June 19, 2011

The Little Ms.

We have been speaking about characteristics of crisis and the fool. We have been considering the different scenarios or experiences we have personally had when we cross paths with such individuals. We also discussed that at times in our life we can be Crisis or Fool, however, there is a vast difference between a mistake when we lack understanding verses simply not caring about the effect we have on those around us.

Today we will be considering several passages from Proverbs and then looking at 1 Samuel 25 to read a real life account of what happens when you marry Mr. Fool. So climb aboard and strap in we’re going on his ride again!

Proverbs 8:1 (NAS) Does not wisdom call, and understanding lift up her voice?

I am making an introduction today of Ms. Wisdom,( and no, I didn’t pick the gender the definition did that =D) all her words filled with discernment, discretion, loving reproofs, equality, compassion and love. She is peace loving with the heart of a teacher who is always carefully watching over those less wise. She is trustworthy, filled with integrity and loves the Lord her God with all that she is comprised of, her house stands firm because all that she desires is deeply rooted in God. She is very special so we researched her a bit more to find out that Understanding is her middle name. Without Understanding all that she is would never be able to reach those she desires to teach – Understanding is her action, it gives her volume, speed, perseverance.

Here is where we can find her in our cities, country side, roadways as we journey avoiding collisions with Mr. Crisis or the blind, foolish, naive travelers along our paths:

-On top of the heights
-Beside the way
-Where the paths meet
-Beside the gates
-At the openings to the city
-At the entrance of the doors
God was obviously referring to Ms. Wisdom in this passage from Jeremiah 6:16, 17:

Thus says the Lord, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it. And I set watchmen over you saying, “Listen to the sound of the trumpet!” But they said, “We will not listen”.

In Proverbs 10 we are told that to the fool doing wickedness is simply a sport. But it goes on to state that they live in fear – and not the fear of God. So they are correct, what they fear WILL come upon them. Remember what we were told in Habakkuk – know this and RUN, there is a reason that Ms. Wisdom does not do more than stand at the wayside and lift up her voice – if she goes where he goes she will be caught up in all his chaos and ruin. This is not God’s will for you – NEVER!

This is what the Proverbs states the situation will looks like for the Mr. Crisis and Mr. Fool:

-The years of the wicked will be shortened
-The expectation of the wicked perishes (hope deferred)
-Iniquity will be the ruin of his work
-He will be shaken and will not live in the good land of the Lord
-His perverted tongue will be cut out.

Why is this their outcome? Because of the following things:

-They use false weights and God finds this an abomination
-Their pride causes dishonor

It is their own falseness that will destroy them, their own riches they have built up will not be able to save them when God’s wrath comes twisting in….so even when they bribe you to stay or manipulate you with fear, don’t accept it…RUN!
Listen to Ms. Wisdom she is there to show you the way….follow her wise instruction, as Abigail did. Here is her story, I find it very uplifting.

Now, there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. He was a very rich man. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was sensible and beautiful, but he was harsh and mean. He was a descendant of Caleb.
While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men and told them, “Go to Carmel, visit Nabal, and greet him for me. Say to him, ‘May you live long! May you, your home, and all you have prosper! I hear that your sheepshearers are with you. Your shepherds have been with us, and we have not mistreated them. Nothing of theirs has been missing as long as they’ve been in Carmel. Ask your young men, and let them tell you. Be kind to my young men, since we have come on a special occasion. Please give us and your son David anything you can spare.’ ” When David’s young men came to Nabal, they repeated all of this to him for David, and then they waited.

“Who is David?” Nabal answered David’s servants. “Who is Jesse’s son? So many servants nowadays are leaving their masters. Should I take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to men coming from who knows where?”

David’s young men returned and told him all this.

“Each of you put on your swords!” David told his men. And everyone, including David, put on his sword. About four hundred men went with David, while two hundred men stayed with the supplies.

One of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master, who yelled at them. Those men were very good to us. They didn’t mistreat us, and we found that nothing was missing wherever we went with them when we were in the fields. They were a wall protecting us day and night as long as we were watching the sheep near them. Now, consider what you should do because our master and his whole household are doomed. And he’s such a worthless man that it’s useless to talk to him.”

So Abigail quickly took 200 loaves of bread, 2 full wineskins, 5 butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 bunches of raisins, and 200 fig cakes and loaded them on donkeys. “Go on ahead,” she told her young men, “and I’ll follow you.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal about it.

She was riding on her donkey down a hidden mountain path when she met David and his men coming toward her. David had thought, “I guarded this man’s stuff in the desert for nothing! Not one of his possessions was missing. Yet, he has paid me back with evil when I was good to him. May God punish me if I leave even one of his men alive in the morning.”

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got down from her donkey. She immediately bowed down in front of David with her face touching the ground. After she bowed at his feet, she said, “Sir, let me be held responsible for this wrong. Please let me speak with you. Please listen to my words. You shouldn’t take this worthless person Nabal seriously. He is like his name. His name is Nabal [Godless Fool], and he’s foolish. But I didn’t see the young men you sent.

“The Lord has kept you from spilling innocent blood and from getting a victory by your own efforts. Now,
sir, I solemnly swear, as the Lord and you live, may your enemies and those who are trying to harm you end up like Nabal. Here is a gift I am bringing to you. May it be given to the young men who are in your service. Please forgive my offense. The Lord will certainly give you, sir, a lasting dynasty, because you are fighting the Lord’s battles. May evil never be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone pursued you and sought your life, your life is wrapped in the bundle of life which comes from the Lord your God. But he will dispose of the lives of your enemies like stones thrown from a sling. When the Lord does all the good he promised and makes you ruler of Israel, you shouldn’t have a troubled conscience because you spilled blood for no good reason and claimed your own victory. When the Lord has given you success, remember me.”

David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me. May your good judgment be blessed. Also, may you be blessed for keeping me from slaughtering people today and from getting a victory by my own efforts. But I solemnly swear—as the Lord God of Israel, who has kept me from harming you, lives—if you hadn’t come to meet me quickly, Nabal certainly wouldn’t have had one of his men left at dawn.”

Then David accepted what she brought him and told her, “Go home in peace. I’ve listened to what you’ve said and granted your request.”

When Abigail came to Nabal, he was holding a banquet in his home. It was like a king’s banquet. He was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything until dawn. But in the morning, when the effects of the wine had worn off, his wife told him what had happened. Nabal’s heart failed, and he could not move.About ten days later the Lord made him even more sick, and Nabal died.

When David heard Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who defended me against the insults of Nabal and kept me from doing wrong. The Lord has turned Nabal’s own wickedness back on him.”

Then David sent men on his behalf to propose marriage to Abigail. When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they told her, “David has sent us to you so that we can take you to him to be his wife.”

She bowed down with her face touching the ground. “I am ready to serve,” she said. “I am ready to wash the feet of my master’s servants.” Then Abigail quickly got up and rode on a donkey with five of her female servants following her. So she went with David’s messengers and became his wife.

David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both she and Abigail were his wives. Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti, Laish’s son, who was from Gallim.

So for all of you that might be married to a character like Nabal, remember not to shut your ears to Ms. Wisdom, not to defer your hope in the Lord, not to seek revenge, not to act as the Godless Fool leaning on your own understanding….but I pray for us that in ALL our ways we will acknowledge Him, so that He will make our paths straight.

I ask you to consider this verse and make this request personally as I have for years: Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

In the power and victory of Jesus Christ our Lord – let it be done to us as is His good pleasure ~ Amen, Hallelujah, Shalom,