How do we handle evil in this world?
Is there anything in us as humans that can discern good from evil?
The Lord gives the gift of discernment of spirits.
Yet, if all Christians have your Spirit living inside of them, then why does one group strongly believe one way and another group believe the other way?
Is there a difference between how we handle discernment and judgment?
Is this why Jesus tells us not to judge? To take the log out of our own eye before pointing out the log in another’s eye?
Typically, when praying for wisdom I go to Proverbs. This time, however, the Lord nudged me to stay on track with my reading plan and just keep reading where I'm at. So, I'm in 1 Samuel 24 - 25.
The answers to the above questions were found in these passages. To summarize, the scripture is about David sparing Saul's life; the marriage of Nabal and Abigail and how Nabal was crude and foolish and how Abigail was sensible and beautiful; how Abigail intervened and asked David not to take her husband's life but to spare himself from having blood on his anointed hands; and how God handled the matter which included Nabal dying and David asking Abigail to become his bride.
As I share my conclusions I will be putting Jesus's name next to David's as a "foreshadow of Jesus." I will also place some identifiers next to the other characters names.
1. There is evil everywhere. David (Jesus) was surrounded by evil on all sides. Saul (man under the influence of Gods curse) was under the influence of an evil spirit which was placed on him by God - not the devil. Saul (cursed) hated David (Jesus) because God loved David (Jesus) and made him successful in everything he did. The more David (Jesus) received the praises of the people, the more Saul (cursed) hated him. YET, the only time Saul received peace was when David (Jesus) played the harp for him.
What I took away from this regarding our circumstance is even though evil is everywhere (and I mean everywhere!!!!) it can not hurt God's anointed ones. Even when it is pressing on all sides, if we just wait on the Lord, He will save us. Which may not be in the physical realm, but in the spirit). Also, cursing can be "lulled" or given relief from torment by the "music" harmony and beauty of the anointed ones.
There are so many people under the influence of the curse who need rest for their souls. I believe this is why the Lord tells us to GO into the world and to SPEAK the GOOD NEWS. It is how we provide rest for hurting and afflicted souls.
Christians can't be so afraid of evil that we run from it and fear it. David actually preferred to play the harp for Saul rather than have to run and hide from him. This response to an “earthly ruler” is also referenced in scripture when Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar during Babylonian captivity and Joseph served Pharaoh when sold in slavery. In all three cases, the men stayed in prayer and refused to lay a hand on the rulers that the Lord allowed to “sit in office for that present time.” We also see this same response from God himself when he came to earth as fully man and fully God, Jesus! I imagine that until he returns as the Lion of Judah, we are to remain humble and offer intercessory prayer while waiting in God for deliverance.
2. David (Jesus) was a GREAT warrior. He killed thousands of men, yet he would not take the life of Saul (cursed) because, as he said, "I will never harm the king - he is the Lord's anointed one." He recognized BOTH the anointing AND the affliction the Lord put on Saul which is why he allowed God to be the judge and administer the consequence.
As Christians. We have to learn to be wise in God's eyes and not in our own eyes. The Lord alone is judge.
There are many times in scripture when something appears as upside down and turned around, but the Lord is doing a work in that thing. God created a hard heart in Pharaoh when Moses led the people out of bondage. God created a hard heart in King Nebuchadnezzar so that his regime could carry out his wrath on Judah. God worked through the prayers of his people, and vision and dreams to elevate Joseph and Daniel to a place of influence during captivity. Gods will was done even when it didn’t look that way to mankind.
The Holy Spirit is able to "lull" and provide comfort and continued transformation to his people if only they would remain humble. To think otherwise would be foolish on our part - it would be wrongfully judgmental and presumptuous and out us out of alignment with his will.
3. Nabal (cursed) was a crude and mean man, and Abigail (servant of Jesus) was a sensible and beautiful woman (1 Samuel 25:3). David (Jesus) needed provisions for him and his men (servants) and reached out to Nabal for help. David (Jesus) shared with Nabal that he provided protection to Nabal's men and they never hurt them, but Nabal did not personally know David (Jesus). He said, "Who is this fellow David (Jesus)?" "Who does this son of Jesse (Son of God) think he is?" "There are a lot of servants that run from their masters. Should I take my bread and water and meat that I've slaughtered (TOTALLY ABOUT SELF) and give to the band of outlaws (Negative Label) who come from who knows where?" Because Nabal did not know David (Jesus) he mocked and insulted him.
Abigail (servant of the Lord) in the other hand, KNEW who David (Jesus) was (see passages 25:27-31). She INTERCEDED for her foolish husband by accepting ALL blame in the matter. She asked David (Jesus) not to pay attention to his wicked ways. She said, "I never even saw the young men you sent." She told David (Jesus) that if she had seen his messengers, she would have intervened sooner. She thanked David (Jesus) and said, "since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies be cursed as Nabal is." She then offered the magnificent present she prepared and asked for forgiveness for the offense committed by her husband.
Just as in the times of old, the culture took God out of their hearts. They had adulterous souls and turned away from THE God to serve their fleshy desires. They became self-righteous and wise in their own eyes. They became their own gods!
So, when God was doing a work many did not see it coming. Some prophets warned but they scoffed at the prophets. They only wanted to hear prosperity gospel. They only wanted to listen to false truth. In fact, false truth tickled their ears.
My hope during this time of rest and repentance would be that Christians would get on their knees and pray for intercession. We need to repent, like Abigail, for “never even seeing it".
We are called to be vigilant and of sober mind so that we can identify the schemes of the devil. We are told in Ephesians 6 that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against evil rulers of the air and of heavenly places. We are shown the Armor of God and taught how to fight spiritual battles.
If you are a Christian and fighting through the flesh through slander and strife, your faith is weak! If “world news” is your go to source and it stirs up hate and anger, or fear and anxiety then it’s tome to turn off the World News and replace it with the Good News. If worry has replaced worship of God, then your soul (mind, will and emotions) is out of alignment!
Which spirits have you been drinking? Which spirit are you under the influence of?
David (Jesus) so wonderfully says in Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bring HONOR to HIS NAME. Even though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death (SIN, EVIL, WICKEDNESS), I will fear NO EVIL; for you are with me. Your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a feast for me IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ENEMIES. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings, surely your GOODNESS and UNFAILING LOVE will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."
4. When Nabal was sober (he quit drinking the Kool-Aid) Abigail told him what happened. As a result his heart failed him, he laid paralyzed with a HEART of STONE, and 10 days later the LORD struck him dead.
When David (Jesus) heard this, he sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife. Abigail bowed down and said, "I, your servant, would be happy to marry David (Jesus). I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants!
Quickly getting ready (she was prepared) she took five of her servants (five virgins ready with oil), mounted her donkey (humility), and went with David's (Jesus) messengers.
And so, she became his wife.
God is asking us for be his servant, his bride. Abigail knew David’s sovereignty and was so devoted To him that she was willing to be his slave. Despite not seeing his original request for help, he still loves me.
He has turned what was meant for evil into good. In fact, not only offering goodness, but he gives immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine.
The Lord will take care of those under the curse and under the influence of Satan in his own time. Some will be delivered because they allow their hard spiritual hearts to be broken into dust and remolded by the Living Water of Jesus through the Potter’s hand, while others will maintain hard hearts like Nabam did before finally dying.
Lastly, there is so much FEAR around wickedness. The Lord does not call us to FEAR wickedness or the devil! He tells us to fear HIM! Can you imagine how our lives would be if we feared wickedness. We would not be able to live in this world because wickedness is all around us! We would want to hide in our homes, afraid to go out into the world which would. We would abandon the purpose he has called us to! Instead, he shows us how to put on our spiritual armor so that we can withstand the enemy. So that we CAN go into the world to proclaim the good news!
Even the idea of "spiritual" has taken on a different context in our culture. When people say "spiritual" they automatically think "new age or demonic". We have spent the last two years studying the Spirit of God! We also know that our essence is the spirit of man. We also know through scripture there are "good" spirits (spirit of prophesy who testifies to Jesus, spirit of the angels, spirit of love, power and sound mind, etc...) and there are "bad" spirits (spirit of jealousy, spirit of rebellion, spirit of pride, etc...). We know that we put on spiritual armor to fight of bad spirits. So let us not be deceived by being afraid of spirits. The question is what type of spirit are we following and what type of spirit is influencing us. Without being in the WORD of GOD regularly, we do not know! For it is the Word of God that cuts spirit from soul, and soul from body. His SWORD of the SPIRIT is what discerns the intentions of the heart.
The Lord says, we are to be of ONE Spirit because he has given us each a measure of his Spirit. We are to act as children of the light, and put our light, which is the true reflection of the glory of God on a lamp stand. We are not called to put it under a basket. We are also not called to distort the reflection by following our own thoughts and our own ways.
Why? Because this present darkness needs the light of the Lord!
In truth and grace,