What is your first response? What is your first thought? Where do you turn? What is your instinctive behavior? How will you act? How will you react? What will be the results of your actions? Will it be to your benefit?
Would you consider having your first response to be to give it up to God rather than to let your emotions manipulate you? Would you consider having your first response be to turn to God for wisdom and direction rather than to act out in anger or bitterness or frustration? Would you position yourself to be an instrument of God rather than to be an instrument of wrath?
God’s got a plan! God’s got it under control! He knows what is going on! He knows more about the situation that you do! So who will you trust? Will you live out that faith in God rather than trying to go about it your own way and in your own strength and intelligence and emotion?
Today’s Word starts out with such a story with David, Nabal, and Abigail…
Abigail and Foolish Nabal
1Then Samuel died, and all Israel gathered and lamented him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. David then arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. 2Now there was a man in Maon, whose business was in Carmel, and the man was so wealthy, he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. At that time he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3The man’s name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings. 4While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5So David dispatched ten young men, and said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and when you reach Nabal, greet him in my name. 6Thus you will say: ‘Long life! And shalom to you, shalom to your house and shalom to all that is yours. 7Now I hear that you have shearers. When your shepherds were with us, we did them no harm and nothing of theirs was missing all the time they were in Carmel. 8Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore, let the young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a festive day. So please, give to your servants and to your son David, whatever you find at hand.’” 9David’s young men went and told Nabal all those words in David’s name, and waited. 10But Nabal answered David’s servants by saying, “Who is David? And who is Jesse’s son? Nowadays there are many slaves each running away from his master. 11So should I take my bread, my water and my meat that I have cooked for my shearers, and give it to men whom I don’t know where they come from?” 12So David’s young men turned around and went back. When they came and reported to him all these words, 13David said to his men, “Everyone buckle on your sword!” So each man buckled on his sword and David also buckled on his sword. About 400 men went up following David, while 200 stayed with the baggage. 14But one of the young men told Nabal’s wife Abigail saying, “Look, David had sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he spurned them. 15Yet the men were very good to us. We were not harmed, nor were we missing anything as long as we went about with them while we were in the fields. 16They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time that we were with them tending the sheep. 17Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for evil is determined against our master and against all his household. But he is such a worthless fellow that no one can speak to him.” 18Then Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves, two bottles of wine, five dressed sheep, five measures of roasted corn, 100 cakes of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs, and put them on donkeys. 19Then she said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me—see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20As she was riding on the donkey and going down by the hidden pass of the mountain, behold, David and his men were coming down towards her, so she met them. 21Now David had been saying, “Surely in vain I’ve guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missing of all that belonged to him—yet he has returned me evil for good. 22May God do so and even more to David’s enemies if by the morning I leave even one male of all who belong to him!” 23When Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted from her donkey, fell before David on her face and bowed down to the ground. 24As she fell at his feet, she pleaded, “On me, only me, my lord, be the punishment! But please, let your maidservant speak in your ears, and listen to the words of your maidservant. 25Please my lord, pay no attention to this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he—Nabal is his name and disgraceful folly is with him. But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. 26“So now my lord, as Adonai lives and as your soul lives, since Adonai has restrained you from shedding blood and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies and those who are seeking to harm my lord be as Nabal. 27Now let this blessing, which your maidservant has brought to my lord, be given to the young men who are accompanying my lord. 28Please, forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For Adonai will certainly make an enduring house for my lord, because my lord is fighting the battles of Adonai. So let no wrongdoing be found in you all your days. 29If anyone rises to pursue you and seek your life, then let my lord’s life be bound up in the bundle of the living—with Adonai your God. But let the soul of your enemies be hurled away as from the hollow of a sling. 30“So when Adonai has fulfilled for my lord all the good things that He had spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, 31then this will not be a stumbling-block for you, or offense of heart to my lord, or needless bloodshed by my lord avenging himself. So when Adonai has dealt graciously with my lord, then remember your handmaid.” 32Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Adonai God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this day! 33Blessed be your discernment, and may you be blessed for keeping me this day from shedding blood, from avenging myself with my own hand. 34Yet as Adonai God of Israel lives, who restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely not one male of Nabal’s line would have been left alive by the morning light!” 35So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in shalom to your house. Look, I have listened to your plea and have granted your request.” 36Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was holding a banquet in his house like that of a king—Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was quite drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. 37It came to pass in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, and his wife told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he was paralyzed like a stone. 38About ten days later, Adonai struck Nabal and he died. 39When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be Adonai who took the case of my insult from the hand of Nabal, yet has restrained His servant from evil! Adonai has returned Nabal’s vileness on his own head.” Then David sent word and proposed to Abigail to take her as his wife. 40When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they told her, “David has sent us to you, to take you as his wife.” 41So she rose, bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42Then Abigail rose quickly and mounted a donkey, with five of her maidens following her, following David’s messengers, and she became his wife. 43David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them were his wives. 44Meanwhile Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
–from 1 Samuel 25
Consider your response! Consider the consequences! Consider the outcome!
Trust in God! God’s way is the right way! Walk in faith and obedience to Him! Put Him first! Love God! Obey God! Love people!
1Now these were the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite woman; second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite woman; 2third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; 3fifth, Shephatiah by Abital; the sixth, Ithream by his wife Eglah. 4Six were born to him in Hebron. There he reigned seven years and six months; then in Jerusalem he reigned 33 years. 5These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were from Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel; 6and the other nine were Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 8Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet. 9All these were sons of David, besides his sons by the concubines. Tamar was their sister. 10Solomon’s son was Rehoboam. Abijah was his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14Amon his son, and Josiah his son. 15The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, Jehoiakim the second, Zedekiah the third, and Shallum the fourth. 16The sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah was his son, Zedekiah his son. 17The sons of Jeconiah, the captive: Shealtiel his son, 18Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah. 19The sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah; Shelomith was their sister, 20and five others: Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah and Jushabhesed. 21The sons of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, whose son was Rephaiah, whose son was Arnan, whose son was Obadiah, whose son was Shecaniah. 22The descendants of Shecaniah: Shemaiah and sons Hatush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat—six in all. 23The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam—three in all. 24The sons of Elioenai were Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani—seven in all.
–from 1 Chronicles 3
Be it in the old testament where the prophets would bring the Word of God to speak correction and direction to turn to God, to love God and to stop treating people poorly and to love one another. Be it in the new testament where Jesus tells us the two commandments that sum up all others – Love God and Love your neighbor! God’s heart is one of love! He loves us so much that He sent Jesus that we could be reconciled to Him! He knew we couldn’t do it in our own strength and took it into His own hands! We need to remember this and give it all up to God! Let’s not respond out of anger and frustration! Let’s not respond out of bitterness and unforgiveness! Let’s respond in love! Let’s respond in forgiveness! Let’s respond in obedience to God’s wisdom and direction!
Jesus is the way the truth and the life! We are to listen to and obey His Words! At His name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord!
Do you believe? Do you have faith at least the size of a mustard seed? Will you trust Him?
Two Witnesses and a Voice from Heaven
1After six days, Yeshua takes with Him Peter and Jacob and John his brother, and brings them up a high mountain by themselves. 2Now He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Yeshua. 4Peter responded to Yeshua, “Master, it’s good for us to be here! If You wish, I will make three sukkot here—one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While He was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice from out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell face down, terrified. 7But Yeshua came and touched them. “Get up,” He said. “Stop being afraid.” 8And lifting their eyes, they saw no one except Yeshua alone. 9As they were coming down from the mountain, Yeshua commanded them, saying, “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” 10The disciples questioned Him, saying, “Why then do the Torah scholars say that Elijah must come first?” 11Yeshua replied, “Indeed, Elijah is coming and will restore all things. 12I tell you that Elijah already came; and they didn’t recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. In the same way, the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them about John the Immerser.
See What Faith Can Do
14When they came to the crowd, a man came to Yeshua, falling on his knees before Him and saying, 15“Master, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and suffers badly. For he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16I brought him to Your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.” 17And answering, Yeshua said, “O faithless and twisted generation! How long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18Yeshua rebuked the demon and it came out of him, and the boy was healed from that very hour. 19Then the disciples came to Yeshua in private and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20And He said to them, “Because you trust so little. Amen, I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” 21[footnote: Most manuscripts omit verse 21: But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]
Second Prediction: Death and Resurrection
22Now while they were gathering in the Galilee, Yeshua said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men; 23and they will kill Him, and on the third day He will be raised.” And the disciples became greatly distressed. 24When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and said, “Your teacher pays the Temple tax, doesn’t He?” 25“Yes,” Peter said. Now when Peter came into the house, Yeshua spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? The kings of the earth, from whom do they collect tolls or tax? From their sons or from strangers?” 26After Peter said, “From strangers,” Yeshua said to him, “Then the sons are free. 27But so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw out a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. And when you open its mouth, you’ll find a coin. Take that, and give it to them, for Me and you.”
–from Matthew 17