us. He calls us. He does this because of how much he cares. But sometimes, we chose self. We choose an immediate pleasure over longtime love. We choose instant satisfaction over ongoing sanctification.
How many times has someone come to you with a complaint about your character, only to be dismissed. Was it a coworker, an overseer, a spouse, your child? What happens in our hearts when we are confronted by someone who thinks our intended path is wrong? In my own heart my first reaction might be defense. “How could you say that about me, don’t you know I……(fill in the blank with excuse or justification.) Or accusation “Who are you to tell me that? ”
But oh what amazing growth would happen in our life if the next time we were confronted with a need for change we reacted like David.
“Praise the Lordwho ……restrained His servant from doing evil.
David could have ignored Abigail, he could have hung onto his hurt pride and charged forward to make Nabal pay. He could have chosen vengeance over mercy. But he didn’t. He let go. David’s pride was in check. His response?
Praise to a God that kept him from doing evil.
Praise to a God that kept him from doing evil.
How did the Lord keep him from doing evil? He sent someone to remind him of who he is and the high calling on his life. She goes to him in meekness and grace.
28 Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lordis certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord’s battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you.
She takes responsibility for the sins of her husband,Nabal. She reminds David of who he is anointed to be speaks a blessing into his life.
What would happen church, if the conflicts in our home, our work place, and within all of our relationships were handled this way on a daily basis?
Approach with grace and receive with praise.
I pray that we would be receptive to correction, taking it to the Lord for true clarification. I pray that when we have an issue to bring before someone we would do so with humility and grace, knowing that our Lord in heaven, came to us, he washed our feet. And while I rejoice in a God that loves me just as I am, I am eternally grateful that he loves me too much to let me stay that way.