Taking the high road

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So whatever happened to Nabal, that foolish guy in the story of David and Abigail (1 Samuel 25) who refused to share his bounty with David and his fighting men, and would have met his fate at the end of David’s sword were it not for the timely, courageous action of his wife Abigail? The scripture reports that after David listened to the advice and counsel of Abigail and went back to his camp, appeased by the gifts of food and wine that she had brought him, she went home to report all that had happened to Nabal and found him “In high spirits and drunk.” So it happened that the following morning, when he was sober and Abigail told him all that had happened including how close he had come to losing everything including his own life, that Nabal’s “heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died” (25:37-38).

“Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt,” David said upon hearing it. “He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head” (25:39). “Vengeance its mine, says the Lord. I will repay.” And He did.

And then comes the fairy tale ending. Upon hearing this, he sent for Abigail and took her to be his wife. That means he set himself up to be hearing from God through his wife for a long time; that is, if he chose to continue listening to her. This was surely not the only time that Abigail spoke to David about his choices and reminded him about the God he was serving, and the high road he was on.

We exist in a stage of great cultural animosity right now. Never in my lifetime has there been more polarization, hatred and outright cruelty to fellow human beings. In this kind of environment, revenge and retribution always increase like turning up the heat on the fire. Insult flies against insult and anger escalates, and much of this can filter down into our personal lives. How we react as Christians in the marketplace to personal attacks or false accusations will be as strong a witness to Jesus Christ in our lives as anything. This can pertain to participating in conversations that take down someone else. Social media is rampant with this kind of thing and a large part of the reason why revenge and retribution are on the rise. We need to avoid this.

Stay on the high road. Leave vengeance to the Lord. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t try and take the other guy down. Don’t rejoice in someone else’s misfortune. No one’s keeping score except the Lord, and the Lord is “not counting people’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 2:19) so why should we? 

In such a time as this, we need to be full of kindness and our speech seasoned with grace. If you’ve been offended, let God deal with the offenders. Like David, we have a higher calling. We represent a kingdom that contrasts the present age with grace turned outward. That shouldn’t be new. That’s what we’re all about anyway.

This entry was posted in grace turned outward, walk by faith, women and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Taking the high road

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved & encouraged from this: “.. we need to be full of kindness and our speech seasoned with grace. If you’ve been offended, let God deal with the offenders. Like David, we have a higher calling. We represent a kingdom that contrasts the present age with grace turned outward. That shouldn’t be new. That’s what we’re all about anyway.”

    It’s a good challenge Pastor John – That I needed & Amen

  2. Not that you didn’t indirectly say it, John, but I would take it one step further and spell it out very clearly for those of us standing at the fork leading to the higher and lower roads. While the higher road isn’t guaranteed to wend its way toward a “fairy-tale” ending, the fact of the matter is that the lower road will certainly lead to destruction.
    If one is still in doubt, then…

    Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the LORD to handle the matter.
    ~Proverbs 20:22

    If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
    ~ Proverbs 25:21

    Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…
    ~ Matthew 5:44

    To those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    ~ Luke 6:27-31

    Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will grant you His blessing.
    ~ 1 Peter 3:9

    “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
    ~ Luke 23:34

    As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
    He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!”
    And with that, he died.
    ~ Acts 7:59

  3. mitchteemley says:

    Yes! And stay away from the edges; the high road is, well, high.

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