Thursday, June 16, 2011

protection for protection

If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling.
1 Samuel 25:29

There are a series of relationships in this story of David, Nabal, and Abigail that ultimately point outward to the sovereign plan of God. David had been moving his troops around the region of Carmel. There, Nabal's wealth was already legendary. When David saw that Nabal's shepherding crew needed a little protection during the sheering season, he did not hesitate to utilize the resources at his disposal to protect them. Nabal's own foreman says that David had been a "wall" around them (1 Samuel 25:16).

At the end of this time, when celebrations were in order, David thought it entirely proper to ask Nabal himself to help provision his men who had helped his shepherds without any hesitation. Nabal bruskly refuses David, dismissing David as a worthless troublemaker. David had been pardoned and reinstated by Saul. He was not an outlaw any longer. He was acting as an official agent of the Israeli military. So, turning down David was a slap in the face to all of Israel, really.

Thankfully, Nabal's wife, Abigail intervenes. She loads up plenteous provisions and meets David as he is heading in to punish Nabal's insubordination. David relents from the operation he had planned, accepts the kind words and gifts from her hand, and rejoices in God with Abigail.

Abigail's own prophecy about God's protection of David come to call in her own house. The next day, after telling Nabal what she had done, Nabal suffers some sort of stroke or heart attack, dying ten days later. God did work against David's enemy. And it was clear that God was sovereignly in control of the events around David and his mighty men. David protected Nabal's shepherds in the hills around Carmel. Abigail provided for them in thankfulness and also protected David from an act of vengeance. God protected David's reputation by her wisdom in coming to David, and God showed His control over the events in the demise of a critic of David. The circles of protection move outward into God's wise and sovereign plan.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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