Daily Devotion for March 31, 2010
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Thanks for Our County
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember how you have blessed us, and who are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here out of so many different places and cultures. Impart the spirit of wisdom to those whom, in your name, we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace in our nation. And grant that, through obedience to your law, we may shine forth your glory like a lamp on a hill to the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in time of trouble, do not allow our trust in you to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Plenty
O gracious Father, who opens your hand to fill life with plenteousness; I pray that in your infinite goodness you will hear us, who now make our requests known to you. Do not remember our sins, but your promise of mercy. See fit to bless the lands and multiply the harvests of the world. Breathe fruitfulness into the land so that the earth's face might be renewed. Show your loving kindness, that our land may increase its bounty; and fill us with good things, so that rich and poor alike may have their share and give thanks to your name; through Christ our Lord.
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:2)
1 Samuel 25:1-19
David, Nabal and Abigail [Part 1]
Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.
Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon. A certain man in Carmel was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.
While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, "Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.'"
When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal this message. Nabal answered, "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?"
When they returned and reported this, David said to his men, "Put on your swords!" About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
One of the servants told Nabal's wife Abigail: "David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him."
Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs [bushels] of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, "Go on ahead; I'll follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.[continued tomorrow . . .]
Comment on the Scripture
David is already acting like a king, or at least a feudal lord. His soldiers protected the local shepherds during the grazing season, and even though he asks Nabal for food rather than demanding it, his response to the insulting refusal is "strap on your swords". Luckily for Nabal and his household, Abagail seems to grasp the situation and has the gumption to ignore her husband and secretly prepare a generous gift for David's little army.