For the month of October, we are highlighting the more “senior” members of our community at Bethany, many in their tenth decade. Some may not worship regularly with us but all continue to be rich examples of faithful lives. They were invited to share a favorite verse, a story from their lives where they experienced God, or a piece of encouragement.
Take a moment to read their words and be encouraged by the wisdom and grace in our church family.
My favorite person in the Bible is Abigail. She was successful in engineering a cool down of a very bad situation.Margaret Fouts
I Samuel 25: 18-35
Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs 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.
As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. David had just said,
“It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”
When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said:
“Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.
Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him.
And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.
Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.
When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”
David said to Abigail,
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said,
“Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”
Coordinated by Mary Van Eaton, Photos by April Huizenga, Interviews by Kristy Champagne.