Order, Words, & Voices 11.13.22

Order, Words, & Voices
11.13.22  (I Samuel 25:1-31)

Order

Pre Worship Music

Leave Screen Share On from Opening Songs through Lord’s Prayer

Opening Songs:                                 Lynn
Raise a Hallelujah
The Joy of the Lord

Call to Worship Response and Lord’s Prayer                in person – Ijahi
Reading                                    on line – Mitch

Song:                                     Lynn    
Give Thanks

Message    I Samuel 25:1-31                        Rick

Song:                                        Lynn
Ancient Words

Community/Closing Peace                        Rick

Benediction                                    Rick

Post Worship Music

Music
I raise a hallelujah in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah Heaven comes to fight for me
ChorusI’m gonna sing in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes hope will arise
Death is defeated the King is alive
Verse 2I raise a hallelujah with everything inside of me
I raise a hallelujah I will watch the darkness flee
I raise a hallelujah in the middle of the mystery
I raise a hallelujah fear you lost your hold on me
BridgeSing a little louder in the presence of my enemies
Sing a little louder louder than the unbelief
Sing a little louder my weapon is a melody
Sing a little louder Heaven comes to fight for me
ChorusI’m gonna sing in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes hope will arise
Death is defeated the King is alive

The joy of the Lord will be my strength
I will not falter I will not faint
He is my Shepherd I am not afraid
The joy of the Lord is my strength
ChorusThe joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
Is my strength
Verse 2The joy of the Lord will be my strength
He will uphold me all of my days
I am surrounded by mercy and grace
And the joy of the Lord is my strength
ChorusThe joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
Is my strength
Verse 3The joy of the Lord will be my strength
And I will not waver walking by faith
He will be strong to deliver me safe
The joy of the Lord is my strength
ChorusThe joy of the Lord, The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord Is my strength

Call to Worship/Lord’s Prayer (Slides)

Leader: Then Samuel died.
Response: All Israel assembled and mourned.

Leader: Many of the Israelites had never known God’s voice except as spoken from the mouth of Samuel.
Response: As a child Samuel had confronted the High Priest.

Leader: As a young man Samuel had anointed the first King of the Israelites.
Response: Samuel grieved as that King turned away from God.

Leader: While a middle aged man Samuel witnessed that first King, a man named Saul, increase in brutality as he descended into paranoia.
Response: God called Samuel to anoint a new King. 

Leader: But, the first King was still on the throne, anointing a new King was risky and dangerous.
Response: Samuel still obeyed God.

Leader: That second King was an unknown young man named David.
Response: Unknown to man but known to God.

Leader: With Samuel speaking God’s voice to David, a struggle rose up between the two Kings. Saul, the first King, who refused to listen to God’s voice, became increasingly defiant to God’s will.
Response: King David was learning what it meant to trust and obey God.

Leader: Now, while the struggle continued, Samuel died.
Response: All Israel mourned.

Join me in voicing the words of the prayer of Jesus.
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.
Forgive us our trespasses, while 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. Amen.

Reading (No Slides, spotlight Mitch)

A man named Nabal was very prosperous but he was also a brute as well as a fool. His wife Abigail, on the other hand, was wise and intelligent.

David, the anointed King to be, was nearby and heard that Nabal was feasting. David sent ten of his men to tell Nabal: “When your shepherds were camped near us we protected them, they lost nothing. Ask your own men, they will affirm this. Now, be generous to us and share your feast.”

Nabal refused David’s request, the men returned to tell David of Nabal’s response. David was furious and ordered four hundred of his men to accompany him to get revenge.

While all of this was going on, one of Nabal’s shepherds ran to Abigail and told her “Your husband tore into them with insults even though he knew they had treated us well, protecting us and Nabal’s sheep. You need to do something quick!”


Abigail flew into action. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes from Nabal’s feast tables. Abigail said nothing to her husband who was already drunk by this time.

King David and his men met Abigail on the road. As she saw David, she fell to her knees at his feet with her face to the ground, saying, “My King, listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what Nabal did. Foolishness oozes from him.”

Abigail continued,  “I wasn’t there when your men arrived. Forgive me for being presumptuous, but as God lives and as you live, God is now keeping you from this avenging murder! Take this gift that I, your servant girl, have brought to you my King, and give it to the your men.”

“God is at work in you. You are not fighting God’s battles on your own! As long as you live you must not allow evil such as killing the innocent stick to you. When  God completes all the goodness he has promised and as God sets you up over Israel, you must not carry the burden of guilt from this avenging murder.”

David said, “Thank God for sending you to meet me, and for your blessed good sense! You kept me from murder.” David accepted the gift Abigail brought him saying, “Return home in peace, I will do what you’ve asked.” I Samuel 25:1-31
Music

ChorusGive thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son
VerseAnd now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
ChorusGive thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ His Son
VerseAnd now let the weak say I am strong
Let the poor say I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us EndingGive thanks

Message – Immersive Faith

I Samuel 25:1-31

The story of Abigail, the woman we are meeting today, is one of the most unique stories in the Bible. Honestly, she should probably be remembered as a superhero. She saved her husband, all the men employed by her husband, and possibly hundreds of the men who had battled alongside David. Even more heroic, she saved David from himself. As Abigail and David’s lives intersect, he was preparing to make a huge vengeance motivated mistake, a mistake that would have cursed his family, his coming reign as King, and would have harmed his relationship with God.  

As I have considered this woman, questions about her have flooded my mind. Was she an Enabler to her foolish and brutish husband? Was she a Peacekeeper in countless relationships attempting to keep everyone in harmony? Was she an Interventionist working to squelch conflict and avoid violence? Was she a Long Suffering wife? Was she a Therapist, an Abused wife, or was she an unsung hero choosing to run, not walk, on the path God set before her?

It is really a pretty simple story. Her husband was a fool, his name meant fool – this may actually be the meaning of the name his parents gave him, or it may be that he redefined what Nabal meant. Abigail, on the other hand, carried a name that meant Joy, specifically, ‘Joy of the Father.’ The question about Abigail’s name is the same, did her name define her or did she redefine the name?

The story begins with a feast, it was the annual feast that took place after all the sheep had been sheared. At this same time, David, who had been anointed King by the now deceased Samuel, was still in a struggle with the old, violent, and now paranoid, King Saul. David was camped out with his men when he learned of the feast at Nabal’s house which was not far. David’s men had recently protected Nabal’s men as they were tending to Nabal’s sheep. David’s men needed a feast, times had been a struggle, plus, they were hungry for real food. So, David, assuming that Nabal would be grateful, sent a small contingent of his men to Nabal to respectfully ask for some of the food from the feast.

Nabal’s response was not only to refuse the men, but he also added insult. David’s men returned and told David which caused this future King’s blood to boil, he gathered about two thirds of his army and headed to Nabal’s house for a full revenge that would strategically leave Nabal and his men dead.

While David and his warriors headed to Nabal’s house, one of Nabal’s men ran to tell Abigail what her husband had just done. The man, and Abigail, both knew that David would be upset. Abigail quickly gathered all the elements that would be needed to give David more than enough for a feast for 600 men, and enough to adequately honor this future King.

As soon as Abigail met David on the road she began pleading with David.  Her message to David was two fold

  • Don’t kill these men, they are innocent, the only guilty one is my husband who is always a fool and now he is a drunk fool, he is not worthy of your attention and energy. 
  • You are going to be the King, you have already been anointed by Samuel, and as soon as Saul is off the throne you will be in that position of power. You don’t need an unwarranted and impulsive slaughter on your shoulders as you seek to unite the Israelites.

King Saul that was not the primary problem, he was a problem but not the foundational problem. The problem was that Samuel had just passed. This was a time of absence, the true leader of the Isrealites had died, no one was yet in place to fill that void. The people were now without Samuel, many of the Israelites had never lived in a time without Samuel’s leadership and now he was gone. Samuel was the one who confronted a High Priest and an insecure King, he was the on who anointed Kings, he was the one who called the powerful back to the path of God.   This was a turning point moment for the Isrealites leaving them with many questions. 

  • Would they go back to an existence as they had before in the time of the Judges when everyone did what was right in their own minds, when everyone just did what was best for them? Or were they going to remember God’s voice which had been spoken through Samuel? 
  • Would David, their future King and God’s anointed, keep his sights on God rather than allowing his own pride and emotions turn him into a King much worse than Saul, and a fool much more brutish than Nabal?

In the end, a humble David recognized what the lowly Abigail had done, the catastrophe she had averted. Yes, Abigail brought a Joyful gift of Atonement for her husband’s actions, but, more powerful and long lasting, she had saved David from himself. The atonement was as much for David as it was for Nabal. Abigail kept David from doing something that would have been even more foolish than her husband Nabal had ever done. Abigail’s offering of atonement was for Nabal’s foolishness and for David’s heart of revenge.

This brings us to a theological building building block of the old testament, the concept of Atonement. Atonement, or another form of the word, appears 84 times in the old testament. The actions of Abigail were an atonement for the foolishness of her husband. She was intentionally making a repatriation for Nabal’s foolish actions and unintentionally atoning on the part of David. 

Atonement, a noun, is defined as ‘the satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.’

In the movie Coach Carter, we see a beautiful portrait of Atonement. Businessman Ken Carter (played by Samuel Jackson) is recruited to take over the ailing basketball team of Richmond High School in Richmond, California. The movie was based on the true story of the California basketball coach who, in 1999 took over an undisciplined and fractured high school team. Carter’s strict discipline towards basketball, and more so in regard to the players’ studies and grades, immediately alienated a young man named Cruz. Cruz was off the team before drills had even begun. Later, Cruz suffers a traumatic incident which leads him back to Coach Carter begging to be allowed to return to the team. The Coach allows him back on the team on the condition that he makes the appropriate atonement. He is to do all the drills he missed in his time away from the team, 2,500 push ups and 1,000 suicides (sprints up and down the court). At the end of his time alloted to finish the atonement, Cruz is remains 80 suicides and 500 pushups short. As Cruz is leaving the court, defeated and exhausted, his teammates begin doing the remaining acts of atonement for him. Soon he gathers the energy, and willpower, to join the team in their atoning sacrifice for him.

The word, Atonement, is a noun which gives purpose to the action – which is the verb Atoning. In Abigail’s case her action of atonement was to bring to David what he had requested, and deserved, while also sacrificing much more for her husband, Nabal’s, foolishness.  Instead of offering a portion of the feast, she basically brought the feast – much more than David had asked for. This was a revelation to David of Abigail’s heart. Oddly, this was not an atonement for herself, it was for her husband, I would speculate that this was not the first atonement she had made for Nabal. This one, however, seemed to hold an urgency that she had not experienced before.

Nabal never really recognized what his wife had done, nor would he ever agree that he did anything in need of atonement. He was hardened to his sin, and unable to appreciate his own need for repentance and atonement. He had no regrets. This was a revelation of his heart. 

David, however, responded differently. As Abigail pointed out his need for atonement, David humbled himself and accepted this atonement on his own behalf. He turned away from his planned act of vengeance and turned back to God’s path.

One person’s act of atonement can be another person’s rescue.

Abigail’s act of atoning for her husband calmed the agitated David, and opened his eyes to the truth about himself. Her prophetic words warned David that he could not carry the burden of this massacre and also stay on God’s path. 

Nabal continued to live and act like the fool that he was, David, on the other hand, strived to live like the man God led him to be instead of the fool that he was becoming. That was a choice both Nabal and David were given as Abigail atoned for them. 

Abigail’s actions paint a beautiful picture of what Christ did on the cross as he atoned for our sins. A sacrifice that was prompted by God’s love for us. 

Sin is a heart problem, not really an action problem. David already had the heart problem before he ran into Abigail on the road, possibly even before he sought the to share in Nabal’s feast. Our sinful actions come out of a heart problem. Both men share the same sin, both were proudful, both were entitled and arrogance, both were easily angered and quickly vengeful. Nabal, was intentionally unable to recognize this, he had turned from God and his heart was hardened as his mind was closed. David still had a tender humility that allowed him to hear God’s voice, he still had a heart and mind that willingly recognized and accepted truth, even when it was negative and about him.

In 1866, Preacher Charles Spurgeon called the atoning work of God on our behalf  “a union of a most mysterious and intimate kind between those who sinned and the Christ who suffered.”

Nabal chose to remain drunk in his foolishness, David chose to return to the path God laid before him. Nabal never accepted the gift his wife gave him, David recognized the salvation given by Abigail’s atoning act.  Nabal remained on his path of foolishness while David walked away from his own foolish, sinful, and tragic human impulses.

Only Jesus could do this, only Jesus could make the atonement for all the sins of all humanity. Only Jesus inhabited the father’s love for us, moving Christ to accept the cross and offer us a better path. We stand atonement for our sin already made, what we do with that atonement is our choice.

The apostle Paul spoke of this choice of path while speaking to the believers in Philippi, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. So then, my beloved, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:3-8, 12-13)

Music 

Verse 1Holy words long preserved
For our walk in this world
They resound with God’s own heart
O let the ancient words impart
Verse 2Words of life words of hope
Give us strength help us cope
In this world where’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us home
ChorusAncient words ever true
Changing me changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart
Verse 3Holy words of our faith
Handed down to this age
Came to us through sacrifice
O heed the faithful words of Christ
ChorusAncient words ever true
Changing me changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart
O let the ancient words impart

Community

  • [Slide] Next Sunday, ‘Then They Began’, Genesis 4:1-26
  • [Slide]  Advent Bible Study begins Wednesday, November 30 at noon, three weeks. We will have an evening study if there is interest expressed (speak with Rick)
  • Thanksgiving Dinner, Next Sunday, Sunday, November 20, following worship at Not Your Average Joes
  • Christmas Season Dates – 

Advent Begins next Sunday, November 27
Advent Bible Study begins November 30
Brief business gathering December 4
Christmas Eve Worship Gathering at 6pm
No Worship Gathering on Christmas Day or on New Years Day

Closing Peace
May the Peace of the Lord go with you. And also with you.

Benediction
“May God give you the grace not to sell yourself short, grace to risk something big for something good, grace to remember that the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but Love.”  
(William Sloane Coffin)

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

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