Month 3:2, Week 1:1 (Rishon/Pesach), Year 5935:058 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Friday 3 June 2011
David and Abigail
More of Yahweh's Tavnith Revealed
Are you, perhaps, one of those people whose husband or wife is a scoundrel? I have certainly met many men and women in ungodly marriages who feel trapped and don't know what to do.
"Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, 'Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them. But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields. They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his bayit (household). For he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him'" (1 Sam.25:14-17, NKJV).
In the story of David, Abigail and Nabal we are given a true tavnith (pattern) for a person in such a situation, in this case, Abigail the righteous wife of a wicked man called Nabal. She was in a dilemma. Because of the wickedness of her husband the whole of his bayit (household), including herself, was in mortal danger. For in Yahweh's eyes husband, wife, children and servants are not only regarded as individuals in themselves but, because of the nature of the marriage covenant and the Torah rules of kingship and headship, the head of the bayit (household) also stands for his whole family and is regarded by Him as one. Thus when Achan broke the covenant of Israel and looted Jericho after its fall, not only did Yahweh's wrath fall on all Israel (Josh.22:20) but when he was brought to justice, not only was he executed for his violation of covenant but his whole bayit (household) with him (Josh.7:24).
We will never understand Yahweh and never be prepared for the last days unless we operate within true tavnith. Most westerners recoil in horror at such justice and not a few have had their heads turned into becoming liberal Christians or even atheists because they could not accept Yahweh's ways.
It is not, however, my purpose to discuss the morality of this today but rather to persuade you to adjust your thinking to Yahweh's because when the crunch comes - as it did for both Achan and Nabal - there will be no room for moralising. You simply don't argue with the Creator when you are confronted directly by His power and sovereignty. In Achan's case, human agents were used to carry out the execution. In Nabal's, it was carried out by Yahweh Himself. And since we are no longer under the Old Covenant theocracy or fully under the coming New one yet, for that matter, but must subject oursleves to the law of the lands we live in until Messiah returns, then we find ourselves in a Nabal-type situation where Yahweh must do His own work directly or through other agents. It is important, then, that we learn from this story that has been handed down to us as a testimony of Yahweh's working.
In today's world is is a relatively easy thing to get a divorce or abandon a relationship which isn't working out. No such permissiveness exists in Yahweh's Kingdom and those who flaunt His rules pay dearly in both the present and in the eternities.
What was Abigail's response to the stubbornness and wickedness of her husband? Did she abandon him or divorce him? No, she did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh:
I think many of you know that Abigail is one of my biblical heroines and ideals for a wife because she walked in pure tavnith (pattern) and was bold and brave enough to do what was right. But then she understood that her life was at stake too! Our problem in dealing with similar situations in our time is that we don't realise that our life hangs in the balance unless we act in proper tavnith (pattern). Here, David stands in the place of Yahweh because Yahweh is with him, and so her attitude toward David is also her attitude toward Yahweh. Little wonder that the lev (heart) of David, who also walked in divine tavnith (pattern), was melted:
"Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. And she said to her servants, 'Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.' But she did not tell her husband Nabal. So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said, 'Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. May Elohim (God) do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.'
"Now when Abigail saw David, she hastened to dismount from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. So she fell at his feet and said: 'On me, my master (lord), on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant. Please, let not my master (lord) regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my master (lord) whom you sent. Now therefore, my master (lord), as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my master (lord) be as Nabal. And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my master (lord), let it be given to the young men who follow my master (lord). Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For Yahweh will certainly make for my master (lord) an enduring bayit (house), because my master (lord) fights the battles of Yahweh, and evil is not found in you throughout your days. Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my master (lord) shall be bound in the bundle of the living with Yahweh your Elohim (God); and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the LORD has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my master (lord), either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my master (lord) has avenged himself. But when Yahweh has dealt well with my master (lord), then remember your maidservant'" (1 Sam.25:18-31, NKJV).
David, and especially his psalms, is the darling of most Christians. We love his integrity, passion, love of Yahweh and willingness to quickly repent, don't we? But most Western Christians and Messianics are frankly baffled by this side of David and don't understand how this gels with the David of the Psalms. Yet this side of him is the secret to all the rest of him, he who is known as the "friend of Elohim (God)" for not only is this beloved David willing to carry out the terms of the Covenant which led to the death of Achan and his whole family but, as we shall see, he took more than one wife and was blessed by Yahweh for it:
"Then David said to Abigail: 'Blessed is Yahweh-Elohim of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as Yahweh-Elohim of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal.' So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, 'Go up in peace to your bayit (house). See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person'" (1 Sam.25:32-35, NKJV).
Yahweh took care of Nabal, first by bringing him to judgment and turning his lev (heart) to stone, a Hebraic idiom meaning that he had a heart-attack and was paralysed before he died shortly thereafter. Yahweh removed Abigail from a bad marriage and gave her to a man after his own lev (heart) like her own, a man with a tov shem or good name.
"Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's lev (heart) was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his lev (heart) died within him, and he became like a stone. Then it came about, after about ten days, that Yahweh struck Nabal, and he died.
"So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, 'Blessed be Yahweh, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For Yahweh has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.' And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her saying, 'David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.' Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, 'Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my master (lord).' So Abigail rose in haste and rode on a donkey, attended by five of her maidens; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives" (1 Sam.25:36-43, NKJV).
For most Westerners brought up in Roman Christian traditions all of this seems very distant and alien - the idea of judging whole households and of the acceptability of polygamy (2 Sam.12:8). I certainly have no intention of apologising for these since they are Yahweh's - we either believe the Scriptures or we don't, and if we don't, we dangerously risk placing ourselves under the same kind of judgment as Achan and Nabal.
Many of you are in unhappy marriages like that of Abigail and Nabal and either want Nabal to convert (and have perhaps been praying for him for years) or want to find a way out. Some Nabals convert and that is an occasion for great rejoicing but many - if not most - do not. And if you find yourself in a latter situation, then you must go to Yahweh in prayer as Abigail went to David, especially when it is evident that your husband's bayit is coming under judgment and on the verge of being destroyed. The same is true of good husbands married to evil women, even if the rôles are a little different. Yahweh passes his own judgment if we agree to walk in His tavnith (pattern).
There are no doubt some who want to debate divine tavnith (pattern) - I will not. Those who do not want to walk as David must choose another path and take the consequences. I long ago stopped apologising for Elohim (God) or Scripture. People hate and abuse me for it as they will every believer who chooses the strait and narrow Way that leads to eternal life. The Kingdom of Yahweh is not at all like the kingdom of men, religious or secular. We either walk like Yahweh's friends or His enemies. As Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself said:
You may be a devout Christian or Messianic but if you stand against any part of Yahweh's Word, you are not only against Him but you are also in the business of scattering rather than gathering. And we are here to gather.
"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters" (Luke 11:23, NKJV).
The reason why the world stands on the edge of calamity and the reason why Yahweh is going to permit more of these calamities is precisely to bring believers and unbelievers alike to repentance - to persuade the former that their only safety is to follow Him in all things and not to pick and choose, and the latter to save their lives. There will be no margin for error or compromise when believers find themselves in life-and-death situations as Abigail did. Western Christians and Messianics have a soft underbelly because they have watered-down the Gospel and are living only a shadow of the Kingdom. Yahweh wants us in the fullness of it, bursting at the brim with the chayim (life) that flows from it instead of all the counterfeit, polluted psychic junk with its twisty, chaotic path going nowhere fast.
Please make a decision today to overcome your prejudices and biases against Yahweh's Way and Tavnith and walk in the blessed path of David and Abigail!
 Thrones and Kingdoms: Explaining the Mystery of the House of Elohim