Thursday, June 8, 2017

Abigail - who in your life needs transforming?

God is in the transforming business.
Not transformers -- transforming.
He transformed empty space into this galaxy, the ones beyond it, and the planet we are living on.
He transformed Himself into flesh, so that He could have a ministry in this world, and die and rise again to redeem sinners.
He transforms sinners into godly people -- sometimes in very dramatic ways, like Saul becoming Paul; sometimes He does it in quiet ways.

Is there someone in your life who needs transforming?
Abigail probably would have agreed that Nabal needed to be transformed. Let's look at her example, and some scripture verses, too. Maybe we'll glean some good stuff that will help us in our everyday lives!

First of all, when dealing with a person who needs to be transformed, keep this in mind: don't argue with them.
Don’t bother talking sense to fools;    they’ll only poke fun at your words. (Proverbs 23:9, The Message)
Do not speak to fools,    for they will scorn your prudent words. (same, NIV)
If you are talking to a person who is in a state of rebellion, or who is arrogant, then you can talk to them until you are (as my grandma used to say) blue in the face, and they Just. Won't. Listen.
I mean, haven't you experienced this?
I sure have.
We need to stay out of arguments with our person who needs transforming. Sometimes we must stand back and let the consequences of their choices and actions be the teacher . . .
If we are in Abigail's shoes today, we need to realize that life itself has a way of softening the hardest heart. (Oh, this is so familiar to me, in dealing with someone who needed desperately to be transformed!) If we stand back -- now, I don't mean ignore, because we need to be there for them when life does that number on them -- and allow them to come to the end of themselves. Sometimes that needs to happen before they will listen to us.

Secondly, instead of whining and complaining (perhaps nagging!), we can take action.
Look at Abigail's example. She sure didn't play the part of the victim. She didn't sit back at the ranch and whine to anyone who would listen. "Oh, woe is me! We're all going to be killed! But what can I do?"
Seriously. She got busy baking bread, packing up fig bars, and shoveling raisins into sacks. She put together the carry-out order of all time!  Five cooked sheep, five measures of grain, two skins of wine, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred pressed fig cakes. Loaded all that onto donkeys, and slaps the plastic carryout sign on the head of the first one....sorry, I digress. I was carrying that a bit far, I know, but here's the point: David is bent on burning their home to the ground, and exterminating anyone who gets in his way. She intercedes for her husband and presents her gifts. She even predicts David's eventual ascension to the throne, and then calmly remounts her donkey and rides away. No whining here.
I have a feeling David was stunned. He probably thought as he watched her go, "That's quite a woman! Not only did she save her husband's neck, but she prevented me from the knee-jerk reaction I was contemplating! Wow! That's the kind of woman I need to help me!"
Is that the kind of wife, mother, friend that we are today? Then let me take a moment and pat you on the back.
I mean it!
Your spouse, kids, or friends are blessed to have you!  We all want our husbands, our children, our friends to succeed in life. We want the absolute best for them, right? If we try to confront them with a flaw that we see in them, we will try to be kind, to be quiet, and to be humble. Well, the difference between Nabal and David was that David was willing to listen to Abigail's wise words. He had a teachable heart, and a spirit that was willing to change.
We've mentioned before that what Abigail COULD have said was quite different from what she DID say . . . she could have remembered all the times Nabal had treated her badly, and told David to go ahead and "finish him off!" But she didn't seek revenge -- in fact, she acted sacrificially to save him.

What an amazing example of godly love Abigail is! If she had been living many years later, and Paul had written his letter to the Ephesians to her church, I have a feeling that she would have listened intently. In verse 22 of chapter 5, Paul tells wives to submit to their husbands. . . . but have you ever noticed that we have that one verse for us ladies, and the next ten verses are for our husbands? Those verses instruct them to love us as Christ loved the church!

Let's just suppose that we have Abigail, and we have Lady B right beside her. Both ladies are married to men who are financially supporting the family, etc, but not providing spiritual leadership. (They didn't listen to Ephesians chapter five!)  What should these two ladies do?
Lady B is whining and complaining about the fact that her hubby is not a spiritual leader.
Abigail is calling the kids together and leading the evening devotions herself. She is waking the kids up, getting them dressed, and taking them to church.
No whining. No complaining. Action!

There's a lot here for us . . . this was a lengthy post -- we'll complete our study tomorrow!


Katie Isabella said...

More is most welcome.

Cathy said...

This is so very, very good! I agree with Katie Isabella, more is most definitely welcome.