June 22, 2014

Wise Council: seeking it and being it

At church this Sunday, our pastor spoke on 1 Samuel 25, the story of Abigail and David. As a child, this was one of my favorite stories because it was about someone with the same name as me! My dad would often read it to my sister and I before bed whenever it was my turn to pick the story. I think I mostly loved it because it talked about how Abigail was beautiful. Shallow, I know, but I think in reality it is talking about her outward AND inward beauty. This woman is wise. She risked her life to save her wicked husband Nabal who was anything but nice to David's men. Not only did she save Nabal, she saved David from making a terrible mistake. 

While reading this passage, our pastor spoke about how we make decisions on a daily basis. A lot of times, we let our passions make our decisions for us. It could be greed, lust, power, success, anger, etc. that drives any one of our decisions. He also gave some tips on how we should make decisions, and I really felt it hit close to home. So here is what I wrote down: 

When you are faced with a decision...

1. What does God's word say? (Your passions can cloud your vision)

2. What does your heart say? Psalm 37:4 - If we are in the Word, the desires of our hearts follow God's desires. 

3. What does wise council say? (Our passions can be stronger than our hearts sometimes)
                    -Who is my wise council?
                    -Do I listen to wise council when it is given to me? 
                    -Who do I need to bring wise council to? 

When David sent ten of his men to Nabal (the foolish but very wealthy man) to request food and drink, they had been traveling and hiding out from Saul for a long time. In the previous chapter (1 Samuel 24), they had all been hiding in a cave and David had the chance to kill Saul, but his heart told him otherwise. This was a situation when his passion for revenge was not stronger than his heart to listen to the Lord. Maybe it was the wilderness or the amount of time he had been running, but something changed in David when Nabal refused to give he and his men something to eat. He took 400 of his men armed with swords to kill Nabal and his household! 

When Abigail heard what was going on from one of Nabal's herdsmen, she quickly put together a gift of food and drink that took twenty men to carry (twice the gift David had expected because he only sent ten men to Nabal) and followed them to meet David and his men. Without going into too much detail, Abigail showed David what he should do. She was his 3rd step, his wise council. Instead of David becoming a murderer that day, he let God judge Nabal for his actions. 

What a great picture of how a community of believers can hold each other up. We not only need to seek wise council when making a decision, but we need to give wise council to our brothers and sisters when we see the need (even if they don't ask for it!). What wisdom and courage Abigail had, even in the face of her terrible circumstances. She had nothing to gain by going to David (especially since she was a woman during this time) but she did it anyway, because she knew how much David would regret letting his passion for revenge overtake him. 

How can we be like Abigail? Or be like David and accept wise council when it is given to us? Happy Sunday! 

(to listen to the full sermon, go to riovistachurch.com, it should be available by this coming Wednesday) 

- Abby

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