July 14: Surprise Redemption
1 Samuel 24:1–25:44; 1 Peter 1:20–25; Psalm 125:1–127:5
We often fail to be amazed at redemption. Perhaps we’re only dimly aware of our own failings—or (worse) we are blind to how amazing it is that God has shown us grace at all.
In Psalm 126 the psalmist describes the joy that should come as a response to God’s redemption. In the past God’s restorative work had cast Israel into a state of surprised shock—they “were like dreamers” (Psa 126:1). They were filled with laughter and praise. His glory was present, and His redemption was a mighty witness to both the Israelites and the surrounding nations (Psa 126:2).
But the psalmist quickly reveals that Israel is still in need of restoration. Likely taken into captivity, the people live in hope and anticipation that God will restore them once more: “Those who sow with tears shall reap with rejoicing. He who diligently goes out with weeping, carrying the seed bag, shall certainly come in with rejoicing, carrying his sheaves” (Psa 126:5–6).
In his letter to early churches, Peter speaks about the hope that the prophets had foretold and the things that angels were curious about—the grace prepared through His Son (1 Pet 1:10–12). Peter tells them that this savior “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has been revealed in these last times for you” (1 Pet 1:20).
This surprise redemption is unlike any other. Its hope—Christ’s sure resurrection—gives us incredible security: We have been “born again, not from perishable seed but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pet 1:23). We should be awed by this incredible hope and respond with obedience, praise, and love for our neighbor (1 Pet 1:22).
Are you awed by God’s grace?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- And David went thence, and dwelt in holds at En Gedi. When Saul was turned from the Philistines, they told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En Gedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upont he rocks among the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way where there was a cave, and Saul went in to do his easement: and David and his men sat in the inward parts of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, See, the dayis come, whereof the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, and thou shalt do to him as it shall seem good to thee. Then David arose and cut off the lap of Saul’s garment privily. And after David was touched in his heart, because he had cut off the lap which was on Saul’s garment. And he said unto his men, The Lord keep me from doing that thing unto my master the Lord’s anointed, to lay mine hand upon hm: for he is the Anointed of the Lord. So David overcame his servants with these words, and suffered them not to arise against Saul: for Saul rose up out of the cave and went away. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, O my lord the King. And when Saul looked behind him, David inclined his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore givest thou an ear to men’s words, that say, Behold, David seeketh evil against thee? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen, that the Lord had delivered thee this day into mine hand in the cave, and some bade me kill thee, but I had compassion on thee, and said, I will not lay mine hand on my master: for he is the Lord’s Anointed. Moreover my father, behold: behold, I say, the lap of the garment in mine hand: for when I cut off the lap of thy garment, I killed thee not. Understand and see, that there is neither evil nor wickedness in me, neither have I sinned against thee, yet thou huntest after my soul, to take it. The Lord be judge between thee and me, and the Lord avenge me of thee, and let not mine hand be upon thee. According as the old proverb saith, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked, but mine hand be not upon thee. According as the old proverb saith, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked, but mine hand be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel, com eout? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, and after a flea? The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between thee and me, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand. When David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? and Saul lift up his voice, and wept, And said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rendered me good, and I have rendered thee evil. And thou hast showed this day, that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had closed me in thine hands, thou killedst me not. For who shall find his enemy, and let him depart free? wherefore the Lord render thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day. For now behold, I know that thou shalt be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be stablished in thine hand. Swear now therefore unto me by the Lord, that thou wilt not destroy my seed after me, and that thou wilt not abolish my name out of my father’s house. So David swore unto Saul, and Saul went home: but David and his men went up unto the hold. Then Samuel died, and all Israel assembled, and mourned for him, and buried him in his own house at Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. Now in Maon was a man, who had his possession in Carmel, and the man was exceeding mighty, and had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The name also of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail, and she was a woman of singular wisdom, and beautiful, but the man was churlish, and evil conditioned, and was of the family of Caleb. And David heard in the wilderness, that Nabal did shear his sheep. Therefore David sent ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and ask him in my name how he doeth. And thus shall ye say for salutation, Both thou, and thine house, and all that thou hast, be in peace, wealth and prosperity. Behold, I have heard, that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds were with us, and we did them no hurt, neither did they miss anything all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy servants, and they will show thee. Wherefore let these young en find favor in thine eyes: (for we come in a good season) give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. And when David’s young men came, they told Nabal all those words in the name of David, and held their peace. Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants nowadays, that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? So David’s servants turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all these things. And David said unto his men, Gird every man his sword about him. And they girded every man his sword: David also girded his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, and two hundred abode by the carriage. Now one of the servants told Abigail Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master, and he called on them. Notwithstanding, the men were very good unto us, and we had no displeasure, neither missed we anything as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields. They were as a wall unto us both by night and by day, all the while we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields. They were as a wall unto us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping sheep. Now therefore take heed, and see what thou shalt do: for evil will surely come upon our master, and upon all his family: for he is so wicked, that a man cannot speak to him. Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred cakes, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, adn five measures of parched corn, and an hundred frails of raisins, and two hundred of figs, and laid them on asses. Then she said unto her servants, Go ye before me: behold, I will come after you: yet she told not her husband Nabal. And as she rode on her ass, she came down by a secret place of the mountain, and behold, David and his men came down against her, adn she met them. And David said, Indeed I have kept all in vain that this fellow had in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: for he hath required me evil for good. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David: for surely I will not leave of all that he hath by the dawning of the day, any that pisseth against the wall. And when Abigail saw David, she hasted and lighted off her ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Oh, my lord, I have committed the iniquity, and I pray thee, let thine handmaid seak to thee, and hear thou the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this wicked man, Nabal: for as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord whom thou sentest. Now therefore my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth (the Lord, I say, that hath withholden free from coming to shed blood, and that thine hand should not save thee) so now thine enemies shall be as Nabal, and they that intend do my lord evil. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it be given unto the young men, that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the traspass of thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it be given unto the young men, that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will make my lord a sure house, because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and none evil hath been found in thee in all thy life.Yet a man hath risen up to persecute thee, and to seek thy soul, but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with teh Lord thy God: and the soul of thine enemies shall God cast out, as out of the middle of a sling. And when the Lord shall have done to my lord all the good that he hath promised thee, and shall have made thee ruler over Israel, Then shall it be no grief unto thee, nor offence of mind unto my lord, that he hath not preserved himself: and when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, remember thine handmaid. Then David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me. And blessed be thy counsel, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and that mine hand hath not saved me. For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, who hath kept me back from huring thee, except thou hadst hasted and met me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the dawning of the day, any that pisseth against the wall. Then David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said to her, Go up in peace to thine house; behold, I have heard thy voice, and have granted thy petition. So Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he made a feast in his house, like the feast of a king, and Nabal’s head was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, neither less nor more, until the morning arose. Then in the orning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, his wife told him those words, and his heart died within him, and he was like a stone. And about ten days after, the Lord smote Nabal, that he died. Now when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath jdged the cause of my rebuke of the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath recompensed the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. Also David sent to commune with Abigail, to take her to his wife. And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us to thee, to take thee to his wife. And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, and her five maids followed her, and she went after the messengers of David, and was his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they were both his wives. Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son f Laish, which was of Gallim. 1 Samuel 24:1–25:44
- Which was ordained before the foundation of the world, but was declared in the last times for your sakes, Which by this means do believe in God that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God. Having purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, to love brotherly without feigning, love one another with a pure heart fervently: eing born anew, not of mortal seed, but of immortal, by the word of God, who liveth and endureth forever. For all flesh is as grass. The grass withereth, and the flower falleth away. But the word of the Lord endureth forever: and this is the word which is preached among you. 1 Peter 1:20–25
- They that trust in the Lord, shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but remaineth forever. As the mountains are about Jerusalem: so is the Lord abouth is people from henceforth and forever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the righteous, lest the righteous put forth their hands unto wickedness. Do well, O Lord, unto those that be good and true in their hearts. But these that turn aside by their crooked ways, them shall the Lord lead with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel. When the Lord brought again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with joy: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we rejoice. O Lord, bring again our captivity, as the rivers in the South. They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. They went weeping, and caried precious seed: but they shall return with joy, and bring their sheaves. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the keeper watcheth in vain. It is in vain for you to rise early, and to lie down late, andeat the bread of sorrow: but he will surely give rest to his beloved. Behold, children are the inheritance of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb his reward. As are the arrows in the hand of the strong man; so are the children of youth. Blessed is the man that hath his quiver full of them: for they shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 125:1–127:5