The Heart of God

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Sunday school from September 6th, 2020


Okay, we are going to get started. If you guys would like to prepare,
I'm going to do a little one -day mini -study. I would like you to turn to 1 Samuel 24.
1 Samuel 24. We'll do a little bit of a deviation because there's a topic that I thought would be a good one for us to cover.
And so if you would like to get ready, that's where we'll start. But of course, we always open it up for questions.
But give me just a second here. There we go.
Let's pray. Blessed Lord, you've caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning.
Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, so that by patience and comfort of your holy word we may embrace and ever hold fast to the blessed hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Amen. Okay. We are going to do a little bit of a mini -study.
I don't see any questions currently in the chat, and this is the time if you do have questions to bring them up.
You'll note that we dealt today in our sermon with that famous Matthew 18 text that has to do with church discipline.
But you're going to note that we do not discuss church discipline apart from the fact that we are little children and that calling somebody to repentance is
Jesus going after lost sheep. If you lose sight of that, then you're going to end up misusing the concept of church discipline.
The purpose of church discipline is to go after lost sheep, not to just put somebody out of the church.
And by the way, if somebody wants to continue to remain lost, I mean, they're free to do that. I don't know why they would want to.
But ultimately when you look at church discipline, it's giving somebody what they want.
You either want to be forgiven or you want to not be forgiven. If that's the case, then there's nothing we can do to help you.
But I wanted to note that last week and this week, and you'll note next week kind of plays into it as well.
Hold on a second here. I ended up opening up something quite by accident. There we go. Let me make that a little bit smaller.
There we go. That last week we talked about the temptations to sin coming from the world, our sinful flesh, and the devil.
Not particularly in that order. We oftentimes lovingly, as Lutherans refer to that, as the unholy trinity of temptation.
We noted that last week we were called by Christ to take up our cross and follow him. And we spent a little bit of time looking in our sermon last week at Luther's large catechism as it relates to the portion of the
Lord's Prayer that says, lead us not into temptation and what that means. Basically, as Christians, we are going to be harassed and harried all along the way.
And if you're not being harassed and made to suffer by the devil, give it five minutes. That's pretty much all it's going to take, and the next round will begin.
That's how it goes. But the question then is that as Christians, when we are sinned against, you'll note that it is in love that we then go to our neighbor.
But in our epistle text last week, and I would remind you of that portion of it. Let me pull that back up.
In Romans 12, at the tail end of Romans 12, we are told these words.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
As it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, vengeance is mine.
I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he's thirsty, you give him something to drink. For by doing so, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. And the reason why we do these things is because we are
Christians, we are saved. And in the types and shadows, I think there is a couple of stories that exemplify this.
In the story and the life of David, King David. King David is a guy who got this right in one major way and almost got it wrong.
He actually came really close to getting it wrong. And so where we're going to spend our time today is in 1
Samuel 24. I'll give you a little bit of the context. King David is the anointed but not yet coronated king of Israel, which is an awkward thing to be.
Usually when somebody has a competing claim upon the throne of a kingdom, usually that is the cause for conflict, the cause for civil war.
And what has happened is that Saul, God has rejected Saul from being king, but he hasn't removed him from being king.
But having rejected Saul from being king, God sends the prophet Samuel to anoint
David the king of Israel, so he's anointed, but God hasn't installed him into the office of king.
So what do you do in a situation like that? And what David does in this situation is exemplifies this idea of God is the one who gives vengeance,
God is the one who does these things, and that you overcome evil with good.
So what has happened in the previous chapters here is that David gets wind of the fact that Saul has devices, is basically turned against him and is plotting to murder, to actually kill
David under the pretense, the false narrative, that David was planning a coup d 'etat to overthrow
Saul, which is not true. David, at no point does he ever, ever lift a finger to become the reigning king of Israel.
But Saul, because he has a wicked spirit and because this guy just exemplifies and typifies all of our sinfulness, he has it out for David, so he creates a false narrative.
David is plotting a coup d 'etat, he's included my son Jonathan in on the plot, and oh, what a devious, devious, terrible person this guy is.
And so he has then begun to chase David all over the
Judean countryside. David has fled, David has fled from Jerusalem, and first stop was the tabernacle, and he was given provisions, he was given the bread of the presence, which he was not supposed to eat, but a human life is more important than a commandment in that sense.
So he was given the provisions of bread as well as the sword of Goliath, and what ended up happening is that when
Saul found out about it, he questioned the high priest
Ahimelech regarding this, and Ahimelech, because he had no idea that David was fleeing from Saul, that he was actually innocent of participating in any kind of plot or anything nefarious, but Saul wouldn't permit him, the narrative to be challenged because none of the army of Israel would go after David if they thought that he was not a danger and a threat.
So he killed Ahimelech, the high priest, killed all the remaining priests who were serving in the tabernacle, and then put the entire town of,
I think it was Naoth, to the sword as well. That's going to include men, women, children, animals, everything, it all got killed.
You'll note that Saul, he failed to put the Amalekites to complete destruction, but when his false narrative was being threatened, he had no problem devoting everything to destruction.
Kind of a fascinating story when you consider that. So what has happened at this point is that Saul is chasing
David all over the Judean countryside and was super close to catching
David, but just as he was about ready to pounce, about ready to finally catch up with David, he got word that the
Philistines had attacked Israel, and so he and his army had to cut off their chasing of David and to go take care of the
Philistine threat, and then once that was over, this is kind of where we pick up.
David is hiding in a place called En Gedi. If you don't know where En Gedi is, it's on the western, kind of midway down, western shore of the
Dead Sea. There's springs and waterfalls. It's kind of a nice zip code. There's some really beautiful pictures that you can take there.
So if you've ever heard of En Gedi water, there's a company that bottles the water that comes up from the spring in En Gedi.
That's what that's all about. And here's what it says in 1 Samuel 24. This is where we pick up.
When Saul returned from following the Philistines, by the way, I need to warn everybody, this story gets a little earthy.
You need to know that. When Saul had returned from following the Philistines, he was told,
Behold, David is in the wilderness of En Gedi. Then Saul took 3 ,000 chosen men out of all of Israel, went to seek
David and his men in front of the wild goats' rocks.
That sounds like a cool place. I'd like to photograph that someday. Driving down the highway, turn here for scenic vista of the wild goats' rocks.
I wonder if you can find it on Instagram. Maybe. All right, so he came to the sheepfolds, by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself.
And yes, he probably took with him a copy of the Jerusalem Times. He was going to be there for a little bit, engaging in some bathroom reading.
In other words, you can kind of say it this way. David, who is the anointed but not yet reigning king of Israel, had an encounter with the currently reigning king of Israel, whom
God has rejected, and literally caught him with his pants down. That's quite the compromising position.
But what David does here exemplifies this idea that we do not overcome evil with evil, but we overcome evil with good.
So David and his men, they were sitting in the innermost part of the cave. That's where they were hiding.
They were hiding inside the innermost part of the cave, so the men of David said to him,
Here is the day of which Yahweh said to you, Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.
So David arose stealthily and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.
He didn't put a sword in his back. He didn't cut off his head. He could have easily done that, and Saul wouldn't have known what hit him.
But instead, there's part of his cloak, so he cuts off the corner of the robe.
But afterwards, David's heart struck him. He felt guilt because of this, because he had cut off the corner of Saul's robe.
He said to his men, Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my Lord, Yahweh's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing that he is
Yahweh's anointed. So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack
Saul, and Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way. Saul had no idea he was in danger the entire time.
He tended to his business, finished his business, went out and didn't even know that his life was in mortal danger.
Afterwards then, David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, my
Lord the King. And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and he paid homage.
David said to Saul, Why do you listen to the words of men who say, Behold, David seeks your harm?
Now this is a fascinating question for David to ask, and the reason why it's fascinating is due to the fact that David is fully aware that the false narrative regarding him attempting to overthrow
Saul, that false narrative, it had its origin in the mind of Saul.
That's where it came from. And so you're going to note here that David, in asking this question, is giving
Saul a way of saving face. There's kind of a second level to the conversation which makes it clear that David is communicating to Saul that he knows full well that Saul is the one responsible.
But to the people standing there listening on that day, the 3 ,000 men who were believing that David was a threat to the nation,
David's words make it sound like Saul has been duped.
He's a victim of false information. He's acting on bad intel.
So David said, Why do you listen to the words of men who say, Behold, David seeks your harm? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how
Yahweh gave you today into my hand in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I spared you.
I said, I will not put out my hand against my Lord, for He is Yahweh's anointed.
See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands.
I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May Yahweh judge between me and you.
May Yahweh avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.
And so here we see in the types and shadows, I mean, this is an exemplification of kind of the virtues of Christ.
And let me explain it this way. So there's Jesus in the wilderness being tempted by the devil.
The devil takes Him up to a high mountain and in an instant shows Him all of the kingdoms, all of the empires of the earth, which would include
Egypt and Rome, the growing empire in India at the time.
Maybe even, you know, one of the ancient Chinese dynasties. You know, they were around back then too. Shows Him all.
Maybe the Incas, maybe the Aztecs, right? All of the different tribes of the earth.
And says, I'll give you all of these if you'll just worship me. Jesus could have seized control over everything, right?
Devil just teed it up. In the same way though, David here is tempted.
I mean, the kingdom's sitting right there. All he's gotta do is kill Saul. But he refuses to do that because of his fear of God.
Consider also into this context then. Let me do this. I'm gonna duplicate this tab.
All right. In duplicating this tab, we're going to take a look then at, hold on a second here,
Matthew 28. Christ, after His resurrection, the
Great Commission passage, Jesus came and He said to them, all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.
Did Jesus seize that authority? No. What does
Scripture say? The one who humbles himself, God will exalt. Well, that's what Christ did. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient, even to the point of death on a cross.
Therefore, God has highly exalted Him. So you'll note that Jesus Christ doesn't lift a finger to get all authority.
Instead, He humbles Himself and allows Himself to be hunted and killed. And because of His innocent suffering and death,
God exalts Him. So you can see how these themes are then working out. And this plays in how we love and we treat each other.
So David then says, again, backing up into verse 12, May Yahweh judge between me and you.
May Yahweh avenge me against you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, out of the wicked comes wickedness.
But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the King of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue?
After a dead dog? After a flea? May Yahweh therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.
So David is completely trusting himself into the hands of God and trusts that God Himself will plead
His cause and God Himself will deliver him. Now we all know, this is not how we think.
That's not how I think. That's not how you think. But again, this is what we are admonished to in Scripture.
Let me again kind of read our text from last week. Never avenge yourselves. Leave it to the wrath of God.
A diswritten vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, you feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For by doing so, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil.
Instead, overcome evil. We play by a different set of rules altogether as forgiven sinners.
And you'll note, again, it's kind of a weird thing. We have enemies, but we should not have enemies because we've provoked them to be our enemies.
We have enemies for preaching and teaching the truth and calling people to repent. And, well, impenitent sinners always owe
God a grudge. And since you are speaking on his behalf when you're speaking the gospel and calling people to repent, well then, you get the joy of suffering for the sake of Christ when you do that.
But if you're suffering because you're a jerk, that's not how Christians suffer.
So, coming back then to our text. So how's this going to end off? This is kind of like chapter one of our study in this.
So as soon as David had finished speaking these words. So you'll note, at this point,
Saul's false narrative has been just demolished. It lies in tiny little microscopic pieces all over the
Judean desert floor at this point. And there's no way for Saul to continue with the pretense that David is plotting a coup d 'etat.
By returning evil with good, David has destroyed the false narrative against him.
And in destroying that false narrative, Saul has left only one recourse because none of the men, the 3 ,000 men that are with him are going to kill
David at this point. You can all see them going, oh, this was just a big misunderstanding because David was a national hero.
David has killed his thousands, or Saul has killed his thousands, David his tens of thousands.
He's a national hero. So they're all relieved. And at this point, here's where Saul goes. Is this your voice, my son,
David? Is this your voice, my son? So Saul lifted up his voice and he wept.
Oh, this is all just a big misunderstanding. So he goes along at this point. And he said to David, you are more righteous than I.
You have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. You have declared this day how you have dealt well with me in that you did not kill me when
Yahweh put me into your hands. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe?
That's not how the world operates. But you're going to note, David here exemplifies the heart and the mind of Christ, exemplifies
Christ in the types and shadows. So may Yahweh reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.
And now behold, I know that you shall surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.
Now this next part, my personal opinion, is that this was a pretty sick request on Saul's part.
Because again, when you have somebody who has a competing claim to the throne, that usually results in civil war and real conflict and people really die.
So watch what Saul says. Swear to me therefore by Yahweh that you will not cut off my offspring after me and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house.
And he's asking this because that's standard practice. Alright? David ascends the throne.
What David should do is all of the sons of Saul, they should be put to the sword. And so you'll note,
Saul is asking this and is probably not in good faith. Well, if God's going to give the throne to David, well, maybe one of my sons can rise up and avenge me and reclaim the throne.
That's what's going on. But watch what David did. He swore. He said, okay, fine. So David swore this to Saul and Saul went home.
David and his men went up to the stronghold. Chapter 1.
Now the next chapter, chapter 25, but chapter 2 in our lesson today. Now you're going to note in this next part of the story,
David is going to be the one who's going to be acting sinfully. And the person who's going to be exemplifying the humility of Christ and the one who is going to repay evil with good is a woman.
And it's a beautiful story. It really is a fascinating story. But remember, David has just repaid evil with good.
But David, if you haven't figured this out, he's a sinner like me and like you in much need of the forgiveness of God.
And he's able to be tempted into great sin just like the rest of us. If you're not sure about this,
I would remind you of the Bathsheba affair and how her husband ended up dying,
Uriah the Hittite, and all of that story. So you can recognize that David has many sinful faults as you and I have and is prone to sinful passions like all of us.
Yes, Bruce. So God is rejecting Saul for sin and rebellion.
And God is lifting up David. Correct. Who is also sinful and murderous in his own seasons.
Yes. Can you explain what God saw in David that murderous and adulterous
David is a man after my own heart and Saul has been torn off and cast out.
I always think that the real divide between Saul and David comes down to what comes out of them when confronted with their sin.
When Saul is confronted with his sin, his refusal to obey the voice of the Lord and devote to destruction the entire
Amalekites and including their king, Agag. When confronted with his sin by the prophet
Samuel, Saul deflects and he shifts blame.
Kind of the same way that Adam did. And he shifts blame. Remember Adam, the woman you gave me.
She, she, she's the one. When confronted with his sin, Saul says,
I was just obeying the voice of the people. I was just obeying them. Well, we saved the best because we wanted to offer them as sacrifices to God.
And so he shifted blame, covered it piously and all this kind of stuff. But when it comes to David, David was one who understood that he was a sinner.
And when he was confronted with his sin in regards to his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of Uriah the
Hittite, the prophet Nathan confronts him and David, the only words out of his mouth is,
I have sinned against Yahweh. That's his only, I have sinned. And then when you read
Psalm 51, you get these words in Psalm 51, against you and you only have I sinned.
And so the difference between the two is the difference of one who recognizes his own sin and shortcoming and says the same thing about himself that is true that he's a sinner while the other refuses to say the same, say what
Scripture says, say what God says about him that he's a sinner. There would have been mercy and forgiveness and absolution for Saul as well.
But rather than owning his sin and confessing it, he shifted.
That's what he did. And that's the thing that's challenging for us. And so David being a man after God's own heart is a guy who understands the mercy of God.
He understands that God is merciful, kind, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and that with God there is forgiveness.
Not chintzy, little bits of forgiveness, but true, bona fide forgiveness. To understand the heart of God is to understand that God, in his default nature, if you were to sit down with Jesus in your house over a cup of coffee, you would find that he is humble, he is kind, he is merciful.
This is what he's like. You want to know what God is like. You look at Jesus hanging on the cross. But so many times, we as Christians, it's easy to convince people of the wrath of God.
It is difficult, and I mean downright impossible without the
Holy Spirit, for somebody to believe that God is kind and that he is merciful.
In fact, there's a substitute in our days. People don't believe that God is merciful.
They just believe that he doesn't condemn anybody. God is indifferent.
He's like a senile old grandpa. Every time you go and visit his house, he's got a butterscotch to give you.
He's patting you on the head, even though you're just a little jerk. That's right.
God is only wrathful to the person they don't like. That's not a bad point. So when we talk about being a man after God's own heart,
David exemplifies that as the forgiven sinner. But you're going to note here, in what comes next,
David is going to come dangerously close to murdering, murdering a whole group of people, who by the world standard, no one would really care.
Let's take a look at the story, what comes next. 1 Samuel 25, Samuel died. All Israel assembled and mourned for him.
They buried him in his house at Ramah. So he had pretty much a state funeral. All of Israel comes for the funeral of Samuel.
So David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in Ma 'on, whose business was in Carmel.
The man was very rich. He had 3 ,000 sheep, 1 ,000 goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
Now the name of the man was Naval. Hebrew, that pretty much translates as fool.
And you've got to sit there and go, your parents, your mom and dad, did not name you that.
They did not name you fool. Which basically means, by the way, I don't know any parents who hate their children so much that they would name them fool.
Hey Ashley, hey Becky, hey Dwayne, come on to the table. And fool, come on, where are you fool? Nobody does that.
So you just have to wonder what the back story is there, if he behaved so badly and so foolishly that that became his nickname.
I think I worked for this guy at one point to be honest with you. Wow. Okay.
Alright. So the woman, okay so, his name was Naval, and the name of his wife was
Abigail. Now listen to this woman. The woman was discerning and beautiful.
The man was harsh and badly behaved. Oddly enough, he's a
Calebite, which means he comes from really good stock. Caleb was one of the two men who was permitted to enter the
Promised Land. He had faith. He was one of the 12 spies, who spied out Canaan. It was Joshua and Caleb who gave the good report.
The other 10 spies gave the bad report. So this guy's harsh, badly behaved. How does a beautiful, discerning woman end up with a guy like this?
Alright. Now David heard in the wilderness that Naval was shearing his sheep. Now a little bit of a note here.
David, he still has an official capacity within Israel. Saul has called off his pursuit of David because his false narrative got blown to smithereens by David.
God gave Saul into his hands. And so David still has an official capacity where his job in working for the king and also as the anointed king of Israel is to protect the citizens of Israel.
And by the way, when the military protects us, do they do it for free?
No. Now, we always pay for our military via taxes. But back in the day, before there was income tax and things like this, the government had, officials of the government had a rightful claim for being compensated for their protective work.
This is not a mafia kind of situation. This is where some guy shows up, you know,
I see that you got like a thousand sheep, man. It'd be terrible if like, you know, 500 of them were like missing or something.
Right, exactly. Yeah, so, now my mafia guy impersonation is really bad.
So, you know, it's not one of my better voices. See, Mikey, he does it with that good
New Jersey thing going on. So, all right. So understand that what's going to happen next is that David, we're going to hear, is going to protect
Naval's livestock. Protect them during a time when
Naval could have easily lost part of his wealth.
So David sent 10 young men. David said to the young men, you go up to Carmel, you go to Naval, greet him in my name, and thus you shall greet him.
Peace be to you. Peace be to your house. Peace be to all that you have.
Shalom, shalom, shalom. This is a triple shalom here. This is a big deal, right? It's not, it's shalom cubed, you know.
All right. So, and then the men set there to say,
I hear that you have shears. Now your shepherds have been with us. We did them no harm. They missed nothing at all the time that they were in Carmel.
So ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore, let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day.
Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son
David. Respectful. And he's only asking for one meal for a feast.
And he's pointing out that we protected your, we're protecting your livestock.
Now when David's young men came, they said all this to Naval in the name of David, and then they waited.
Naval answered David's servants, who's David? Who's the son of Jesse?
There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. And this is, the implication here is that basically saying, yeah,
David, he's guilty of breaking the fourth commandment. He's some kind of renegade, some kind of rogue or whatever.
Right? So he insults him now on top of it. Yeah. This is not a good response.
This is, this is no bueno. Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I don't know where?
So David's young men turned away and came back and told him all of this. And David goes volcanic.
Yeah. Every man strap on his sword. So every man of them strapped on his sword.
David also strapped on his sword. About 400 men went up after David while 200 remained with the baggage.
By the way, this is not luggage. This is not like, it's not a turntable with all the baggage going around it.
These are their provisions and their extra military weapons and things like this. You don't want those to fall into somebody else's hands.
I always enjoy putting historical and anachronistic things into a text. All right.
So he's on his way. David's anger levels have gone off the charts and in a rage, he's about to go murder everybody.
He's gonna devote pretty much everybody to destruction. Is he justified in that?
No. This would be full on murder. All right.
David, you were doing so well with Saul. What happened here, man? All right.
Now, before we get to this next part, let me check questions real quick. Illyris says,
Thank you so much for this teaching. The verse is on church discipline in a new light and it fully makes sense.
I'm glad that it does. When you see church discipline as a way of calling errant sheep, as Christ seeking after His errant sheep, then you can do such a thing in love, not in vindictiveness.
Luis says, Pastor, can you explain the meaning of heaping burning coals on your enemy's head when you help them?
That's quite an image. I don't know what the exact reference, if there's an ancient image along the lines of, but heaping burning coals on his head is pretty much, you know, basically, it caused their conscience to feel pain.
They're the ones feeling pain. You know, here I treated you terribly and you're treating me good.
And so now all of a sudden they have a guilty conscience as a result of it. I think that's really kind of the gist of the idiom.
So Elizabeth said, God sees the heart. Pastor Chris, is there any scripture that states that Saul repented before he died?
No, there isn't a single text that says that. In fact, the real tragedy of Saul, when you consider it, is that as he gets ready to go into battle against the
Philistines, he is seeking an answer from God and God is refusing to answer
Saul. There was a means that was set up under the Mosaic Covenant. As part of the high priest's garb, there were these two stones.
They call them the Urim and the Thumen. And we're not exactly sure how they worked, but we pretty much understand that the way
God set things up in the Mosaic Covenant, that when you went to the high priest, you can inquire of God and God would give you an answer.
So you can ask God a direct question. And the Urim and Thumen pretty much had three answers.
One answer was yes. The other answer was no. And the other answer, rather than being no, the answer is,
I'm not telling you. And Saul, before the big battle where he loses his life, is inquiring of God what to do.
Should he go up and attack? Should he do this and that? And the Urim and Thumen kept coming back, I'm not telling you.
I'm not saying. So God had cut off all communication with him. And so Saul, rather than going to the high priest and saying,
I have sinned greatly against God. Have mercy on me. Forgive me. And calling out to God in mercy and sacrifice, he goes to the witch of Endor who engages in necromancy.
And the woman ends up calling up Samuel from Sheol. And there's no sign that Saul repents at all prior to this.
In fact, the sad part is that an animal that could have and should have been used for a sin offering by Saul ends up becoming his last meal with the witch of Endor.
That's kind of the gist of it. Yeah, it's so sad. It's a very tragic story.
All right. Pastor Chris, an impersonator of Joel Osteen, is hilarious.
Well, thank you. Thank you for coming to Kongsvenger. Today we're going to just talk about how you're the
V's knees and you're the head and not the tail. Sorry. Josh is going to end up cutting that out of the audio.
All right. All right. Let's come back. All right. All right, so here we are then.
David has said, strap on your swords. Everybody's off.
400 men armed with swords are about ready to go and put an end to Naval and everybody.
So here's what happens. One of the young men told Abigail, Naval's wife, and you could tell this guy knows he's in trouble.
He's in deep kimchi. And so this guy, Abigail, you're not going to believe what
Naval, oh, I can't believe what a stupid name that is, but he lives up to his name. You're not going to believe what he's done this time.
So this young man, he went to Abigail, Naval's wife.
He says, behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master. He railed at them, yet the men were very good to us.
We suffered no harm. We did not miss anything when we were in the fields as long as he went with them.
They were a wall to us, both by night and by day. All the while, we were with them keeping the sheep.
Now, therefore, know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house.
And he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak with him.
I worked for this guy. I know I worked for this guy in the corporate world. Did you have this as a
CO? As an XO on one of your boats? Yeah, except your guy probably didn't try to kill you.
Well, not intentionally, no. All right.
So upon hearing this, Abigail made haste. She took 200 loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep already prepared, five sayas of parched grain, and 100 clusters of raisins, 200 cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.
So she raids the pantry at this point, grabs everything that she can that's prepared, and she said to her young men,
You go before me. Behold, I'll come after you. But she did not tell her husband, Naval.
And as she rode on the donkey and came down under the cover of the mountain, behold,
David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said,
Surely in vain I have guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good.
Same theme, right? Do not return anyone evil for evil, but overcome evil with good.
So David here needs a reminding of how things work in the kingdom of God, and it's a woman who's going to school him.
I think this is brilliant. All right? So God do so to the enemies of David, and more also if by morning
I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him. So now we know his intent is to murder all these guys.
They're not a threat to his life. They're just an annoyance. So Abigail saw
David. She hurried and got down from the donkey, fell before David on her face, and she bowed to the ground.
She fell at his feet, and she said, and listen to what she says, On me alone, my Lord, be the guilt. What? Intercessory prayer.
Not only that, the guilt of her husband is now imputed to her? Wow. I seem to know an innocent fellow who died for my sins.
For yours. Isn't it fascinating that here Abigail is exemplifying something that we see in Christ.
The innocent being willing to be punished, taking the blame for the guilty.
What does it mean? Father's joy. Very good. Okay. So please,
On me alone, my Lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears and hear the words of your servant.
Let not my Lord regard this worthless fellow, she's talking about her husband, Naval, for as his name is, so is he.
Naval is his name and folly is with him. But I, your servant, did not see the young men of my
Lord whom you sent. And so she's taking the blame by virtue of a sin of omission.
I should have seen it. I should have known it. Have mercy on me. I didn't know.
I didn't see. So I'm the one to blame. Wow. So then, my
Lord, as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, because Yahweh has restrained you from blood guilt and from saving with your own hand.
And there's kind of the theme here. Saving with your own hand. You see, when somebody, how did that text say?
If you never avenge yourselves, leave it to the wrath of God. When you avenge yourself, you're saving yourself from your enemy, from your circumstances.
You're saving yourself. No, no, no. Vengeance is mine. The Lord says I will repay.
So you overcome evil, not with evil, but you overcome evil with good, which is not how we operate.
But you're going to note here, this is the theme of this text. And so when you avenge yourself on your enemies, then you are saving with your own hand.
And God had restrained David from doing that. So she goes on to say, Now then, let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my
Lord be as Naval. Now let this present that your servant has brought to my Lord be given to the young men who follow my
Lord. And please forgive the trespass of your servant. Look at that. She even asked
David to forgive her. Wow.
For Yahweh will certainly make my Lord a sure house, because my Lord is fighting the battles of Yahweh.
Evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my
Lord shall be bound. Ooh. Hang on a second here. Our internet just crashed.
It's back. We had a burp.
A hiccup. There we go.
Okay. I think I'm back. Not sure what happened there. Hold on a second here. Let me share my screen.
Okay. Let me share. Hold on. Y 'all can hear me, right?
Stephen, you can hear me? All right. Very good. Sorry about that. Our internet just went wonky there for a second.
All right. So coming back here. So when Yahweh has done to my
Lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you. In fact, let me back up just a little bit farther. So if men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my
Lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of Yahweh your
God and the lives of your enemies he shall sling out from the hollow of his sling. And when
Yahweh has done to my Lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you as prince over Israel.
You'll note that Abigail knows that David is the anointed but not yet reigning king of Israel. And that Yahweh had promised to make
David king. So when Yahweh fulfills all of this and has appointed you the prince over Israel, my
Lord shall have no cause then for grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my
Lord working salvation for himself. And so God has restrained him in his anger and his murderous passion from sinning greatly.
And when Yahweh has dealt well with my Lord, then remember your servant.
What an interesting thing for her to request. I seem to remember a fellow. It was a guy who was being crucified on one side of Christ and he said to Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Same kind of prayer. And Christ said to that fellow, today you will be with me in paradise.
So returning evil with good, now Abigail exemplifies
Christ and David said to Abigail, blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me and blessed be your discretion and blessed be you who have kept me this day from blood guilt and from working salvation with my own hand.
For as surely as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me truly by morning, there had been left to Nabal so much as one male.
Then David received from her hand what she had brought him and he said to her, go up in peace to your house.
See, I have obeyed your voice and I have granted your petition. Now, vengeance is mine, saith the
Lord. And it's just awful that a woman this beautiful, with this much discretion and discernment is married to such a harsh and foolish man as Nabal.
But you've got to note what follows here is an example of what God eventually does.
In the case of Abigail and David, God will act swiftly. But note, we're not promised
He'll act swiftly on our behalf. We find ourselves in a terrible situation. The scripture is still true.
We do not save ourselves and we return evil with good and we show kindness to our enemies to convict them of their sin.
And if they persist in sin and unbelief, then God will be the one who will take vengeance on them, not us.
So here we see an acceleration of things, if you would. Put that on your prophecy bingo card. But in this particular case, it stands to show us how things will eventually work out for us, even if we have to endure for a long time.
So Abigail came to Nabal. Behold, he was holding a feast in his house like the feast of a king. Of course he was.
That's his name, Nabal. Of course he was doing that. So Nabal's heart was merry within him for he was very drunk.
He was three sheets to the wind. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.
And in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things.
Oh, by the way, you're lucky to be alive. If it hadn't been for me, you'd be dead right now.
She told him everything. His heart died then within him and he became like a stone. Makes me wonder if he had a heart attack with the news.
It kind of sounds like it because it's describing something along those lines. And about ten days later,
Yahweh struck Nabal and he died. Story continues.
So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be Yahweh, who has avenged the insult
I received at the hand of Nabal and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. Yahweh has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.
And then David sent and spoke to Abigail to take her as his wife. And when the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her,
David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife. And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said,
Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord. And then
Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and she became his wife.
And they lived happily ever after. Not even close.
Not even close. Read a couple more chapters. Yeah, I know,
I know. So they didn't live happily ever after because all their children were sinners too.
Was Abigail the mother of Absalom? Or was it
Ahanoam? I forget. I forget off the top of my head. You almost have to look.
But the whole point of all of this is again, it exemplifies what we heard last week.
What we heard last week. Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty. Associate with the lowly. Don't be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
And if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, vengeance is mine.
I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy's hungry, you feed him. If he's thirsty, you give him something to drink.
For by doing so, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Now, let me check questions real quick here. Yes, Mike. So, does this pertain to the people in the church?
They didn't... Yeah, so the question is, do we practice this with just only the people in the church?
First of all, this must, because of we are forgiven, be the thing that exemplifies and defines our love for each other.
But you're going to note them, but it's going to go farther than that. It is going to go farther than that, because now this...
To say that my pagan neighbor is a Philistine, that's not quite the attitude we have as Christians.
So the idea then is that everybody in our neighborhood, in our community, regardless of their religion, or regardless of who they're going to vote for in November, they are our neighbors, and we are to exemplify good works by not returning evil with evil.
And so, this then is how we treat each other within our communities.
Now, when you have a national enemy, you know, so when your nation goes to war, and one of the things that's been the strength of the
United States, but not always has the United States been consistent. But with the
United States, for the most part, they have engaged in just wars, but not always.
Keep in mind that the Confederates were technically Americans, and their war was anything but just.
And then when you think of the war that we had with Mexico before the
Civil War, that was a terrible thing. That was just not a very just war at all.
And whether or not force was really justified in that case is questionable, historically. But note then that when we have a national enemy, the job of the government is to protect its citizens.
So in a situation like that, you're dealing with a higher level question. So it's, you know, and understand, the
United States is not the kingdom of God. And nor is it the covenant nation of God.
So, you know, keep that in mind. Yeah? So, Abigail had
Gilead and Daniel. Absalom was Maccah.
Maccah? Okay. Got it. Alright. I was wondering about that. Sylvester says,
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. I just had to talk to my kids about that this very thing this morning.
And you'll have to talk to them about it tomorrow morning too. And the next morning after that.
I still talk to my kids about that sometimes. And they're all adults. And sometimes they have to tell me that too.
Alright. Well, very good. This is where we will end off today. And so peace to you brothers and sisters.