By Phillip G. Kayser at DCC on 1-29-2012
Back in 1991, James Dobson said, "There are no winners when a marriage begins to unravel." I would add a caveat. I would say, "That is true unless both partners properly embrace God's grace." I have seen marriages turn from "couldn't be worse" to "couldn't be better" because of God's grace. On the other hand, I have seen marriages that were miserable to the bitter end, and yet the believer in that situation never got bitter and triumphed over at least her own heart by God's grace. Was he or she a winner? Well, in one sense, yes. We are going to be looking at some pretty messy situations in this passage that parallel so many situations in the church of Jesus Christ today. We have already seen in this chapter that God enabled both Abigail and David to navigate some pretty choppy waters. But in this little section I want to dive a little deeper into what those choppy waters can sometimes look like.
I am doing this for three reasons. The first reason is to encourage us not to be judgmental of people who have troubled marriages. They are already facing enough stress, and it is the goal of the church to press them deeper into God's grace rather than running from it. The second reason is to encourage us to realize that all of us need God's grace in our families. There is no such thing as a perfect family, and if we think that our family is perfect, then we probably especially need God's grace. The third reason I am preaching on this subject is to give comfort to those whose families have been irrevocably ruined by the sin of another person. God gives us solutions to fix most problems that we face in our families, but there was no fixing of verse 44. It was a horrible tragedy, and the marriage was broken through no fault of David's. And there are many Christians who suffer in similar circumstances. And as we get more and more hurting families in this church, it is my prayer that God would enable us to minister His grace to every one of them. Not enabling; we've already looked at how inappropriate enabling of sin is; but I am talking about ministering. Now it is true, like Nabal (or if you prefer the Hebrew pronunciation, Năbăl), not all of them will be receptive. But at least we should have the tools.
Before I dive in to the passage, let me make a brief comment on the way I try to make applications in every sermon. There is a new theory of preaching out there called the Redemptive Historical Model of preaching, and while it has some good things (especially in portraying the Gospel throughout the Bible), many of these advocates say that it is moralism to make applications from a sermon. They insist that we should only teach redemptive history from history and not make any practical applications at all. My short opinion of that theory can be summarized in one word: "Hogwash." Such preaching is so truncated that it starves the people of God. And that is so out of touch with the history of preaching, and it is so out of touch with the sermons you find in the Bible. But because this has infected the Reformed Churches, let me just give you one clue from 1 Corinthians 10 as to why this is wrong. After giving some Old Testament history in 1 Corinthians 10, what does Paul do with the history? Paul said, "Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters, as were some of them." He said that the very intent and purpose of God in giving those Old Testament histories was to give moral admonitions to us. It's the exact opposite of what this new redemptive historical model of preaching says. Then, after giving more history, Paul says, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the age have come." So I want us to be admonished from this passage, and to learn moral lessons from this passage. And the chief moral lesson I want us to learn is that we need to cling to God's grace for our families every day; every day. If even godly people like Abigail and David could get messed up families, we can too.
Abigail's Family Was in Need of Grace (vv. 36-38)
Her husband was spiritually foolish (v. 36a)
Let's look at Abigail's family first. Verse 36 says, "Now Abigail went to Nabal…" Verse 25 tells us that he fully lived up to the meaning of his name (Năbăl), which meant, "fool." He was a scoundrel, and he was foolish spiritually. In fact, the word fool predominantly referred to someone who was an unbeliever (Ps. 14:1) and/or refused to live by God's law (Prov. 10:8).
So here is the question: how could a smart woman like Abigail get married to an unbeliever? We aren't told, but it can happen. I've known believers who have willfully married an unbeliever. Even after church discipline they did not repent, and it was only much later that they repented and regretted that decision for the rest of their lives. Can they be restored and can God's grace help them? Yes, it can. The church can help such people to be a testimony to God's grace to the unbelieving spouse. But the consequences are still messy. But I've known others who have thought that they had married a godly person, only to have that person deny the faith. That happened to my aunt. And through no fault of her own, she suffered through a miserable marriage. So it can happen. And part of the church's job is to help that family the best that we can, and to help them to not just survive, but to thrive. Our church can be a sanctuary for such messed up families.
Her husband was a poor steward (v. 36b)
The second thing that we see about Nabal is that he was a poor financial steward. Notice that I didn't say that he was poor. He was not. He was very rich. But he failed to use his resources as a stewardship trust from God. He was humanistic in his use of money. Verse 36 goes on to say, "…and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king." And it goes on to talk about his drunkenness. He didn't even notice that his wife wasn't there. He didn't care that he had violated God's laws on hospitality to David and his men who had no food. He was utterly unaware of how close to death he and his family had come. He didn't care. He was all about indulging himself.
Now, don't get me wrong. God is not against rich people, and he is not against rich people enjoying the produce of their hands. Let me read you what Paul says about this in 1 Timothy 6.
1Timothy 6:17 "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty" [I might add, like Nabal was], "nor to trust in uncertain riches" [like Nabal foolishly was doing] "but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy." [There you see that he is not against our enjoyment of riches. But it's within a context of total stewardship. He goes on to say…]
1Timothy 6:18 "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,"
1Timothy 6:19 "storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."
That's what stewardship looks like. In addition to enjoying God's wealth, rich people like us (and relatively speaking most of us are rich) are supposed to constantly be looking for ways in which they can help others, use their finances with an eternal perspective, advancing God's kingdom, and being stewards of every dime. Yet Nabal refused hospitality to David and his men despite the fact that David and his men had rescued Nabal's goods from Philistines and had guarded his goods for quite a long time. He was a poor steward.
And there are many women today whose husbands aren't good stewards. And of course, I have known wives who have wasted their husband's money as well. And it creates stress for the spouse. It puts these women in a hard place. Abigail obviously was a good manager who oversaw the household, filled the larder, and took care of the servants that Nabal was so mean-spirited towards to. But she did it respectfully and submissively. And we will look at that in a moment. But this is another reason why families need grace – it is possible for one or both marriage partners to not live up to their marriage vows. And in this case, to not be a wise steward of the family resources. The church is part of the solution by encouraging and teaching in wise stewardship. But unless every one of us is constantly looking to God's grace for how we manage our families, we can easily end up selfish like Nabal. And we can model selfishness to our children.
Her husband was drunk (v. 36c)
The third difficulty that she faced was that Nabal was a drunk. Verse 36 goes on to say, "And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk." He was so drunk that the next phrase indicates that she couldn't communicate with him about what she had done, or perhaps didn't dare to communicate with him what she had done. People who have been addicted to alcohol or to drugs have brought untold misery to their families. It would have taken grace for Abigail to stick with him. And since both points C and D are linked together in real life, let me deal with them together.
Her husband wasn't the easiest person to submit to (v. 36d)
Point D says that her husband wasn't the easiest person to submit to, and yet she did. Verse 36 goes on: "…he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light." But then she told him everything. Earlier she had engaged in an intervention without his knowledge because she was trying to save his life. But she didn't want to do anything behind his back, so she believed that she had to give full disclosure of what she had. But she wasn't able to do it until the next day. He was so unreasonable when he was drunk that it was safer just to stay away and to wait till he sobered up. Anyone who has had an addict for a relative knows exactly what I am talking about. Such spouses live in constant stress.
But it's not just addicts who can be tough to live with. We saw earlier in the chapter that Nabal was an extremely angry and hostile man. Even grouchiness in a family member requires God's grace to respond appropriately. Pastor Hewett told the story of one of the children he knew in the church. The five year old asked his mother, "Mommy, why do the idiots only come out when Daddy drives?" Out of the mouths of babes and infants, huh? You can just imagine how thick the air was in daddy's car. How do you deal with family members who are drunks with bad attitudes? Well, we saw earlier in the chapter that you can't enable their sin. We also saw that when things get serious, there is a time to engage in gracious intervention. But for today's sermon, the main thing that I want to point out is that God's grace does not call us to bail on our family simply because they are difficult to live with. We need to ask God for wisdom on specific ways that we can fulfill Romans chapter 12 – to not be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. And I have preached on the hows of that to some degree in past Sundays, so I won't repeat that here.
But here is the point in bringing these things up: the Bible is not a book about perfect families. It is a book about the power of God's grace. Even in families where things almost always run smoothly and beautifully, they turn out that way because of the wonderful grace of God; the transforming grace of God. And there should never be a time when Christians are not growing in that grace. I could tell you of several families that had years of misery, but when the family got serious about applying God's law by His grace, their family was turned upside down and they got to a point where they were daily rejoicing in how wonderful things are. As one couple told me after I talked them out of divorce and helped them to apply the Biblical principles that were lacking, "Our marriage has never been so good as it is now." That's the way God's grace works. And the Bible was written to give hope. That's why it presents us with families that were messed up. But there are times when one or more parties in a family absolutely refuses to be sanctified. And that's where point E comes in.
Yet Abigail gave sacrificial service and loyalty to a husband that didn't deserve it (vv. 37b-38a – note ten days; vv. 13-45)
We saw earlier in the chapter the amazing depth of God's grace in Abigail. God's grace enabled her to sacrificially serve her husband and be loyal to her husband even when he didn't deserve it. She saved his life, even though he didn't deserve it. And I won't cover verses 13-45 to prove that. But there is a little phrase in verse 38 that shows that even in his last days she continued to care for her husband, even though he didn't deserve it. Let's begin reading at verse 37: "So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. Then it happened, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died." Commentaries say that there were two things that had likely happened. He had a heart attack, but in conjunction with the heart attack he must have had a stroke that paralyzed him. He was like a stone; he was unable to respond. But here is the point that I want you to notice: it took ten days for him to die. This means that she must have done what she could to hydrate him. You can't survive for ten days without water. And if he was like a stone, then he could eat or drink. She would have had to go to great measures to keep him alive as long as she did. And even then he didn't die of natural causes. The text says that God struck him.
So even this brief account gives two indications of her faithfulness to her husband. The first one is that she did not try to hide the fact that she had intervened on his behalf. He might have gotten angry, but we saw previously that she had not done it out of rebellion. She had done the intervention to save his neck.
And then secondly, when she had a chance to let him die, she didn't. Even jerks need to be treated with dignity. She obviously cared for him in his dying days. If that does not exemplify the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I don't know what does. My aunt's husband was a drunk who was mean when he was drunk. But even when God struck him with almost total paralysis, she loved him by God's grace, and ministered to him. And my parents loved him and ministered to him. And he came to Christ before he died. The only thing he could do was to slightly squeeze the hand to indicate a "yes."
In the end, God gave her a way out of her mess (v. 38b) though not all wives get that.
I've got one more point under Abigail. In the end, God gave her a way out of her mess. Verse 38 doesn't ascribe the death to the stroke alone. It says, "Then it happened, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died." Notice that she isn't wishing for his death. God sovereignly struck him. And I should point out that not all miserable marriages are allowed by God to end like this one did. But Paul does guarantee believers in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that no matter how miserable our circumstances, God always makes a way of escape that we might be able to bear it. And people think, "Oh, great. A divorce is how I can escape." No, no, no. The kind of escape that he is talking about continues to "bear it." When he says, "that we may be able to bear it," he is not talking about escape from the difficulty, but escape from sinful responses to our difficulty. You don't have to respond with sin.
And so in Abigail we see that she needed grace, she had sufficient grace, and she sought to minister grace to her husband. It does not appear that her husband ever did repent, but you know what? God has won husbands through the grace that they saw in their wives. That's exactly what 1 Peter 3 promises. And my aunt is testimony to the power of God's grace to triumph over an evil husband.
David's Family Was in Need of Grace (vv. 39-44)
Were David's motives pure? (v. 39)
Was it beauty, godly character, or political ambition? (v. 39)
But we move now to David's messed up family. It started off joyful. His family started when he married Saul's daughter, Michal, back in chapter 18. And it was love at first sight. They started off to a joyful marriage, but then Saul (David's father in law) tried to kill David. And some of you have been thrown upon the grace of the Lord because of the meanness of in-laws, haven't you? Why does God allow that? The same reason God allows other sinful people in our lives – to drive us closer to His grace. God loves our holiness more than he loves our comfort.
But things got even worse for David. He was on the run. And if you look at verse 44, you will see that some time prior to this chapter Saul had given Michal away to another man. He had no authority to do that. It was a horrible sin and a horrible tragedy. It was a no-fault divorce, and it was a divorce without every consulting David. And we will discuss that later. But if it was a true marriage, whether reluctantly or not, Michal had to have agreed to it. She was probably sticking with her story that David had tried to kill her, and she was afraid to change her false story. And I will discuss this a bit more later on. But this permanently broke the marriage with David, and freed him up to marry again. But we will see in 2 Samuel that it was a heartbreak. It took David a long time to get over it, and some would say that he probably never did.
Now, jumping back to verse 39, David gets married again. Let me read that: "So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For the LORD has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head." And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife." When you read the commentaries you see that people impute all kinds of motivations to David. David seems just a little too eager for Nabal's death. Has he been wishing he could marry her all along? Had he been coveting his neighbor's wife? Does he want out of his bad situation? Some think that David's later weakness for women was at work here, and he wanted her the moment he set eyes on her. And of course, there are men whose eyes do get them into trouble. But these are all simply theories. They may or may not be true of David at this particular point.
Others say that David admired her godly character, and once Nabal was dead, he wanted to be quick on the draw before any other kinsman redeemer offered to raise a child for Nabal – something that Levirate marriage encouraged. So they say it was a Levirate marriage. And again, the text says nothing of that, though it is obviously a possibility.
Others say that David was marrying out of personal ambition and political gain. They say that this likely had nothing to do with love. He was marrying for the money and the influence. Nabal was the most powerful clan leader in this region of Judah, and by marrying Abigail, David could not only inherit the wealth of Nabal through Abigail, but could consolidate political ties in the process. They point out that when David was later coronated king, it is significant that he was coronated right in this region. That speaks of social ties. That theory is possible, though the text does not explicitly say so, and a response could be made that once David was married, it would be natural for relationships to develop in this region anyway, even if he hadn't planned it.
Nevertheless, this was technically OK:
Some believe this was a Levirate marriage. Next to Nabal, David may have been the next most powerful kinsman, though not the closest.
Others say it was an ordinary marriage, but keep in mind verse 44.
Others say that this was an ordinary marriage, and that David simply married a helpmeet that was perfectly suited to his future role. He had nothing but pure motives. And they are attempting to defend David here. Well, I don't know how you can know what David's motives were if the text does not tell us.
So a good question is, "Why should pastor Kayser even be raising all of those theories that are out there?" I bring up all these theories (despite the fact that the text does not explicitly bring them up) because I'm sure that if commentaries today instantly jump to these many different conclusions, there were probably contemporaries of David who might have rightly or wrongly assumed the same things. And here's the application that I make: We need to go to God's grace to help our families be driven by God and God's opinions of us, and not by what other people think of us. Being driven by the opinions of others is a snare.
Here's a second application: We need to go to God's grace to cover sins of ignorance. We don't always know our own motivations, and it is appropriate to ask God to help us to pure in our motivations. God's grace is able to reach inwardly and sanctify even our mixed motivations and goals. And if you don't think that you have mixed motivations and goals in your marriage and family, you don't yet know the depravity of the human heart. We need God's grace for our families every moment of every day.
But here is a third application: whatever the motivations, whether good or bad, God's grace obviously covered those things and blessed and prospered David. That's the amazing thing about God's grace – it gives us God's favor despite the fact that we are sinners. We are secure in the Lord Jesus Christ and His justification despite the fact that we are such imperfect saints. That's what makes our growth in sanctification such a joy. We are not growing in order to gain God's favor; we are not growing out of fear of losing His favor. We are growing because we are secure and because we love Him so much. Those are two totally different ways of approaching sanctification. The first way is driven by fear; the second is driven by faith.
Gratefulness for being spared from regrets – there but for the grace of God go I (v. 39c)
Let's move on to point B. At this point in David's life he had a heightened sense of his own sinfulness. We just have one phrase in verse 39, but it's enough to remind us of David's attitude in the previous sermon. It's the phrase where he blesses God "who has kept His servant from evil!" He is still thankful that God used Abigail to rebuke him and to keep him from evil eleven days before. He now has an attitude that appreciates God's grace so deeply. And when you look at the messes that an Abigail or a David can get themselves into, we need to realize that apart from God's grace, any of us could be in the same boat, and all of us need to be grateful when God spares us from regrets. You can look at either of these families and say, "There but for the grace of God go I."
A marriage that enriched and empowered David (vv. 40-42)
Point C: Whatever can be said of this marriage, it certainly was a marriage that enriched and empowered David. Let me read verses 40-42:
1Samuel 25:40 "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."
1Samuel 25:41 "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 lord."
1Samuel 25:42 "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."
Commentators point out that having five maidens attend you was extremely rare even with rich people. And by taking five maidens with her she was communicating that she was independently wealthy. And she was. She didn't need to get remarried for financial reasons. She didn't need to get married for social reasons. With her wealth, she could have picked whom she wanted; or she could have chosen not to get married.
This heightens three things: she is going voluntarily, she is going eagerly, and she is going with humility. And it was a beautiful way of showing her eagerness to be his wife without stating so, and of showing her total willingness to serve without in any way showing insecurity or need. When she is willing to serve and submit despite the fact that she didn't need to, her submission becomes all the more prized. You combine this with her speech and you realize that she was a rare treasure. So David got an incredible wife, an incredible fortune, and a position of influence within this clan in Judah. Even though he lost his relationship to royalty through the loss of his first wife Michal, he gained a status within this clan that would help to seat him on the throne at a later time. Some people treat it as mercenary – marrying for status. I'm not sure that we need to go that direction, but in God's providence, it was certainly blessed by God to establish his future position.
A sneak preview of David's weakness (v. 43)
But (and there are always these ‘but's in real life – But) in the next two verses we find two more things in David's family that were not as they should be. Verse 43 says,
1Samuel 25:43 "David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives."
Why would he do that? According to verse 3 Abigail was gorgeous. According to the same verse she was smart. And of course we have already seen in the rest of the chapter that she was humble and she was godly. She was an ideal wife. So why would David take another wife? I believe in part it was because it was socially expected of kings to have more than one wife. In part it may have been a strategic alliance with another section of Judah. Of course, the wealth from both families would make it easier to maintain his 600 men. But still, from our perspective it is hard to conceive of David marrying someone else so soon after marrying Abigail. If David had read his Bible, he should have known that this was a bad social custom, and he wouldn't have succumbed to pragmatism. Deuteronomy 17 is quite clear that kings should not have more than one wife. It is crystal clear. And of course, Genesis 2 is crystal clear.
Now, David could argue that it wasn't illegal, but drug use and other stupid things were not illegal in Bible times either. And it wouldn't take much reading of the Pentateuch for David to figure out that polygamous marriages, while legal, were sinful, stupid, and produced absolute disaster. So why would he follow a social custom when the Bible was so clear? It's for the same reason that we commit socially acceptable sins. Don't point the finger at David when you yourself do socially acceptable sins that you know you can get away with. In fact, this is the reason why Christians are messed up all over America on so many issues – we like to follow the Bible only when it is convenient. And so many people get hurt in the process. I'm sure Abigail felt pretty bad when David married Ahinoam. As far as I'm concerned, David was a fool to do this.
His pastor should have rebuked him. Remember, that pastor Abiathar had joined David's ranks in chapter 23. He brought at least one warning to David. So it's not like he was a totally bad pastor. But he was silent on a subject that was foundational to the health of a family. Of course, he was no different from modern very respected pastors who refuse to practice church discipline; or who refuse to preach on the dangers of government education (which is destroying an entire generation), or who refuse to preach against other family weakening practices. We can't point the finger at even Abiathar without at the same time realizing that there are four fingers pointing back at us and warning us that we all need God's grace to avoid similar sins. And brothers and sisters, the Bible is quite honest that every one of David's compromises produced a nasty harvest. Sure he was forgiven, but he had a harvest to contend with. Sure he was a great man, but he suffered too.
So we not only have messed up families who need God's grace, but we also have messed up pastors who need God's grace. Pray for the pastors of America to have the courage to say what needs to be said to the David's within the church. It's not just our nation that is falling apart and needs God's grace. The church is falling apart and the family is falling apart in America. This is why I have devoted a good part of my life to bringing reformation to family, church, and culture; and trying to get Christians to apply the blueprints of the Bible to every area of life. It grieves me to see people not being admonished by the histories of the Old Testament.
But there is probably one more messed up thing in David's life here. I can't guarantee that this was true, but it is certainly consistent with later chapters. Commentators point out that David would likely not have followed social custom if the lust of his eyes were not also at work. When we get into 2 Samuel we will see that David's eyes were indeed his downfall. He had not learned how to control his eyes and his mind. And let me speak to you brothers. Some of you may not even realize what your eyes are doing when you talk to a woman, and that is because you are not thinking about it consciously. Let me tell you something – the women notice. We men need to look women in the eyes when we are talking to them and not allow our eyes to wander. The Bible speaks of the importance of having disciplined eyes. And if you don't know how to develop disciplined eyes, talk to me.
Anyway, David's lack of disciplined eyes led to disaster in later chapters – disaster with the wives and disaster with the children. Now, was God's grace sufficient for that? Yes it was, just as it continues to be sufficient to bring healing to men who fall into the abominable practice of watching pornography, which God hates so much. God can help men to conquer that. But that grace does not automatically stop the disastrous consequences. That's what we need to get into our heads. There is always a harvest that you reap even if you have repented and received forgiveness. It is much better to apply God's grace as preventative medicine than it is to apply God's grace after you fall into sin.
And so David serves as a positive role model as well as a negative role model. 1 Corinthians 10 says that we should examine these historical accounts not only to discover a faith to follow and imitate, but also to discover the compromises of our heroes so that we don't repeat them. Just this past week someone outside our church excused his sexual sin because, "Hey, David did it." And my response is, Yeah, but look at how he suffered. 1 Corinthians 10 says that those sins are described and the horrible consequences of those sins are described in vivid detail so that we will fear ever committing those sins ourselves and so that we will run to God's grace every day. They are not told to make light of sin or to excuse it. They are told to make us realize how serious such sin is and to make us cringe and shudder at sin and run to the cross of Christ for remedy for that sin."
Family tragedies (v. 44)
The last thing said about David's family is given in verse 44: "But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim." In this particular passage we aren't told if Michal did this against her will or did it voluntarily. Technically a marriage against her will would not have been considered valid in Scripture. So the reason I think she voluntarily divorced David and married Palti is because God twice calls Palti her "husband" in 2 Samuel 3. It doesn't just say that Palti falsely considered himself to be her husband. God Himself declared Palti to be her husband. That means that when David took her back in 2 Samuel 3, God considered that to be an abomination. That's what Deuteronomy 24 says, and that's what Jeremiah 3:1 says. Those passages say that what David later does to Michal's second marriage in taking her away defiled the land and was an abomination in God's site. So it was an absolute mess. But in this verse, Saul's giving of Michal to Palti was a mess that was no fault of David's. It was a mess that made him cry out to God. And God in the Psalms ministered to David in his anguish as He can powerfully minister to you when you have received irreparable hurt.
Conclusion – All our families are in need of God's grace
Let me conclude by reading some of the sections of Psalms that I believe helped to sustain David during this time. And I won't read all of them, because by this time David had written at least sixteen Psalms, if not more. But these Psalms not only alternate between pain and faith; but they acknowledge the weakness of his flesh and the sufficiency of God's grace. They are Psalms of tears and Psalms of hope. And I believe they are Psalms that can help us to keep on keeping on even when the going gets tough. So just make these your prayer as I read these sections: O Lord,
Psalms 56:8 You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
Psalms 56:12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God;…
Psalms 34:6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
Psalms 34:8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Psalms 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalms 34:22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
Psalms 56:4 In God (I will praise His word),
In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me?
Psalms 142:1 I cry out to the LORD with my voice;
With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication.
Psalms 142:2 I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare before Him my trouble.
Psalms 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
Then You knew my path…
Psalms 142:4 Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.
Psalms 142:5 I cried out to You, O LORD:
I said, "You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Psalms 142:6 Attend to my cry,
For I am brought very low;…
Psalms 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison,
That I may praise Your name;…
Psalms 63:1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Psalms 63:6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Psalms 63:7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
Psalms 63:8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.
Psalms 17:5 Uphold my steps in Your paths,
That my footsteps may not slip…
Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
Psalms 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
Psalms 57:2 I will cry out to God Most High,
To God who performs all things for me.
Psalms 57:3 He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up…
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
May God do so for each of our families and Christian families all over this nation. Amen.
!(./1Samuel 25_36-44/media/image2.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 25_36-44/media/image3.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 25_36-44/media/image4.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 25_36-44/media/image5.jpeg)Families Need Grace
In the June, 1991 Focus on the Family Newsletter. ↩