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But God #42

I would like to share a devotion with you today from my book, “but God” but first let me tell you what my book is about.

It is a bible study devotional that takes you on a unique journey thru the Old Testament as you read about the different people in the bible who experienced God’s interventions in their lives, which brought them hope and healing and exposed God’s character and how he feels towards people and what his plans are for the future. You will read about Adam/Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Gideon, David, Solomon, Jeremiah, Jonah, Job, Elijah, The Israelites, and more. All these people experienced “but God” moments and will show you that you probably have had many yourself. This study was something I was doing with the Lord during my devotional time and as he kept showing me more and more hidden treasures in his word he kept confirming I needed to share them with others. So now you can participate in this study yourself by buying the book, watching the YouTube videos, and liking the Facebook page, or checking for updates on the website at http://www.butGodbiblestudy.com

So one of the bible stories we run into as we study the but God verses is a story about a woman named Abigail. It is but God #42 and found in 1 Samuel 25 and in my book it is entitled “but God is at work in us”

We are told Abigail is beautiful and married to a very rich but foolish man named Nabal. David (before he was recognized as king) had met Nabal’s shepherds while in the desert and had protected them and the livestock while they were there. David heard Nabal was shearing his sheep and sent to ask for food if they had some to spare. Nabal responded negatively to this request, mocking and insulting David, acting as if he did not recognize who David was or what he had done for him, and refused to share any of his bread, water, or meat (vs 11). When David heard of this he reacted angrily and said that he had protected all Nabal’s possessions in vain, repaying evil for good. So David determined to have every male in the household killed (v 21-22). David had 200 of his men stay with the supplies and then he, along with 400 men, took their swords and headed towards Nabal’s household.

Meanwhile, Abigail’s servant told her how good David had been to them while in the fields and about Nabal’s rude remarks to David’s men and their request. He advised her to consider carefully what to do as harm would probably be coming toward them (vs 17).

Abigail quickly prepared: 200 loaves of bread, 2 wineskins, 5 prepared sheep, 5 seahs of grain, 100 raisin clusters, and 200 fig cakes and sent that out first, then followed behind it.

She met David coming toward her on the hill and fell at his feet begging to be heard and acknowledged the problem. Then she asked him to accept the offering of food and asked for forgiveness. Then she praised him and acknowledged who he was and spoke encouraging words over him. She said, “but God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights god’s battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you…”

David was so taken by Abigail’s words he said she was a blessing and she kept him from bringing bloodshed. He told her he (1) heard her, (2) respected her, (3) he accepted her offering, and (4) to go in peace.

The next day Abigail told her husband what had happened and verse 37 says his heart died and he became like a stone. He probably had a heart attack or a stroke, then 10 days later he died. David heard of this and sent servants to Abigail to ask her if she would become David’s wife. She immediately left with her 5 maidservants to join David and married him.

There are many things to glean from this story. We can see how Abigail represents the believer, the servant represents the holy spirit, Nabal represents the foolish unbeliever, and David represents king Jesus.

Maybe you are married to an unbeliever like Nabal, someone who mocks and insults Jesus, not acknowledging him as the “anointed king”. The world certainly is full of people who are disrespectful, ungratefully, selfish, foolish, and stubborn like Nabal. They dismiss simple requests, feeling they are entitled to all they possess and hoard it for themselves in a self-serving way. They do not want to accept Jesus or have anything to do with him.

David was anointed to be the king. Much like our messiah Christ Jesus is the anointed king. David had not been recognized by all as king just yet much like Jesus has not been recognized by everyone just yet. But in Revelation 19:16 we read when Christ returns on his white horse his robe will read “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”. Then there will be no doubt about who is in charge and who the anointed king is.

Abigail represents the bride of Christ, the future queen. She honored David by acknowledged that he was to be the future king. She was beautiful, wise, courageous, and had discernment. She exhibited godly behavior, and had grace and favor in her king’s eyes. She did not stand idly by while disaster fell upon her household but she took action. She chose carefully and considered what to do. She probably had much practice at this by living with Nabal and had learned to be resourceful and a peacemaker. Abigail honored her marriage to Nabal and her intervention prevented catastrophe. She was confident, yet humble, when she boldly approached David. She stood in the gap for her household and interceded on their behalf. She was fit to be a queen and definitely was noticed by David as we are noticed by Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:12-17 summarizes it by saying this, “the unbelieving spouse is sanctified through the believing spouse. You should live as a believer in the situation the lord has called you to, for you do not know whether you will save your spouse.” (please note: this is not saying to stay if the marriage is abusive). Abigail lived as the peacemaker in her home and surely saved her household that day. As believers in Christ, we too must stand in the gap for those who are in danger and help bring salvation through our prayers for them. Abigail intervened without Nabal knowing, often times that is the same for us when we bring up our loved ones in prayer without them knowing we are praying for their salvation or praying for a door of opportunity to open to share with them in hopes they would be receptive to it.

Abigail’s servant warned her of the problem at hand and advised her to carefully plan her next step. This is a job of the Holy Spirit as he helps us size up the situation and discern what we hear and see. Then he will help us determine to do.

Proverbs 15:1-2 states clearly what happened in this story. It says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” Nabal’s foolish words stirred up anger in David, but Abigail’s soft wise words displayed her knowledge and stopped David’s wrath.

One thing that stood out to me in the story i want to mention are the amount of numbers used. We read about how many sheep and goats there were, how many men there were, how many food items Abigail sent out, how many days until Nabal died, and how many maids went with Abigail when David called for her. I want to highlight two. When the bible says it was 10 days from the time Nabal’s heart turned to stone until his death, it reminds me of the 10 plagues in Egypt (but God #19-22). The pharaoh, like Nabal, was known to have a hardened heart like a stone and stubborn. It was not until the 10th plague was completed that the Israelites were released from bondage and were freed to go be with god (their king) in the wilderness, much like Abigail was then free to be with her king after Nabal’s death 10 days later. Then, when it says that Abigail left with her 5 maids, it reminds me of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25. How interesting Nabal is representative of the foolish while Abigail is representative of the wise. You read that 5 of them were wise and ready to go when the bridegroom called them. Matthew 25:13 says, “Watch therefore, for you do not know the day or hour the son of man is coming.” Abigail did not know that David would come for her after her husband died, but he did – and she was ready to leave immediately (just like the 5 maids were), just like we should be ready to leave when the trumpet souNds and Jesus comes to collect his bride. We need to be ready!

In addition to Abigail, who was released from her marriage thru the death of her husband, there was another woman who also was fit to be queen. Her name was Bathseba and her story can be found in 2 Samuel 11-12 and in but God #46. She was married, but that didn’t keep David from sinning and having an affair. The story is full of scandal, including the death of her husband. David cried out for forgiveness and God did forgive, but there were consequences to their actions. God redeemed David and Bathseba’s relationship and blessed their marriage. God chose their son to be the next king who was Solomon.

Christians make up the body of Christ. To be part of the bride, you must believe Jesus is God’s son and daily obey the word of the lord, loving him with all your heart, mind, body, and soul. You cannot have a relationship with him for just 2 hours on Sunday each week. If you were engaged to someone, surely you would spend more time than that getting to know everything about them. God knows all about you (Psalm 139:13-16 god created me in the womb and the days fashioned for me are written in his book), He created you with a purpose (Eph 2:10- we were created to do good works which Christ prepared beforehand, PS 119:73-80 he fashioned me to hope in him and live according to his law not being ashamed and delighting in him, PS 138:8 the lord will perfect that which concerns me, Col 1:16 all things were created by him and for him, Jer 29:11-i know the plans i have for you to give you a future and a hope), and wants you to belong to his Son’s bride (Romans 1:6, Rom 8:38-39- you were called to belong to Jesus and nothing could separate you from his love).

The point is this- God is constantly at work in us and we all have the potential to be queen, the question is will you accept the invitation?

Feel free to watch the video that goes with this study here on the underlined words by Pastor Dan at Water of Life Community Church

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As we press in to But God #1 (found on page 3 in the book, But God- Getting to Know Your Bridegroom in the Old Testament), we take a closer look at Adam in the Garden. Thank you to Christine Annunziato for writing this thought provoking addition to the study. YouTube videoblog found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyH18AIYc-U&feature=youtu.be


Genesis 2:15 states, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Adam received this word before Eve was even created, because the next thing that happens, in verse 18 is that The Lord says, “It is not good for a man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” In verse 21 He does just that with the rib he pulls from Adams side.

Eve tells the serpent in Genesis 3:3 that she knew they must not eat “or even touch” the tree in the middle of the garden; adding a rule that even God had not stated. Thus the first “fence law” is born.  When convinced by the smooth-talking serpent to “take and eat,” the deception is complete—she had now done the very thing her husband had warned her not to do and now possessed “the knowledge of good and evil.”  Even more disturbing then, is her move to hand the forbidden fruit to her husband—she knew better!  So why is the sin counted as Adams? Romans 5:12–“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” He knew better as well, as he had heard it directly from the mouth of God.

     This must have something to do with the role of the groom to the bride, as Christ is to the church. There must be a spiritual responsibility on the part of the man that as God created him, he has a role of spiritual intercession as head of the woman. It seems he had been given the ability to pardon the sin of his wife, and be ultimately responsible for it. 1 Corinthians 11:3 says this, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”

Let’s look at an Old Testament scripture regarding man’s responsibility as head of his woman: Numbers 30:6-8 says “If she marries a husband, while under her vows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself,  and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her vow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. And the Lord will forgive her.” Now, I know this is a pledge or a vow we are speaking of here, but I find it fascinating that the man could “make void” her vow, “and The Lord will forgive her.”  And as we see back in Genesis 3, Adam allowed Eve’s discrepancy with the forbidden fruit to stand; he made no objection. This shows me that the man is always called to be near enough to His wife to reverse a promise to do something.

The fact that Eve went so far as to eat the fruit, whether in front of Adam or not, was a declaration that he was sleeping on the job. So not only was Adam held responsible for the sin of defying a command of God, but he was also held responsible for the sin of omission, for not interceding on Eve’s behalf. The bible declares that Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned (1 Timothy 2:14). In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warns the Bride, the church:  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” What an amazing Bridegroom we have Who watches over us, while at the Right Hand of the Father, who in Hebrews 7:24 is constantly voiding any “oaths” we may make to our own demise:  “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” In Luke 23:34 Jesus says, “Forgive them Father, for they don’t know what they do.” This is why, as the Bride of Christ, we must know and trust completely the Lover of our souls, our Bridegroom, who will give us the strength to avoid temptation, void our sinful vows, convict us in order to repent and turn back to Him. He will sanctify us until we are that spotless Bride for whom He has promised to return. Remember that Ephesians 5:26 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.…”

1. As a wife, how does this idea affect your understanding of your husband’s role in your marriage? Are there any changes you may need to make for this role to be in proper order?
2. As a husband, how seriously to you take the role of “spiritual head” of your home?  Are you willing to give yourself up for your bride? Are there any areas in which you need to take renewed responsibility?

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