1 Samuel 25:23-38 (Part 2) – But You Love Me Anyway!

Posted: April 6, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 25:23-38 (Part 2 of 2)
Abigail Intercedes for Nabal

A few years back there was song by the Christian contemporary music group, Sidewalk Prophets, called “You Love Me Anyway”. That song came to mind this morning. The chorus of the song goes like this:

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes, You love me anyway
Oh, Lord, how You love me
How You love me

That song and its title is appropriate for this morning’s passage…

When I read this passage about Abigail, Nabal and David, although the outcome is different, I think about my own, personal journey to the cross. This passage is a story of intercession on another’s behalf to keep from righteous judgment. When I think back to my own journey to the cross, this passage resonates with me. Abigail intercedes on behalf of her husband, Nabal, who is a complete jerk, before David. In my own journey, when looking back at it, I know that Jesus was interceding on my behalf with the Father.

Prior to my accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior, I lived the Nabal life. Although I thought of myself as a martyr and a victim because of my first wife’s addictions and her treatment of me over the years, I was still a very self-centered person. My anger toward her that grew over the years, now that I look back at it, was not so much because of concern over what was happening to our marriage but rather because she was holding me back from my selfish desires. Having to clean up her messes (literal and metaphorical ones), dealing with her unwillingness to move away from the Greenville area, her insane jealousies, her manipulations and all kept me from living the lifestyle of the jet-setting party animal executive that I wanted to be. In other relationships after that one died, it was definitely about being the party boy. Everything revolved around living it up with wine, women, and song. Living for the weekend. Living for the party. Living for the chase and the conquer when it came to women. I wasn’t one of those guys that went to clubs all the time but it was all about partying with friends and dating.

Even in those days before my salvation and before I made Jesus my Lord as well as my Savior, Jesus was looking out for me and interceding with the Father. Don’t get me wrong, I was not irresponsible. I was the consummate professional and did well in my career always. I don’t have a story where I lost everything to drugs or alcohol or whatever. I was able to fully advance my career step by step over the years and I was good at and still am good at what I do. However, my life was indeed about selfish desires and seeking my own pleasures in those days. I was self-seeking, pleasure-seeking, self-rationalizing of moral lapses, all those things that you do to make yourself, rationalize yourself into good person status but yet continue to live a life far from God. Even after salvation, the Holy Spirit had much work to do to make Jesus Christ my Lord as well as being my Savior. Even though I was saved in December 2001, it was not until about 8 years later when I met Luke and Felisha Brower, my pastor and his wife, when I lived in Livermore, CA that I truly began to mature in Christ. Those two set me (and Elena) on the spiritual maturation path that has led us to LifeSong Church in Lyman, SC to Senior Pastor Jeff Hickman and Discipleship Pastor Tim Lyda. These two guys taught us to take responsibility for our own spiritual growth and to grow into leaders within the church. It was these two that led me to following my calling into full-time ministry that now finds me under the leadership of Senior Pastor Tim Bowman at Calvary Church in Moline, IL. What a trip this journey has been. If you had told me 17 years ago that I was be a full-time pastor now, I would have laughed at you. If you had told be that 27 years ago, I would have laughed myself into the floor.

When I look back on my spiritual journey to the cross, my salvation in December 2001, the succeeding years of spiritual infancy, and the amazing spiritual growth of the last decade to the point that I am a full-time pastor now, I know….I mean I really know…that Jesus was interceding on my behalf with the Father. The intersections of people into my life. The events in my life. The things that a non-believer would say are chance or random coincidences that worked out well are, to me, just the completely amazing work of Jesus Christ. He orchestrated all these people, towns, events, circumstances in my life over the years to lead me to the cross. He orchestrated people, towns, events, circumstances in my life since the cross to grow me up, chisel me, iron sharpens iron me. Just thinking about the people that he has intersected with my life makes my eyes well up with tears knowing that Jesus was looking out for me and moving me toward what He has had intended for me all along. Sure, He would have rather I found my salvation in Him prior to age 39 but He even uses the mess of my life to be part of my message to others about the redemptive power of the cross. It makes me grateful for the wonders of Jesus Christ. He love me anyway. He loved me enough to never give up on me. He loved me enough to orchestrate His intercessions in my life. It makes me want to cry with tears of joy when I think about how He was looking out for me even when I was being the self-centered little brat that I was.

With that idea of God’s intercessory power through Jesus Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit, let’s read about this scene now in 1 Samuel 25:23-38 one more time before we move on to the next passage:

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests.[a] But I never even saw the young men you sent.

26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The Lord will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the Lord’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life.

29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 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!”

32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 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.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”

36 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. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke,[b] and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.

In this passage, we see Abigail intercedes with David on behalf of Nabal. Nabal doesn’t even know or care that Abigail essentially saved him from dying a gruesome death (and the lives of Nabal’s workers as well). He was just partying along without a care. Abigail cared enough about her husband to intercede on his behalf. She loved him that much. Even though she interceded on his behalf, he must have still rejected what she had done for him and he died. Many of us don’t even realize when Jesus is orchestrating intercessions for us in our lives and we continue to reject what He has done for us. Many go to hell because they reject Jesus’s work on their behalf even when the message of His work on our behalf has been presented to us. Jesus had already done the work on the cross for you and for me. He is even orchestrating events, people, places, and circumstances in your life that will draw you unto Him so that you will see Him, really see Him for the first time and accept Him as your Savior. Then, He will orchestrate more and more things in your life to chisel you into spiritual maturity. Who knows, you might be like me…a completely self-centered brat who through the intercessions of Jesus Christ in my life is now a pastor. That may not be what He has in store for you but He does have something in store for you that will bring glory to the Kingdom. He is working on it right now, interceding on your behalf, even without you knowing it or recognizing it til the day to get to the cross and then begin to grow up in Him. Then you will look back and cry tears of joy for the things that Jesus did for you in His love for you without you even knowing it.

Amen and Amen.

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