No Shortcuts

In our reading today we are going through 1 Samuel 25 and 26. In 1 Samuel 25, first we learn that Samuel dies and that “all Israel assembled and mourned for him.” (v.1) Our application says that without him, Israel wouldn’t have any spiritual leadership unitl David later becomes king. Then we meet two new people, Nabal and Abigail. Scripture tells us Nabal was a very wealthy man, but he was also very mean, but his wife Abigail is described as an intelligent and beautiful woman. David sends men ahead to talk with Nabal and ask him to provide some food for his men. We are told in the application that this isn’t a random handout, that David and his men had been protecting Nabal’s work force, but when they ask for food, Nabal says he does not know who David is and refuses to give them anything. It goes on to tell us that “If he sympathize with Nabal, it is because customs are so different today. [Back then] simple hospitability demanded that travelers, any number of them, be fed. Nabal was very rich and could have easily afforded to meet David’s request.” When David heard that he wasn’t going to help them, he prepared to fight, and took 400 men with him. But, one of the servants told Abigail what was going on and she took matters into her own hands without telling Nabal, her husband. She loaded donkeys with all sorts of food for David and she met him before he started this fight. She asked for forgiveness on behalf her husband and that David accept her gifts. David responds that she just stopped him from going in and taking the matter in his own hands; “…he stopped to hear what Abigail had to say. If he had ignored her, he would have been guilty of taking vengeance into his own hands. No matter how right we think we are, we must always be careful to stop and listen to others. The extra time and effort can save us pain and trouble in the long run.” (application) When Abigail told Nabal later on, scripture says his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died (v. 37 &38) After David heard Nabal was dead, he asks Abigail to be his wife and they get married. Scripture says he was also married to a woman named Ahinoam, he was also married to Michal, Saul’s daughter, but in one of Saul’s fits, she was given to someone else in marriage instead of David; our application does hint at that David and Michals story isn’t over though. After all this with Nabal, the Ziphites rat out where David is AGAIN! So David and one of his brave soldiers Abishai went into Saul’s camp while they were all sleeping. They find Saul sound asleep and Abishai encourages David to kill Saul, but David doesn’t, instead he takes Saul’s spear and water jug and leaves. Scripture says the Lord put them all in a deep sleep so no one would wake up and catch them. Well, David goes on to put Saul’s things at the top of a hill, a ways between them, and yells out to them, asking why no one was protecting king Saul. Saul recognizes David’s voice and is so grateful that once again David spared his life. He says “Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong…May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.” V. 21, 25

That is today’s scripture, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.” What stood out to me in this was that after everything Saul had done to David, King Saul knew deep down all along that David was going to be king, all the more reason he was threatened I’m sure. Despite the chases and threats to David by Saul, God was protecting David the entire time, he was already anointed to be the next king, David knew he was going to fulfill that, but it was trusting in Gods timing to get Him to that position instead of rushing to kill Saul himself and rushing God’s plan. I think this can be true for all of us. I believe we all have something that the Lord wants for us, a way to do His will through us, but that requires for us to listen first, then obey, like we’ve been talking about. When things come up that we think may be an opportunity, like David’s men were encouraging him that this was an opportunity for him to find peace and escape from the chase, that we can instead dig in and pray for the Lord to show us if this really is from him or if it is a short cut or wrong turn in his plan. He has great things for all of us, people and the enemy will try to stop us, but we have to believe in the Lord’s perfect timing and plan.

Before we jump into our reflection, I felt we needed a few minutes of worship together to end our week.

See A Victory – Elevation Worship

Waiting to hear from the Lord is not easy and sometimes I feel like our world tells us that he doesn’t speak to us anymore, but I don’t believe that. As I’ve said in this devotional before, He still speaks to us through all different ways. In a previous application I read awhile back when it talked about how God speaks, it said “We can hear him speak through the counsel of others, his word and the leading of his Spirit in our hearts, as well as through circumstances.” I’ll add through worship music, too! Take a moment and look back, reflect on a time when you heard or felt the Lord speak to you through one of those ways listed about a plan He had for you. What happened? And how did you behave in response?

Heavenly Father, Lord, we feel you speaking to us through your word today. That you want the same things for us, to do great things for your glory, as you’ve been teaching us in this entire book of Samuel, to seek you first, listen and then act and obey, that no matter how a situation looks, that if we come to you, we can trust that you will guide our next steps. We pray you keep us on the right path, guiding every turn. I pray you help us to avoid the short cuts or wrong turns and stay on the straight path with you. We know this path can seem like we are alone or crazy as the world tells us the opposite, but allow your spirit to work within us and to help us remain confident that your ways lead to triumph! It’s in your victorious name we pray, AMEN!   

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