Ever found yourself thinking, "If only things were different, I'd have peace and happiness"? It's easy to believe that wealth, wisdom, or status will bring us the peace we crave. But in the midst of life's twists and turns, we often discover that true peace is not found in external circumstances, but in our relationship with God. Today, we're going to explore a story from the book of 1 Samuel that illustrates how our responses to life's challenges can shape our path and our relationship with God.
1 Samuel 25:2-3
2 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.3 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.
1 Samuel 25:14-17
14 Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he screamed insults at them.15 These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us.16 In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep.17 You need to know this and figure out what to do, for there is going to be trouble for our master and his whole family. He’s so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!”
1 Samuel 25:23-26
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 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.
26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lordhas 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.
1 Samuel 25:35-38
35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”
36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.
God Gives Us Opportunities To Do Good
In 1 Samuel 25, David, who was running for his life from King Saul, found himself in the territory of Nabal. Instead of seeking revenge, David developed friendships with Nabal's servants and protected his property. This situation reminds us that God often presents us with opportunities to do good, to help those in need, and to protect the innocent around us.
In the Middle of Doing Good, Our Need Arises
Even as David was doing good, his need for provisions arose. He approached Nabal, expecting kindness in return for his previous help. However, Nabal responded with anger and ungratefulness. This teaches us that sometimes, even when we're doing good, we may face disappointment or ingratitude.
God Helps Us To Have a Right Response
David's initial response was to seek revenge, but God calls us to have a different reaction. The Jesus version says to "turn the other cheek" and love our enemies. Abigail, Nabal's wise wife, exemplified this when she intervened and calmed David's anger. It reminds us that God helps us have the right response, even when others mistreat us.
Sometimes, We Need an Intercessor
Abigail's intervention saved her family from disaster. She acted as an intercessor, mediating between David and Nabal. In our lives, too, there are times when we need someone to step in and help reconcile conflicts or guide us toward a better path.
The Lord Blesses Peacemakers
Ultimately, David accepted Abigail's apology, and her actions prevented a tragic outcome. The Bible tells us that the Lord blesses peacemakers. Abigail's courage and wisdom not only saved lives but also paved the way for David's future. Just as David's encounter with Nabal and Abigail had unexpected twists and turns, our lives are often filled with surprises. But it's how we respond to these situations that truly matters. God gives us opportunities to do good, and in the midst of challenges, our reactions can either lead to conflict or be a source of blessing. When we follow the example of Abigail and seek to be peacemakers, we align ourselves with God's plan for peace and righteousness in our lives. So, as you go about your day, remember that God can transform even the most challenging situations into opportunities for His grace and goodness to shine. Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom and strength to recognize the opportunities you place before us to do good, to help those in need, and to promote peace in our lives and in the lives of others. In moments of our troubles, teach us to respond with grace, love, and a heart that reflects your mercy. Guide us to be peacemakers, even in the face of anger and conflict, just as Abigail intervened to prevent disaster. May we be open to the intercessors you send into our lives, bridging the gaps between strife and resolution. Transform our minds, so that we may live lives that honor and glorify You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.