Have you ever been in this place? Someone has ticked you off. Instead of wanting to do the right thing, you declare revenge. What about the times you’ve been overcome by worldly desires which caused you to lose your judgment? Perhaps you’ve made choices that hurt your own soul and the people around you.
If you’re attentive, you may have realized there are people in your life who confront you and tell you what you’re planning to do is not a good or godly idea. They point out your lack of judgment and through wise and skillful words given to them by God, they help keep you from doing something you will regret later.
David had such a person in Abigail. She was his inferior, and yet she had the courage to go to David and urge him not to return evil for evil. David had gotten miffed at Abigail’s husband, Nabal, who had mistreated David’s servants. David vowed to kill Nabal and everyone connected to him.
Through her humility and graciousness, she calmed David down by giving supplies to him and his servants and wise words to David’s heart.
I love the way the Word describes Abigail. It says, “she was a woman of good understanding, and beautiful.” (1 Samuel 25:3 AMP) It thrilled me that the beautiful part came second. What’s most important to God is that we have good understanding.
After Abigail warned David not to do something he would regret later and that could haunt him for the rest of his life, he said to her,
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands” (1 Samuel 25:32-33 NIV).
As I read this story, I thanked God for the people in my life who have warned me when I was about to do something foolish—responses triggered by anger or hurt feelings or the desire to take matters into my own hands rather than consult the Lord. My parents, my husband and my children have done that for me. Good and faithful friends have blessed me in that way, as well as pastors and counselors.
I remember when one of my daughters was little, and I was so angry at someone and in danger of lashing out in vengeful ways. In the midst of my rants against this person she said gently, “The thing you need to do, Mom is forgive.” I did. I can think of scores of such incidents.
Lately as I’ve been reflecting on Abigail’s confronting David, I also recalled the story of Bathsheba, which happened a number of years later.
David had people in his life who could have warned him, who could have said, “David, do you really think it’s a good idea as king to sleep with someone else’s wife, especially with one of the soldier’s wives when where you really should be is with him at the war front?” (Read 2 Samuel 11:1-27 if you don’t know the story.)
It says in 2 Samuel 11::4:
“Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.”
Those messengers–if they had been like Abigail–could have said, “King David, this is not right,” but they didn’t. They assisted him in his wrong choices, which led to more wrong choices and consequences that would last for the rest of David’s life.
Today I’m continuing to thank God for the people who have had the good judgment and courage to speak the truth when they have seen me heading toward a wrong path–whether in actions or attitude. I want to be that kind of person to others. Sometimes I have been, and I thank God that He has used me in that way.
A verse that comes to mind is Hebrews 3:13:
“…warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened (into settled rebellion) by the deceitfulness of sin…”AMP)
I pray God will give me the courage to give and receive warnings—warnings which ultimately come from Him and are for our good and His glory.
What about you? Do you have faithful people in your life who have warned you when you are about to take a wrong turn? Do you pay attention to those warnings? Have you had the courage to speak up to those who are straying toward paths that lead away from God and His will?
Take time this week to thank God for faithful ones He has sent and will continue to send to urge you to do the right thing. Thank Him too, for the times He has used you to speak words of wisdom that have changed the course of someone’s life.