This week our guest writer, Scott Parker, tells a story of standing strong in our faith instead of relying on the futility of earthly power. What do we choose to ground our identity in?
Do we take God’s judgment seriously? Abigail did. She knew “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” After throwing herself at David’s feet, denouncing her husband and separating herself from his actions, she plead for David’s mercy.
“Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live…When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself (1 Samuel 25:28,30-31).”
Notice that Abigail’s appeal is not to David’s might, but to God’s. Her appeal is to the living God, not to an earthly king. In making her appeal this way, she points David to the source of his power and authority. In essence, she is asking David to remember to whom he belongs. Perhaps years of marriage to a wealthy fool had taught her the futility of earthly power. This woman is standing on a firm foundation and when David meets her it is him that is moved, not her.
Late one night I was walking to my apartment on Greenview and Howard. Just ahead of me, I saw a man taunting another man out the passenger window of a car. The guy outside the car reached into the car, opened the door, pulled the passenger from his seat and began to beat the mess out of him. I was immediately reminded of a time I was in the passenger seat of a friend’s SUV, stuck in traffic on Howard Street. I could hear a man berating his girlfriend, I looked over to see the two of them walking down the sidewalk. They were both angry and it looked like he was about to punch her.
“Hey man, are you okay?” I shouted, hoping to diffuse the situation. “What did you say?” The man shouted right at me. He leapt into the street and headed right at me. He was moments from grabbing me.
“Do you know Jesus man? Do you know Jesus? Do you need prayer for something man?” I whispered through my adrenaline before I even realized what I had said.
The man stopped in his tracks. His head fell in shame.
“Yeah, I know Jesus,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
He calmed down walked back to the sidewalk. The light turned green and we drove away.
It was my go to phrase for moments of danger. It almost always has the same effect. Violent, angry men would stop in their tracks.
Had Abigail’s security been grounded in her place as the wife of a rich man, if she had been earthly-minded and appealed to David’s physical might instead of his faith, I wonder how things might have turned out differently for her and her household. When Abigail abandoned the security of her earthly privilege and power she was able to speak to David a life-saving word of correction.
Is there an Abigail in your life? A David? A Nabal? Do we see God’s righteous judgement aimed at our household, church, city, nation? By what authority do we presume to speak into the lives of the poor or powerful in our city? What steps of repentance can we take to abandon our earthly security and step into the role of an intercessor?
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.” - Jonah 2:8-9.