There it is. That moment when I am understood. That moment when I can relate personally to what was written by someone I’ll never know from long ago. I close my eyes and the tears sting as my heart is penetrated by what I have just read. I feel the impact immediately as I process the words.
This is why I come to His Word and read it for myself. Sharing a snap shot of my time reading the Bible is meant to encourage you in your efforts of reading and enjoying what God is saying to you. I try to give examples of how personal and applicable the Word can be, highlighting how it helps us feel better after we have read it.
I had just finished a post this morning, completed some chores around the house on my day off and sat back down to read in my chronological Bible, when half way down the page I am already struck by what I read. It depends on timing, relatable circumstances and such but it happens regularly. I don’t experience heart penetrating perspective every time I read, but I have come to expect God’s Word to make a difference in my life. I count on it.
I am reading about David in 1 Samuel 25 when I get to his interaction with Nabal. His request from Nabal was scorned, provoking a response from David that reflected much more than just that moment in time. It came on the heels of difficult circumstances that left David weak and vulnerable. Then came Nabal’s ungrateful response, the straw that broke the camel’s back.
David’s only response in verse 13, when hearing of Nabal’s insult, were chilling. “Put on your swords!” That was it! He had had just about enough of all this!!
But then I read further down and I come across even more poignant words. As David gathered his men and set out to bring vengeance on Nabal in verse 20-21, he revealed the depth of his heart when he uttered, “It’s been useless…..”
Those 3 simple words spoke volumes. They spoke of David and how close he was to complete discouragement and despair. They also spoke to me, as I could remember oh so well the sting of such a moment, when I felt just as fruitless in circumstances out of my control.
David was doing his best to do what was right, no matter how others were doing the exact opposite. Yet, with all his efforts at upright decisions, he did not see any fruit for his self-control and sacrifices. “What was the point?” was his conclusion.
He felt defeated and discouraged. I understood. I knew what it felt like to go a long time not seeing fruit from my best efforts. These efforts were based on my obedience to God alone, not what I felt like I wanted to do or what others deserved. With such actions not being reciprocated with sought after results made it even worse.
Pointless, useless, futile……that is what starts to run through a mind vulnerable to despair. But oh how God comes to our rescue! He sent Abigail to intercept David and his men before they sinned greatly in anger. Abigail in verses 23-31 gives words that not only soothe David’s anger but more importantly, they remind him of God’s prophetic promises, thereby strengthening David in the Lord!
Life giving words! What a difference they make to us to be reminded of who God is and what He has said He will do on our behalf. When you are waiting for “good” from God, being reminded of how He will surely fulfill His Word is a game changer.
David stopped his mission of vengeance and changed his direction, feeling hopeful once again. Strengthened once again. He was able to keep going in his choice of uprightness, as he waited on the Lord to bring relief and satisfaction for all his sacrifices.
Not only were Abigail’s words beneficial to him, they were to me as well. I was encouraged as I read how she reminded him of what truth and perspective he should remember. I need to remember the very same as I feel my efforts are useless at times.
Additionally, just as I knew the rest of David’s story and how God did provide what had been promised, I also have hindsight to add to my own story. I know firsthand how God’s “good” finally came to my unbearable circumstances. I could relate to the depths and heights of David’s emotions.
David’s enemies ceased their deadly pursuit of him and he ascended the throne of the nation of Israel, all in God’s timing. Prayers were answered and in due time, I too experienced relief just as sweet as David. Even though we both felt deep in our hearts, ” It’s been useless!”, God redeemed those despairing emotions with heart felt reassurance from His Word.
Oh the glory of the penetrating purpose of God’s Holy Word!!