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Bethany Baptist Church

The Ladies Bible Study group met Thursday morning as they continued the lessons on “The Power of a Praying Life.”

Norma Stillings sang a special song, Sunday morning, before Pastor Bob Sorensen brought another message in the series on Bible marriages, “Nabal and Abigail.”

The marriage between Nabal and Abigail may have started well. Nabal was a wealthy man and Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, but when we first meet them we are told that Nabal is churlish and evil. Churlish means harsh and we also see that he is referred to as being foolish, a son of Belial, and a drunkard. These characteristics do not make for a happy marriage.

When people have unhappy marriages they may take some negative approaches to dealing with the bad situation. The may seek to retaliate by making life miserable for their faulty mate. Some people may keep a record of faults and bring these up on occasion. They may try to “get even.” This does not benefit the marriage and results in more pain for the injured party.

Some people withdraw and will give the offending mate the silent treatment. The word “sulk” comes from the word sulky, which is a horse drawn buggy with only room for one person. Sulking does not bring a benefit either.

Some people will file for divorce without trying for a positive approach to settle the differences in the marriage. Abigail had a positive approach to the worst of situations.

Nabal had refused to give David’s young men some food from the great feast that Nabal had going for the shearers. David would have slain Nabal in anger, if Abigail had not intervened. David had actually protected the shepherds in the field so that they should have received a reward. When one of Nabal’s servants told Abigail what had happened, she took a generous amount of the food and took it to meet David and his men. She apologized to David and was willing to take the blame on herself in order to save the life of her husband and to keep David from shedding blood needlessly.

There are positive approaches to the worst of situations. Abigail devoted herself to benefit Nabal. She was willing to take the blame on herself. She practiced kindness. We also see that she had a strong faith in God. She did not have to act negatively. She persuaded David to spare Nabal. She did not act in anger.

We can honor God’s plan for marriage. God placed men to be the head of the family. That gives him the responsibility to love the wife and provide for her needs and the needs of the family. The wife is given the supporting role and is to be primarily the home keeper. When he carries out his responsibility in making the hard decisions and being the bread winner for the home and does so without harshness and selfishness, and when she submits to his God given authority without expecting or requiring that he be the perfect spouse, then they can avoid much of the grief that pride and anger can bring to a marriage.

Abigail exhibited a deep faith in God. She knew that God was going to undertake for David. Having a deepening faith in God and working to keep in obedience to God is better than choosing to be angry and allowing oneself to be stressed and bitter.

There are three rules in a universal law that applies to the family or society. (1) I can change no person by my direct action. (2) I can only change myself. (3) When I change myself, others tend to change also.

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