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Thursday, March 23, 2017

David and Abigail

Samuel lived a lifetime for The King.  Saul, not so much.  Now, David is king.  He has already defeated Goliath, won in many battles, and spared Saul’s life.  What will his life reveal?  Will David live a lifetime for The King?

There was a wealthy man from Maon who owned property near the town of Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and it was sheep-shearing time. This man's name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings. When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: "Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David." (1 Samuel 25:2-8 NLT)

David’s walk with God is about to be challenged by a particularly difficult man: Nabal.  David and his men have treated Nabal and his men with respect and have even helped them out.  Nabal, however, doesn’t seem to care.

David's young men gave this message to Nabal in David's name, and they waited for a reply. "Who is this fellow David?" Nabal sneered to the young men. "Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I've slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?" So David's young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. "Get your swords!" was David's reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment. (1 Samuel 25:9-13 NLT)

Sometimes people just know how to push our right buttons.  Nabal was pushing David’s.  David wanted him dead.  Remember, The LORD had already given the instructions about about murder.  It’s just wrong (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13, 22:2-3; Numbers 35:15-33; Deuteronomy 5:17, 17:8-9, 21:1-9, 22:8).  David was ready to commit murder.  Meanwhile, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, found out what had happened and she quickly jumped into action.

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. She fell at his feet and said, "I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don't pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the young men you sent. "Now, my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, since the LORD has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The LORD will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the LORD's battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life. "Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! When the LORD has done all He promised and has made you leader of Israel, don't let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won't have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the LORD has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!" (1 Samuel 25:23-31 NLT)

God often sends angels (messengers) into our lives to keep us from doing the wrong we have in our minds or hearts.  Abigail was just such an angel in David’s life.  David listened to her message.

David replied to Abigail, "Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. For I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal's men would still be alive tomorrow morning." Then David accepted her present and told her, "Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband." (1 Samuel 25:32-35 NLT)

When we listen to our better angels, we take another step in a lifetime for The King.

How about you?  Do you have people or situations that push your buttons?  How do you react?  Do you let the button pushing drive you to do something you know is against our King?  Do you listen to the better angels (messengers) who are pointing you back to the King?  Will you take another step in a lifetime for The King?