God, help us to steward the resources that you have given us. Teach us when to give, share, and save. Help us to work in your Kingdom economy and not in the world’s economy.
Read I Samuel 25 and Proverbs 31:10-31
“Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.”
“”David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.””
Abigail, was the wife of Nabal, a very wicked man, who thought only of himself. By her quick wisdom, action, and generosity, she saved her entire family from death. Upon Nabal’s death, she became David’s wife. The story calls to us to consider our actions when we meet people in need and when we are asked to support God’s work. David and his men were traveling very near in the area where Nabal happened to be; he heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. He sent ten young men to go to Carmel and speak to Nabal with these words: “Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.”
The young men went to Nabal and spoke the words commanded by David, but Nabal’s response was quite rude. “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers? And give it to men when I do not know where they are from?” Nabel saw David through his eyes and not through God’s eyes. This was not the answer David expected to receive. He and his men had watched out for Nabal’s shepherds, keeping them safe, and not allowing anyone to steal the sheep. Nabal’s response was not only unexpected, but it also put his family in great jeopardy. Abigail had the foresight to see the right action that should be taken. She recognized the need to support God’s work and to be generous in the face of the request.
We often think of economic development as the work of those who create business. For example, Lydia is a fine biblical example of entrepreneurship and service that should be celebrated. Abigail is also an example of knowing how to invest one’s resources to generate a return. The return in this case was not just financial. There were physical and spiritual returns to this investment.
How do you take stock of your resources and determine how to invest them? Do you see them as belonging to you or to God? How do you determine when, where, and to whom to give? Is your discernment based on your view or God’s view of the person or organization making the request? Are you possible overlooking how the work of a person or organization actually positively influences your life?
Ask God to show you people and organizations that you need to see through His eyes. Ask Him to open your heart and hands in ways that you become a steward of what He has given.
Lord, you know me deeply and intimately. I surrender myself to you. Shape my heart, mind, thoughts and will so that I may hear you and respond in obedience. Use me to help support those that are doing your work and helping those you love.