[Apr 17]--Standing In The Way

1 Sam. 25:14-35

I guess I’m an oddball, but I've never been interested in reading the parts of the newspaper that most people read. I like to read the comic strips and “Dear Abby.” Even when I disagree with her advice (which is pretty often), I find it fascinating to see what she’ll say when someone writes in with their problems.

There’s another Abby, however, who runs circles around the columnist when it comes to wisdom. Abigail's husband had definitely “married up,” and this is obvious from today’s passage. When the servants came and told her about how her husband had treated David’s men, she immediately knew what was about to happen—does she know men or what?! She loaded up donkeys with lots of food and rode out to intercept David before he got to the house. She approached him with complete humility, taking on the responsibility for how he was treated (even when she had had nothing to do with it).

Also notice her argument against his course of action: Everybody knows that you’re going to be king soon. Don’t ascend the throne with innocent blood on your hands. Don’t try to avenge yourself--let God handle your enemies for you! If you concern yourself with God’s business, he’ll take care of yours.

It is true that Scripture describes her as "beautiful" (vs. 3), but apparently David was impressed with way more than her looks, since he took her wise counsel. In fact, he thanked her for stopping him from doing something he would regret later. He recognized what an asset she would be to any man who had her by his side, and they parted ways. My friend, my sincere hope is that if you’re married, you have a spouse like mine. My wife frequently takes on the spirit of Abigail and keeps me from pursuing a foolish course of action. And if you aren’t married, I hope you have at least one true friend. What do I consider to be an essential mark of a friend? Someone who'll stand in your way and yell “STOP!” when you need it. As David’s son Solomon put it, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted." If you don’t have a friend like this, you need to pray for one. And you might consider praying for a spouse who'll do for you what Abigail did for David.

I also think that Abigail’s argument deserves a second look. Maybe I’m not contemplating murder, but the root of David’s actions lie in all of us. When someone attacks me, even verbally, how quick do I step forward to defend myself? How obsessed am I to “set the record straight”? Do I trust God to take care of my reputation, or do I try to “avenge myself”?

Lord Jesus, at your trial, you didn’t try to defend yourself because you trusted your Father. I need that attitude. Very badly.

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