During my time of devotions, I came across two passages of Scripture that may seem unrelated but complement one another quite well. I normally use the daily readings from the 1979 edition of the Book of Common Prayer (BCE) for my devotions and quiet time. Each day, the BCE leads the reader through a psalm, a selection from the Old Testament, a selection from the New Testament, and a selection in one of the Gospels. Within two years, the reader will have read through the entire Bible.
Today’s lesson began with the story of Abigail and David in 1 Samuel 25. The story begins with the death of the prophet Samuel. David and his men, along with all of Israel, mourned the loss of this great prophet. David and his men had to take care because King Saul was losing his reign. God had spoken through Samuel to Saul that David would replace him as king. Because of that, Saul attempted to kill David.
David and his men came across a business in Carmel owned by a man named Nabal. Nabal was a harsh and evil businessman (1 Sam. 25:3). David had his men ask Nabal if they could have some supplies for their journey especially since they had been good to Nabal’s men. Nabal, in true fashion to his character, arrogantly brushed David and his men aside even though he had extra to share with the group. The men returned to David where they armed themselves for their journey.
Abigail, Nabal’s wife, was an intelligent and beautiful woman. She was told about Nabal’s arrogant actions. So, she took supplies to David and his men. Abigail knew that plans of God even though her husband didn’t. Fast forward to verse 39, David had graciously received the gifts from Abigail. When Nabal sobered up from a night of drinking and carousing, Abigail told him about what she had done. Nabal was struck immediately with something like a seizure and later died.
David heard about what had happened and said, “Blessed be the LORD who championed my cause against Nabal’s insults and restrained his servant from doing evil. The LORD brought Nabal’s evil deeds back on his own head” (1 Sam. 25:39, CSB). David praised the Lord for his intervention and for protecting him from doing something bad.
There’s a great lesson to be learned in this story. It is easy for us to become angry over things that others do to us. Every passing year seems to find people becoming increasingly hostile and impatient towards one another. However, the child of God should realize just as David did that God will fight our battles. It may not be that our adversaries will meet as quick a judgment as Nabal did. But he will bring back the evil deeds upon the heads of those who do evil.
Some may say, “Yeah, but I have had a lot of bad things to happen to me. God hasn’t handled the situations yet.” The beauty in the BCE’s form of devotions is that it is coupled with a passage from the Gospels. It is by no mistake that 1 Samuel 25 is linked with Mark 4:35-41. Mark 4 tells the story of the disciples who are caught in a severe storm on the Sea of Galilee. The waves flooded the boat while Jesus was asleep in the stern. The disciples cried out, “Don’t you care that we’re going to die” (Mark 4:38, CSB)? Then, Jesus calmly stands, rebukes the wind, and the storm ceases (Mark 4:39–40). After questioning them about their level of faith, the disciples were left in awestruck wonder, asking themselves “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him” (Mark 4:41, CSB)!
God has the power to fight your battles. It is easy for us to think that we have to fight alone. But the true power is not found in our intellect, muscles, or weapons. Rather, the true power is found in a Sovereign God who can do far more to our adversaries than we ever could. In the end, it is God’s will that everyone would repent and turn to him (Ezek. 18:23, 31–32; 2 Pet. 3:9). However, not everyone will. Therefore, God will rectify the wrongs of life. Trust in his ability to do what’s right. If you fight your battles in your own power, you can only do what limited things you have the capability to do. But if you place your circumstances and adversaries in the hands of God, you will see the powerful things that God can do. So, whose power do you trust more to fight your battles—God’s power or your own?
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