Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 12 May 18:
1. 1 Samuel 25:9-13 — David displayed hospitality to a stranger but expected reciprocation. When insults were returned instead, David’s pride (with perhaps a root of insecurity) caused him to lose control of his temper, bearing, and self-control. He reduced himself to Nabal’s level. David originally demonstrated gracefulness. Now he was acting very ungraceful.
2. 1 Samuel 25:13 — “And David said to his men, ‘Every man strap on his sword!’ And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.” Treated poorly, David, in pride, acted emotionally and rashly. God expects us to be bigger than that. In his prideful rage, David also incited others. Don’t let hot-headed people drag you into their fights.
3. 1 Samuel 25:17 – “…he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.” Nabal was considered a worthless man in part because he would not listen to the concerns, requests, or advice of others. He lacked emotional intelligence.
4. 1 Samuel 25:18 — “Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.” Abigail was a reconciler who protected others from their own foolish behavior.
5. 1 Samuel 25:21 — “Now David had said, ‘Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good.'” If you do good deeds only to seek a future reward, you will only experience frustration which may tempt you to sin.
6. 1 Samuel 25:22 – “God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.” David made a rash vow to God in pride and arrogance. He revealed a flaw in his character that will hurt him later. We need to be able to not only identify the flaws in our character but to also have the strength to correct those flaws.
7. 1 Samuel 25:23-25 — Abigail took responsibility for Nabal’s failures and appears to have established a practice of protecting both Nabal and others from the consequences of Nabal’s shortcomings. Abigail models loyalty to a weak leader. She is a protector.
8. 1 Samuel 25:23-31 — Abigail tactfully points out to David that he is in danger of bloodguilt, and rather than speaking to God’s punishment for bloodguilt, she speaks about the blessings God bestows upon the faithful, all while offering David a gift.
9. 1 Samuel 25:24 — “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant.” See Gal 6:1, 2 — Abigail showed Christ-like love by bearing the burden of her husband’s sins.
10. 1 Samuel 25:28 — “Please forgive the trespass of your servant.” See the Lord’s Prayer — “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Doesn’t 1 Samuel 25:28 sound a lot like the Lord’s Prayer?
11. 1 Samuel 25:32 – “And David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!’” David recognized that his encounter with Abigail was not a coincidence but was orchestrated by God. One of the primary was God works in your life is by arranging circumstances and encounters with others to affect His purpose and impact your life at just the right time in just the right way. Don’t think that anything in your life is accidental. Keep your eyes open for what God is doing.
12. 1 Samuel 25:33 — “Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” We have recently read and commented much on the Bible’s many commands to us concerning how we are to respond to insults and abuse: Remember Romans 12:14-19 — “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse…. Do not take revenge;” and Romans 15:1 — “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.” Today we read about the value of having and giving sound counsel when emotions could lead to sin. Abigail prevented David from acting emotionally, rashly and in a way he would have always regretted. Abigail was not only beautiful, she was discerning (The opposite of the woman described in Proverbs 11:22 from yesterday’s readings). She was a peacemaker. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons (daughter in Abigail’s case) of God (Matthew 5:9).” Are you an Abigail? Do you have an Abigail in your life?
13. 1 Samuel 25:36 – “Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk.” Nabal was a drinker – no surprise.
14. 1 Samuel 25:39 — “The LORD has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” David did not need to defend himself and stand up for his rights. Neither do you.
15. 1 Samuel 26:8 – “Then Abishai said to David, ‘God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!’” Henry T. Blackaby’s comments on this verse: “You will sometimes be tempted to take shortcuts to your destinations in life. David faced this temptation numerous times before he finally assumed the throne. Samuel, God’s prophet, had anointed David and prophesied that he would be the next king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:12–13). Yet, while David waited on God’s timing, he watched in frustration as a crazed King Saul brought the kingdom into jeopardy. Saul pursued David to murder him, forcing David to flee for his life. Then an incredible opportunity presented itself to David. David found Saul in a vulnerable position, sleeping with his army. Abishai, one of David’s warriors, offered to kill Saul. It seemed to make perfect sense. Saul had tried to kill David on numerous occasions. God had said He intended for David to be the king. By taking matters into his own hands, David could bring an end to his exile and assume the throne as God’s anointed servant. Yet he refused to compromise his integrity in order to become king, even though he wanted the position and it was rightfully his. Accomplishing God’s will in any manner other than the way God prescribed was unthinkable. At times you may face similar temptations. Well-meaning friends advise you to hasten God’s will for you rather than waiting upon Him. You may be sorely tempted to take control of your situation, assuming the end will justify the means. These are the times when you must trust God’s perfect timing. God may plan for you to attain a certain position or take a new direction, but the timing may not be right. Watch over your heart. Don’t allow others to persuade you to compromise your integrity as you follow God’s will.”
16. 1 Samuel 26:12 – “No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.” God enabled David’s actions in a supernatural way which was not observable to men.
17. 1 Samuel 26:21 – “Then Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.’” Note once again in today’s readings Saul’s false repentance. True repentance, a changed heart, does not return to sin.
18. 1 Samuel 26:24 – “Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.” David recognized the expectation to treat others with the same mercy and grace he desired from God.
19. Proverbs 12:9 – “Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.” What matters is what you really are, not what you say you are.
20. Proverbs 12:16 – “The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.” It is wise to overlook an insults in order to preserve peace. As stated previously, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to have this kind of wisdom.
21. Psalm 55:6-8 – “And I say, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah. I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” Running away from problems won’t solve your problems; turning to God will.
22. Psalm 55:12-14 – “For it is not an enemy who taunts me— then I could bear it…. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend…. The closer someone is to you, the greater they can hurt you.
23. Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Trust your burdens to the Lord.
24. Psalm 55:23 – “But you, O God, will cast them down into the pit of destruction; men of blood and treachery shall not live out half their days. But I will trust in you.Make the decision to trust in the Lord, regardless the circumstances.”
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 May: Be a peacemaker and reconciler today. (1 Sam 25)