I think I need to begin every day repeating this truth: God’s got this! No matter how terrorizing the view is on my horizon, it’s no problem for God. He’s got this.
Why do I forget that sometimes?
As long as I’ve walked with God, as many experiences as I’ve had that looked like complete disaster . . . never . . . NEVER has God let me down.
And I’ve watched Him work through horrendous circumstances in other people’s lives in redemptive ways that none of us could’ve predicted or explained, but after the terrifying storm passes, it is evident that God didn’t forsake His own, He had everything under His control after all.
Abigail is a woman who was living in a pretty desperate situation. Her relationship with her husband was difficult to say the least. She could’ve easily caved to fear, but it’s evident that she didn’t.
What was Abigail’s secret?
Scripture describes Abigail’s husband as “harsh and evil in his dealings.” He was extremely rich, but also stingy. So put yourself in her shoes. Imagine living with a man who was known for his harshness, who was literally described as “evil.”
Perhaps you’re living in that situation now. If you are, you probably have become well acquainted with fear, never knowing what to expect; fearing angry outbursts and unreasonable expectations, fearing conflict, perhaps verbal or physical abuse.
I imagine Abigail had come to expect brutal treatment from her husband, Nabal.
Nabal’s cruel reputation is recorded in Scripture. Nabal was a wealthy man; he had a large flock of sheep (three thousand) and goats (one thousand). While his flocks were in the wilderness being tended by young shepherds, David (who would later become King of Israel) and his men protected Nabal’s flocks and sheep herders.
A servant told Nabal how David and his band of men protected them while they were in the wilderness:
[box]Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, while we were in the fields. “They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. (1 Samuel 25:14–15)[/box]
When it came time for shearing the sheep, David sent word to Nabal requesting provisions (food) for his men. Nabal refused to help or even acknowledge that he knew anything about David or the protection he’d provided.
David had this to say about Nabal’s rude behavior:
[box]Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good. “May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if by morning I leave as much as one male of any who belong to him.” (1 Samuel 25:21–22)[/box]
David gives the battle cry: “Every man strap on his sword!” and takes off to avenge himself. David plans to wipe out Nabal and everything that he owns.
Now, at this point in the story we could talk about Abigail’s bravery, her savvy communication skills, and her wisdom. We might do that in another post, but today, I just want to focus on how she handles fear.
Facing Fear Head-On
Surely when Abigail got word that David and a small army were approaching her home with plans to wipe out every living male, it caused at least a little tremor of concern. I would think the fear factor would be hitting the level of terror at this point. But Abigail’s reaction isn’t fearful, she steps into action and boldly faces her fears, even rides out to meet David and make a grand appeal. I definitely want to come back to this story and talk more about this later, but today, let’s stay on task and consider how Abigail could react calmly when faced with the prospect of looming annihilation.
I think we can find a clue in the text. I believe Abigail had a handle on how to battle fear. I imagine she probably learned it long before this test. Living with a brutal man probably gave her many opportunities to cave to fear, but rather than caving, I think she’d learned the key to conquering fear.
I think Abigail was well aware of fear’s nemesis.
Want to know what it is?
Fear’s nemesis is God’s sovereignty.
Fear is conquered by focusing on God’s sovereignty. When a deep understanding of God’s sovereignty takes hold of your heart, fear cannot conquer that deep-rooted level of trust. Abigail understood God’s sovereignty. She challenged David to remember what He knew of God:
[box]“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God . . .” 1 Samuel 25:29[/box]
This was Abigail’s word on God’s Sovereignty. To use today’s vernacular, “God’s got your back, David.” Whether we live or die—God’s taking care of us. Our “times” are in His hand (Psalm 31:14–15).
“God’s got this” doesn’t mean that everything will work out like we want, and it doesn’t even mean we’ll be spared suffering, but it does mean that we can trust God’s plan.
We can trust God’s character.
We can trust God’s Word.
Abigail knew God’s Word about David:
[box]“And when the LORD does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel . . .” (1 Samuel 25:30)[/box]
Abigail believed what God had spoken concerning David and his future. Abigail took God at His Word and trusted that He was going to come through with what He had promised.
What is God’s Word to us?
How do we know He’s “got this”?
[box]And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son . . . (Romans 8:28–29)[/box]
Paul wrote this message to believers who were facing real danger. They were living in hostile conditions because of their commitment to Christ. This letter was written a few years before much of Rome was destroyed by fire (Nero was suspected of starting the fire, but shifted the blame to Christians). Paul was writing to believers who were dealing with brutal conditions under a harsh (and perhaps deranged) ruler. And yet, God’s message to them was the assurance that He is working all things together “for good.”
Sometimes it’s difficult to see God’s hand through the pain of suffering. But once we get a handle on the truth that He truly is working all things out for His glory and our good, we can conquer fear.
God’s sovereignty is fear’s nemesis.
God’s sovereignty is our source of stability.
God’s sovereignty assures me that “God’s got this!”