Monday, July 17, 2017

1 Samuel 25 - A Mean Man and a Wise Woman

I hardly know a marriage where opposites were not involved. Even when two like minded people are married there are always those areas of disagreement. Our human nature seeks to exalt our way over another. Far too many marriage end in divorce because one or both partners will not yield to the other (or to God). God uses marriage to mold our character and to conform us into His image. He teaches us to love unconditionally our marriage partner.  God teaches us to hold the commitment of marriage higher than any other human relationship.  

Yet, some marriages are fraught with angst because one partner is given to their sin nature.  In Chapter 25, we have the story of a mean man, Nabal and his wise wife, Abigail. Abigail knew the character of her husband and for years had lived with him knowing that he was a mean, impulsive and foolish man.   She placed herself in the hands of God looking to Him for her security and not to her husband. 

When David and his men came looking to be rewarded for their service on behalf of Nabal's shepherds, Nabal refused to entertain them. We can tell that this refusal was somewhat politically motivated and that there were factions of the people who were loyal to Saul the king and those who were following David as God's appointed leader.  We see this on verse 10 when Nabal challenges David. He didn't question whether David had actually performed service in guarding his shepherds, he threw a dig at David for leaving the service of Saul. "Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days".  No matter what the reason for hostility, Nabal clearly crossed the line and was intending to give offense. 

Abigail heard of the offense and David's intent to take judgement into his own hands and intervened. She knew David was angry and appealed to him to not shed blood and avenging himself rather than allowing God to execute judgment due to Nabal. She begs him to pay no attention to Nabal and to consider the larger picture. God had plans to bless David and he is to be the next king of Israel. Nabal and his offense is insignificant and should not cause David to lose his focus. She reminds him that his security is in the Lord and no enemy can hinder God's plan (verse 29). 

Now Abigail also wisely dealt with her husband as well. He needed to be told all that took place, but she waited until after his night of partying to speak to him privately. No doubt she prayed through the night not knowing how he would respond but trusting God to give her courage and protection. God intervened and took Nabals life and protected Abigail. 

One of my tests of life is...can I trust God even when people act in a contrary manner to us and to God?  Can I concern myself with looking to God for my security and protection and not take the role of judge and teacher to those who don't do as I believe they ought?  Tell me how you meet the challenge. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him. 

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