Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for Apr 3, 1 Sam 25-27

Today's readings are 1 Sam 25-27.

Samuel dies, and the people will begin to trust David as much as they did Samuel (1 Sam 25:1).

David protects the shepherds of Nabal, who live in Caleb’s area in Judah. Nabal is wealthy and influential but not well liked, even among his own household. When David politely asks for provisions, rather than just taking them, Nabal treats David very poorly. David decides to go to war. Abigail, Nabal's wife, intercedes and averts war, giving David gifts and sparing many lives (1 Sam 25:19-31). Nabal dies of natural (or supernatural) causes shortly after that.

In Abigail’s story, we see God's sovereignty over all things and His consistent use of an arbiter, in this case, Abigail, to save lives. 

In an ironic twist, we will see that Abigail's honorable relationship with David saves her husband (albeit temporarily) while his sinful relationship with Bathsheba will unwittingly cause the death of hers (Uriah).

Interestingly, in Abigail’s case, the arbiter and the one she arbitrates for become one. They are united in marriage, becoming one flesh, a holy union -- a prophetic symbol of what will occur when the perfect Arbiter arrives to mediate between God and His children.

There’s more to glean from this scenario. We see David’s wisdom at work again. He was incensed at Nabal for not being willing to give him and his men food and drink, ready to go to war over the way he was slighted and unappreciated. Abigail was a peacemaker, and David managed to set aside his anger and act reasonably, willing to cede control of the situation over to God, who enacted His own vengeance (1 Sam 25:39). Not only did David narrowly avoid wrongdoing, but he also got Abigal as a wife (1 Sam 25:42), acquiring all of Nabal’s assets in the process, all without swinging a sword. David now has two wives, Abigail, a Calebite and Ahinoam of Jezreel.

We hear that Saul has given David’s wife, Michal, to another man. Saul’s assault on David is physically relentless and emotionally painful.

David, demonstrating his commitment to righteousness and trusting God completely for the outcome, once again, spares Saul's life (1 Sam 26:1-12). David is adamant that he will not take the life of the king that God anointed. He confronts Saul, telling him he could have killed him; Saul apologizes and leaves (1 Sam 26:21-25).

David is convinced Saul will eventually kill him and goes to live among the Philistines to avoid having contact with Saul (1 Sam 27:1-4). David has been in Gath before (1 Sam 21:10) but then, he was alone and desperate. This time, David arrives as a famous outlaw being pursued by Saul, the Philistine’s enemy. Furthermore, he has an army of six hundred, his entourage probably totaling over a thousand.

David is well received and given a town, Ziklag, that sits on the border between the Philistine’s land and Saul's (1 Sam 27:5-7).

David deceives the king of the Philistines by attacking only cities that are hostile to Judah and telling the king otherwise (1 Sam 27:8-12). The king is pleased with David, thinking he has become an enemy to Judah. 

The text does not condone David's lie, but we do see evidence of God using all things for the good of His people. We also see that David never loses sight of his coming kingship. He has embraced God’s promise and even under hardship and oppression, acts on what he knows to be true, doing all he can to advance the kingdom.  

No comments:

Post a Comment