1 Samuel 25:32-44 The Power of the Intercessor II

1 Samuel 25:32-44

David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 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.” 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.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the Lord, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. Nabal has received the punishment for his sin.” Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife.

40 When the messengers arrived at Carmel, they told Abigail, “David has sent us to take you back to marry him.”

41 She bowed low to the ground and responded, “I, your servant, would be happy to marry David. I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants!” 42 Quickly getting ready, she took along five of her servant girls as attendants, mounted her donkey, and went with David’s messengers. And so she became his wife. 43 David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, making both of them his wives. 44 Saul, meanwhile, had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to a man from Gallim named Palti son of Laish.

Background

Abigail intercepts David before he commits murder that could have hindered his ascension to the throne. Abigail’s intercession enlightens David and redirects him from the exigency of the present to his future rule. As Nabal awakens to the facts the next morning, his system could not handle the shock and he suffered a stroke. Nabal’s demise is due to a divine act because he is evil and values material wealth above the human soul. Today’s episode teaches us another aspect of intercession: the importance of enlightening others to the path of righteousness.

Observation

Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder – Abigail’s timely interception has awakened David to the trap that the devil has laid for him. The devil takes advantage of the overwhelming emotion of injustice having been repaid evil for good by sowing the seeds of murder. David, having realized his folly praises Abigail for her wisdom, “Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder. By relenting, David proves himself not a vengeful man, but still, a far cry from the values of a New Covenant believer.

In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened – Nabal is in a world of his own unaware of the danger he has set for himself; he supposed his wealth has given him immunity against any foreign threat. Wealth has made Nabal into a blind monster having no empathy for the needs of another human being for he has put material wealth well above the value of the human soul.

As Nabal awakes from his drunkenness, he suddenly realized that he is not immune and powerful after all, having alienated the future king of Israel. The news is too much of a shock for Nabal and his system, as a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. Nabal’s death as stated is due to a divine act for the Lord stuck him, and he died. Nabal’s fate draws attention to the history of David’s relationship with Saul that God will eventually repay with vengeance those who do evil. When news comes around concerning Nabal, David perceives what transpired as divine vengeance well deserved: Praise the Lord, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. David’s attitude is not admirable and is not to be emulated by Christians.

I, your servant, would be happy to marry David – The way Abigail receives David’s messengers reveals her poise that befits a queen. She has no hesitation of becoming David’s wife out of a desire to serve and honor him: I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants, which stands in contrasts with women raised in the courts of royalty. In addition, the text mentions that David married Ahinoam although that is never God’s will for a man to have multiple wives. Meanwhile, Saul married Michal to another man in order to cut David off any ties he has with the royal family.

Truth

1.  The ministry of intercession involves revealing the truth that brings enlightenment to the path of righteousness. People are trapped in their problems because there is no clarity or enlightenment as to God’s direction for them. Hence, they remain in their flawed mindset, continuing in the vicious cycle of their poverty. Until they receive enlightenment and divine guidance, their problems will remain. An intercessor must minister by giving guidance in combination with prayers and petitions. In this process, the intercessor receives divine guidance from God and pass it on to the person being prayed for. Abigail not only protects her own family from calamity, she enlightens David to the ways of righteousness and keeps him from committing murder. Hence, our prayers of intercession must leave our ears ever open to what God may say to the people whom we intercede for.

2.  Praying for our enemies is our responsibility, vengeance and justice is God’s. The Old Testament’s values system is based on the law that requires justice on account of the perpetrator. However, in the New Testament, Jesus presents a higher law, which is the law of love. Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:44). He became a model of a sanctified life by sacrificing Himself for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, we must learn to forgive and not require others to repay the evil they have done. At the same time, we pray that the Spirit may sow into their hearts the seeds of truth so that they may be reconciled with God. However, God the righteous Judge will require justice and what is owed must be repaid in full (Romans 12:19). By doing good to our enemies, we show ourselves as sons of God and be rewarded by Him (Romans 12:20).

3.  When you value material wealth above people, you are close to losing your soul. Concerning the value of the soul, Jesus teaches, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul.” (Matthew 16:26). The value of one soul is far greater than all the assets of the world put together. Yet Jesus warns that the man who values material wealth above the soul will lose everything, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20). Therefore, we must be clear that the stewardship of material wealth involves becoming a blessing to those who need help. We must treasure the human soul above material wealth by reaching out to the poor. However, once people are drawn to material things as opposed to fellow human beings, they begin to wander away from the faith and pierce themselves with many griefs (see 1 Timothy 6:10).

Application

  1. Do you forgive those who have hurt you by praying for them? By praying for their wellbeing and repentance, I display maturity and love befitting a child of God.
  2. Make it a habit of passing on God’s divine instructions to those you have been praying for. You will never know the blessings it may bring them.
  3. Do you treasure your material possessions above your family members, friends and others who are in need? Money can do no more than bringing comfort to the physical body. Joy and blessedness comes from your relationship with God and with others. Perhaps, you could consider setting aside a budget that you can freely use to bless those you love and those who are in need.

Dear Lord, help me put my trust in you for you are my Provider. I understand that true blessedness comes not from material possessions but from my relationship with you and with fellow human beings. Use me as an intercessor, to speak the truth in love to those you have placed on my heart. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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