Monday, March 10, 2014
# 354 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:32-34, “Then David said to Abigail: "Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 "And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34 "For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!" )1 Sam 25:32-34) Oh how happy David is that Abigail has turned him back from shedding blood without cause. He starts out by blessing the Lord God, acknowledging that it was by the Lord's prompting that Abigail came to him in the first place. Then he blesses Abigail for her advice to him, the word advice does not do justice here to what David is really saying to Abigail. The Hebrew word used here means to taste, it is the idea of having discernment. If you've ever seen an expert tasting wine, you can fully appreciate what is being said here. These experts swirl the wine around the glass, they sniff it, and move it around their taste buds to discern all the qualities of the wine, (good or bad!) By the way, this same word is used in Ps 34:8, “TASTE and see that the Lord is good! Take Him for a swirl around the taste buds of your soul. You will find that “His work is perfect; and all His ways are justice, He is a God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. ( Dt 32:4) Back to Abigail; David blesses her for her gift of discernment. She took the entire situation in and swirled it through the taste buds of God's Word and ascertained that David was about to do something terribly wrong. So she intervened. And please note, she “hastened.” she didn't dilly dally. Once she was certain that David was headed in the wrong direction, she acted! She followed our Lord's advice in Mt 18:15 "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. Oh Father, give us the discernment of Abigail, and the courage to employ it. And help us to receive the correction of Your Holy Spirit through Your Word.
Friday, March 7, 2014
# 353 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:30,31, “And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; 31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid. (1 Sam 25:30,31) Abigail has stood in the gap in an attempt to prevent David from shedding blood without cause. She was hoping to spare David any future grief. The word grief here means staggering or stumbling and it's a very real phenomena! I have personally seen grief so powerful that the woman who was experiencing it literally could not stand as she was overwhelmed by guilt from a past abortion. The Holy Spirit, speaking through this biblical account of David, and Abigail is trying to show us the very real connection between overwhelming grief and the shedding of blood without cause. Further, Abigail wanted to spare offence to David's heart, the word means a writing. If David had gone through with this it would have been like etching this wrong forever on his heart. This is the reality of the post abortive man or woman. Priests for Life has a website dedicated to women who have had abortions, listen to some of what they had to say: “I couldn't look at any kids,” “Every time the vacuum cleaner was used, I thought about how my baby died,” “I've never known a feeling so bad,” “I still grieve and it's been over 10 years, “”I would shut down or cry,” “my life went downhill and stayed there for years,” “years later it came back to haunt me,” and perhaps the most poignant, “Abortion doesn't make the baby go away.”Thankfully, there is forgiveness for this sin through the innocent shed blood of Jesus. There is a way to deal with overwhelming guilt. Hear the plea of David as he was overwhelmed with guilt over his sin of murdering the innocent Uriah, “Ps 51:14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation,” and then, believe with David the truth of Psa 65:3 Sins overwhelmed me, But you atoned for our transgressions. “Father, help the post abortive to receive Your forgiveness, lift the weight of guilt from their souls, and use us to lovingly prevent others from experiencing the same kind of guilt and pain.“
Thursday, March 6, 2014
# 352 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:29 "Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. (1 Sam 25:29) Abigail continues with great prophetic overtones as she speaks to David. As we mentioned last time, her humble, contrite, and thankful attitude opens the door to divine revelation. We should all learn from Abigail that these attitudes or mindsets are a must as we approach and seek to understand God's Word. Here, she reassures David that even though Saul has risen up against him, the Lord will protect him and cast his enemies out as a stone is cast from a sling. (Something which David would have no problem identifying with in light of how he took Goliath down.) And what a beautiful word picture when Abigail says, “the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God;” This word picture was so precious to the Jewish people that to this day, they understand this not only of the present life, but of the life to come, and therefore use it commonly, as an inscription on their grave-stones. "Here we have laid the body, trusting the soul is bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord." I have a cable package that includes television, phone service, and the internet. It is called a bundle. It is three in one, just as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are bundled into one. It is mind blowing to think that as a believer in Jesus Christ, I am bundled up with the Trinity, and God has bundled me up with all the other believers in the book of Life for eternity! The Holy Spirit speaking through the prophet Daniel reminds us of this truth on the Last Day when he says, “And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book.” Bundled with the living for all eternity! What a blessed thought! Father, help me finish the race bundled with the living.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
# 351 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:27,28, Abigail is speaking and says, "And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 "Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. (1 Sam 25:27,28) I find it interesting that this Abigail knows so much about David. I mean, who told her that the Lord would one day make David an enduring house? That kind of information could only come from the Lord. This humble woman, (please note the number of times she refers to David as her lord!) This contrite woman, (Please note her plea for forgiveness) And this thankful woman, (Please note the gift that she has brought to David) has heard directly from the Holy Spirit! Could we learn from this woman? What if we were consistently humble, contrite, and thankful? Do you not think that God would reveal more of His will to us? Many times we find ourselves in situations where we long to hear from God. Well, Abigail gives us a good example and the best place to start. Humility, contrition, and thankfulness. Ps 18:27, 28 says, “ For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks. 28 For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. And in Isa 57:15, we read, “ For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Want your lamp lit? Need a personal revival? Start with humility, continue with confession and contrition, and then express your thanksgiving in tangible ways. Oh Father, how we need Thy guiding light. How we need Your revelation as we walk this earth. Help us to take these first steps and then patiently wait for You, trusting in Your faithfulness to lead and guide us. In Jesus Name, Amen
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
# 350 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:26 "Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, since the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal. This past January 22nd marked the 41st anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Since that decision, over 57 million unborn babies have lost their lives. I wonder how many more would've been lost if not for the passionate work of the volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers or the faithful prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors who have stood in the gap outside the doors of abortion clinics, or the pastors and teachers who have faithfully sounded the cry against this American holocaust, or those who have worked tirelessly in the legislative process to seek to stem this flow of innocent blood. Think about it. David was bent on taking matters into his own hands and doing away with Nabal. His reasons for ending Nabal's life seemed valid to him at the time, much like those who resort to abortion, but God sees things a little differently when it comes to what He created in His image, and sends Abigail to stand in the gap to prevent David from harming Nabal. He used Abigail to hold David back from shedding blood. God has been using the laborers in the Pro-life movement in much the same way. Abigail provided David with an alternative. She gave David a biblical reason to pause and consider what he was about to do, and that pretty much sums up the heart of the Pro-life movement as well. Pr 24:11, says, “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. This has always been the prayer of the Pro-life movement. “God, use us to hold back those stumbling to the slaughter, help us to be like Schindler. Help us to be like Ten Boom. Help us to be like Wilberforce. Help us to be like Abigail. Help us to save just one more life today and help us to spare a woman or a man the pain and the aftermath of an abortion.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
# 349 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:25,26, “Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. 26 "Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, since the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal. (1 Sam 25:25,26) Abigail comes to David by the very providence of God. He sends her to prevent David from taking revenge upon Nabal with his own hands. This is not the first time that God has interfered in the affairs of men to keep them from sinning. Remember the incident with Abraham and Sarah when Abraham tried to pawn off Sarah as his sister? We read about it in Ge 20:1-7, “And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. 2 Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, "Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife." 4 But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, "Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? 5 "Did he not say to me, 'She is my sister'? And she, even she herself said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this." 6 And God said to him in a dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her.”7 "Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." God intervened on behalf of Abimelech and prevented him from the act of adultery. He got Abimelech's attention in a dream and kept him from sinning against Him. God may not get that drastic with us, but He has given us the Holy Spirit and His Word to “keep us from sinning” against Him. Will you listen to Him when temptation comes to your door? Spare yourself, your loved ones, and God the pain. Follow the promptings of the Spirit and not your flesh. Father, give me ears to hear and the will to follow You, knowing You will never lead me to sin.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
# 348 - Today's Du-votional comes from: 1Sa 25:21-24, “ Now David had said, "Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. 22 "May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light." 23 Now when Abigail saw David, she hastened to dismount from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. 24 So she fell at his feet and said: "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.” (1 Sam 25:21-24) David swears revenge on Nabal and all the men of his household for his sin of stinginess, but then along comes Abigail, the wife of Nabal. She gives us a classic example of intercessory prayer. We would do well to learn from it in our land today. Let's face it, not many of us are willing to share the blame of our national sins, and yes, even the sins of the church. Abigail had no guilt in this matter, but she comes to David in full humility, and says, “let this iniquity be on me!” How could she say such a thing? She could say it because she understood her union with Nabal, how God had made them one flesh, and because of that she was willing to take on his guilt. We are one nation under God, united by citizenshio. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, united by faith, and our proper response to national sin, and the sins of the church is not to point fingers and hope God judges “their” sin. No, we are in this together, and our proper response is to humble ourselves before the Lord and share in the guilt. It's what Daniel did when he prayed for the nation, “O Lord, we have sinned and committed iniquity, and Nehemiah who said, “I pray before You and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You, and Jeremiah who said, “O Lord, We have sinned against You.” Father, we have done wickedly in the land, we have fallen short of what You have called us to be as Your church. Let this iniquity be on me. I confess it and beg for Your mercy and forgiveness, in Jesus Name, Amen