Aprill 17

As I write this it is Wednesday afternoon. Today was the memorial service and luncheon for the family of Betty Matthews. Tuesday night about four hundred people gathered at the funeral home to pay their respects and visit with the family, and today well over 200 were in attendance at the service. Thanks to all who helped.

I briefly mentioned during the service a Bible character that goes back to the time of King David. If you are keeping up with your daily readings in The Daily Bible, you have recently come across in 1 Samuel 25 the story of Abigail. She was married to a not-so-smart scoundrel named Nabal. Well, here’s how the Bible describes them. Nabal “had property” and was “very wealthy.” Abigail “was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband…was surly and mean in his dealings.” In fact, one of his servants said that Nabal was “such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

King David had helped and protected Nabal’s servants and property, yet when he sought assistance from him he snubbed the king instead of offering help to him and his men. As I said, not very smart. When it was reported to King David, he armed his men and moved to deal with Nabal for his insults. When Abigail heard what had happened, she sent food to David and spoke tactfully but courageously to the king to dissuade him from doing something he might later regret. Her tactful intervention and bold speech to David is a great action of faith. She said, “May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal…Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles…When the Lord has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord has brought my master success, remember your servant.”

David replied to Abigail, “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.” Not long after this the Lord brought David the vindication he sought when Nabal was struck down and died. When David heard of this, he sent for Abigail, and she became his wife.

Sometimes bold, intelligent, courageous action is necessary. We can act in faith, trusting in the Lord, seeking to act according to His will, just as this “intelligent and beautiful woman” Abigail did. But it does take faith. She did not know for sure whether the king would take her words and deeds to heart, or have her put to death on the spot. And we don’t know how it’s always going to work out for us. That’s what faith and trust are all about.

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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