Interceding For An Ill-Mannered Ingrate

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, August 3, 2015

Today’s Scripture:
“And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.” (1 Samuel 25:32–35).

The Back Story:
Nabal’s men rushed in to Abigail one day and told her that her husband had put their entire household in a precarious position. They said that David sent a few servants to Nabal’s camp during the time they shearing sheep with a kind message of greeting and a reasonable request, considering David’s men allowed Nabal to carry on his operations unmolested and well protected. Instead of obliging David, Nabal, true to his name, flew off the handle, and word got back to him. As one might expect, David prepared his men to decimate Nabal and his household. He was so enraged at the man’s disrespect that he made an oath in God’s name that all men in Nabal’s camp, along with his household would be destroyed.

Abigail, understanding the nature of her childish, ill-mannered husband, true to her delightful character, prepared gifts and went to David. To make a long story short, Abigail showed honor to him, agreed that her husband was extremely out of control, and that he should never have disrespected him in that way. She continued to extol him and remind him that the blessings of God were upon him. She blessed David and begged him not to tarnish his own character by avenging himself on the account of her churlish husband. It just was not worth it. And, finally, she begged his mercy on Nabal’s behalf, and for special favor for herself when David would become king. She said, “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!” 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.” 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.” (1 Samuel 25:30–36, NLT).

We need to see the beautiful character of Abigail as a call to beg God’s mercy for our crazy spouses, wayward children, unreasonable bosses and supervisors, and stubborn public officials.

Life Application:
The entire point of being a good intercessor is that often the ones from whom we intercede are worthy of punishment. While it is true that we often intercede for people who need our help through their personal trials, which are not guilty of anything in particular, many times we are called to advocate for others who have chosen evil and need mercy. We need to see the beautiful character of Abigail as a call to beg God’s mercy for our crazy spouses, wayward children, unreasonable bosses and supervisors, and stubborn public officials. The fact is that sometimes the only way certain people will be spared from judgments they deserve, is if we go to God in humble faith, and ask for His mercy on their behalf. So, as God today to show you how to intercede like Jesus did, and watch Him work wonders in the lives of those whom He shows mercy for your sake.

A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us all how to appreciate the advocacy of Christ so much, that we will stand in the gap for others. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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