Today it came to mind how Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of stew he wanted from Jacob. Many feel this is a story of Jacob cheating and tricking Esau. What about the take-away of Esau giving up his birthright, not valuing it, not taking his moments in life more seriously?
It’s sobering that we can so easily let life happen to us instead of happening to life with the Holy Spirit’s prompting and hot on the heals of our Savior Jesus, and with the love of the Father God in our hearts, His warm embrace on our minds as we think of being in Heaven with our Holy Almighty God one day FOREVER! We must consider being so eternally minded that we are of some earthly utility for the LORD to work through us with us being willing instruments instead of stubborn mules.
One way or another God finds use for everyone in this life, but how beautiful would it be if we chose to participate willingly in His work of REDEMPTION, the preservation and even giving of life to those who otherwise would perish and wander further and further from the mark of holiness, deeper and deeper into being discouraged and then depressed and then angry or even steadily into this or that pattern of overt or covert sin. This world does not provide for a drifting toward the things of God and His love and glory. We must ask God for His Spirit’s discernment to live intentional lives, more like the lives of David and Abigail, two biblical characters who weren’t perfect but have more and more become examples to me of a godly man and a godly woman.
Lately I’ve done the goofy thing some theologians would say of imagining a little different biblical history for David… thinking less of what did happen and more what should have happened if David was living all-in for Jesus, and if he had of known fully that Jesus was to come one day… or maybe thinking in a sense of what would happen if David lived today, was married to Abigail only, had a few kids, so-on and so forth. There was much about David that is to be admired, but there is one particular set of mistakes he broke away from God. Most know of the big no-brainer mistake of his adultery and then murder acts. What isn’t as often emphasized is his breaking of God’s requirement for the King of Israel – Deuteronomy 17:17 “And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.”
When you put those two big no-no items together, between David and Solomon, they blew it badly. It’s interesting to think of what marriages today would look like if sex and money and power were put into their proper place?
Imagine marriages where sex is enjoyed paced out into a healthy rhythm in each week, where the husband and wife plan ahead and carve out time for each other, where sex isn’t the primary focus but it is certainly and consistently planned into the rhythms of each week, no matter how old a couple is, making a point to touch each other during the day too, love taps, embraces, a kiss from time to time, a stoke of the hair or back of the head. Imagine marriages where this is the case and imagine where this is the only place a society steadily encourages such touching and nowhere else, instead of what you see across the world today where marriage is the last place people seek to popularize sexual thinking and behavior. Marriage is truly God’s gift and inside of marriage sex has a beautiful non-central place as part of a larger and healthy relationship of giving and receiving (as opposed to giving and taking).
What a beautiful picture one can see in a loving and healthy married couple who handle money with grace, faithfulness, and generosity, who are intentional and thoughtful about how they handle money together as opposed to in some form of competition or as a tool for control. Imagine a husband and wife planning out their finances on a weekly basis and strategically planning not only the spending of their resources God has provided to them but also the gaining and growth and giving of those resources, starting business efforts together, teaching their children about money and its use (instead of its central focus like so many families). Money is a tool or means of exchanging value and that’s why the love of it is the root of all sorts of evil, because through loving money we are loving things and activities instead of loving God and people. Money truly can’t buy the affection of another in the deepest sense. Money might buy some influence or show affection in some respects. How we give it for instance can show how we trust God or want to bless our friends, family, or those we are supporting in labors of ministry and service. A couple that works together to lovingly build, grow, and give wealth (no matter how much or little) is a truly refreshing picture, especially when it’s done TOGETHER and UNDER THE FEAR AND LOVE OF GOD.
Men and women in healthy marriages demonstrate power of different kinds. Again, thinking of David and Abigail in a sense in a more modern context with a few kids, I like to think of being one of their kids – since they both are such snap-shot examples of biblical characters with hearts after God.
It’s amazing to think of David with all that he had in the way of affection for God staying true to just one wife, and the best one I’ve seen from my looking through the pages of Scripture, the best one of his several wives/concubines. He had far fewer women in his life than his son Solomon, but David still had “many wives,” and that is where I believe he began down the path that eventually led to him falling into such deep lust for Bathsheba that he took her from his loyal soldier, one of his mighty men, and defrauded her sexually and even impregnated her. David definitely abused his kingly power. Would Bathsheba have as smoothly slid into bed with David if he was just one of Uriah’s friends? I highly doubt it. In that era, from what I’m seeing, she was brought in with guards and did her “duty” so-to-speak. What a different story it would have been if Bathsheba resisted the king in that story? My focus would probably not be on Abigail and would more likely be on Bathsheba in that case.
For Abigail her power was that of discernment and wealth put to good use in combination. She used her resources and saved her household from destruction. Her first husband heard after-the-fact about the destruction he was spared by his wife’s discerning and decisive action and he fell down of a heart attack from trembling with fear. What a picture! David was drawn to Abigail for good reason, and hearing that her husband died, he swooped her up – kind of a fast turn-around, but it is what it is. I like to day-dream up the two of them being the only two in their marriage bed so-to-speak, David never having Saul’s daughter who laughed at him when he danced in worship of God, nor any of his other wives nor concubines. What a different story it would have been if David only married Abigail and then Daniel, their son became the king?!
Is it wrong to day-dream up such a different hypothetical history? I’ve enjoyed this meditation to the point of even beginning to think of writing a novel, a historical fiction with as much accuracy to the fiction as possible actually, but where the first person narrator would be a second born son to David and Abigail, named Jonathan. “Jon” as I’d call him would himself as a prince of the king privately consider for many years that his dad broke God’s command for the king of God’s people. In time Jon would decide to live differently in that key respect but in most other areas rinse and repeat his father’s heart for God, devotion to God’s intentions for His people, His children. Jon would be devoted to God and have a heart after God, but his heart would be less divided because his body and mind and emotions are calm and focused in on the wife of his youth as Scripture teaches.
Jon in this picture would enjoy and prioritize being a godly Jew under the rule of his brother Solomon. He would grieve privately the multiplication of the problems of a polygamous heart and body as so crazily demonstrated by his half-brother Solomon. Jon would pray for his brother with some close friends and his wife and children around their Shabat table and in quiet conversations, making a point to honor the king over God’s people while himself being more God-fearing and faithful to God’s ways as a more normal person and yet still a prince for life in Israel.
Jon would have a very unique perspective on that time in history and have a powerful journalistic perspective on the happenings and downfall/division of the kingdom. He would have an up-beat way however about him because his heart would trust steadily in the King of kings and LORD of lords, knowing the same courage and faith and peace his father had when being chased by Saul or int he throws of war or having to kill bears and lions.
Jon would in time have his mother Abigail live with him and his wife after David passes away, and the novel would allow for Abigail to happen to live a longer elderly queen’s life. She would express her concerns and yet also have a courage and fortitude, speaking of the hope that one day God would send a Savior for His people like her beloved husband David but maybe even better somehow? She would suggest that maybe God would reveal Himself somehow to His people and save them Himself in-person!
Honestly I’m really enjoying this as it’s brought my heart so often into a place of consideration and appreciation for a less public life, a life of less notoriety, a life of deep contentment in serving the King of kings. I’m not there in any respect perfectly, but love is patient, kind, and not envious. The list goes on, but my prayerful hope would be to emphasize just getting that far through the list even in modeling love to our parents (Abigail and David in this case) and siblings (Daniel in this case) and other friends and relatives. What if we made a labor of love to build and grow life together with patience, kindness, and non-envy. What a beautiful life that would be?! Imagine if David hadn’t of envied Uriah? Maybe the novel should be that? Maybe somehow Nathan throws a pebble and hits David in the shin and says, “Hey, I don’t want to come over to you and tell you about God’s judgment to come upon your family for what you’re about to do with that wife of another man!” Imagine if Nathan got to warn David ahead of time… Maybe the novel could take that path.
Well, the thing that would do is take away the deep example for all of us of reality, that we all fall, even David, the man after God’s heart. And, we need the perfect King to come and die in our place. Praise You, Jesus!
I’ll leave off there for now.
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