Have you ever forgotten about something only to have that PhD historian remind you of a past indiscretion? I once was reminded about my holy dance in the middle of a school presentation. In high school, it was cool to have a pager. You were important and looking back it was pretty much a waste of money. However, my mom was able to get ahold of me I guess. Anyway, I purchased a pager. I took it to school with me and made sure it was on silent. I had never used the thing and it was my first day.
At school we went to a presentation about interactive classes. They were passing around the electronic apparatus in the assembly for us to look at. Just as the apparatus was set on my let to look at, my pager went off. I had never experienced the vibration sensation before in my life. I jumped to my feet and started shaking my right leg. I forgot where I was and what I was doing. I had gone into complete survival mode.
The principal shouted for me to sit down and quit clowning around. The vibration stopped and I sat. About 10 seconds later the vibration started again and I jumped straight up. Finally I realized it was the pager as I no longer was holding the apparatus. I sat immediately and then received my discipline.
We don’t necessarily want our past flaws to be brought up. Yet the Bible talks repeatedly about our sins being washed away. Then we are told about judgement day. So which is it? Is God keeping a ledger of my mistakes? What about the good? There are people in my life who will always get an audience or returned phone call from me. There are things my friends and family have done for me I won’t forget. They get an element of favor. We may have not talked for a long time but it feels like yesterday. I’m sure God’s clock works much the same way. Our actions speak louder than words.
“There was a certain man in Maon who carried on his business in the region of Carmel. He was very prosperous—three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, and it was sheep-shearing time in Carmel. The man’s name was Nabal (Fool), a Calebite, and his wife’s name was Abigail. The woman was intelligent and good-looking, the man brutish and mean.
David, out in the backcountry, heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep and sent ten of his young men off with these instructions: “Go to Carmel and approach Nabal. Greet him in my name, ‘Peace! Life and peace to you. Peace to your household, peace to everyone here! I heard that it’s sheep-shearing time. Here’s the point: When your shepherds were camped near us we didn’t take advantage of them. They didn’t lose a thing all the time they were with us in Carmel. Ask your young men—they’ll tell you. What I’m asking is that you be generous with my men—share the feast! Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to me, David your son.’”
David’s young men went and delivered his message word for word to Nabal. Nabal tore into them, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? The country is full of runaway servants these days. Do you think I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on? Who knows where they’ve come from?”
David’s men got out of there and went back and told David what he had said. David said, “Strap on your swords!” They all strapped on their swords, David and his men, and set out, four hundred of them. Two hundred stayed behind to guard the camp.
Meanwhile, one of the young shepherds told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, what had happened: “David sent messengers from the backcountry to salute our master, but he tore into them with insults. Yet these men treated us very well. They took nothing from us and didn’t take advantage of us all the time we were in the fields. They formed a wall around us, protecting us day and night all the time we were out tending the sheep. Do something quickly because big trouble is ahead for our master and all of us. Nobody can talk to him. He’s impossible—a real brute!”
Abigail flew into action. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she had it all loaded on some donkeys. Then she said to her young servants, “Go ahead and pave the way for me. I’m right behind you.” But she said nothing to her husband Nabal.
As she was riding her donkey, descending into a ravine, David and his men were descending from the other end, so they met there on the road. David had just said, “That sure was a waste, guarding everything this man had out in the wild so that nothing he had was lost—and now he rewards me with insults. A real slap in the face! May God do his worst to me if Nabal and every cur in his misbegotten brood aren’t dead meat by morning!”
As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and fell on her knees at his feet, her face to the ground in homage, saying, “My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him.
As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and fell on her knees at his feet, her face to the ground in homage, saying, “My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him. “I wasn’t there when the young men my master sent arrived. I didn’t see them. And now, my master, as GOD lives and as you live, GOD has kept you from this avenging murder—and may your enemies, all who seek my master’s harm, end up like Nabal! Now take this gift that I, your servant girl, have brought to my master, and give it to the young men who follow in the steps of my master.
And David said, “Blessed be GOD, the God of Israel. He sent you to meet me! And blessed be your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and taking charge of looking out for me. A close call! As GOD lives, the God of Israel who kept me from hurting you, if you had not come as quickly as you did, stopping me in my tracks, by morning there would have been nothing left of Nabal but dead meat.”
Then David accepted the gift she brought him and said, “Return home in peace. I’ve heard what you’ve said and I’ll do what you’ve asked.” When Abigail got home she found Nabal presiding over a huge banquet. He was in high spirits—and very, very drunk. So she didn’t tell him anything of what she’d done until morning. But in the morning, after Nabal had sobered up, she told him the whole story. Right then and there he had a heart attack and fell into a coma. About ten days later GOD finished him off and he died.
When David heard that Nabal was dead he said, “Blessed be GOD who has stood up for me against Nabal’s insults, kept me from an evil act, and let Nabal’s evil boomerang back on him.” Then David sent for Abigail to tell her that he wanted her for his wife. David’s servants went to Abigail at Carmel with the message, “David sent us to bring you to marry him.”
She got up, and then bowed down, face to the ground, saying, “I’m your servant, ready to do anything you want. I’ll even wash the feet of my master’s servants!” Abigail didn’t linger. She got on her donkey and, with her five maids in attendance, went with the messengers to David and became his wife.”
1 Samuel 25:2-27, 32-42 MSG
God remembers our actions and our faithfulness. Some people dread judgement day fearing God remembers our mistakes. He promises to forgive and forget our sin.
““F OR I WILL BE MERCIFUL and GRACIOUS TOWARD THEIR WICKEDNESS, A ND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.””
HEBREWS 8:12 AMP
If God forgets why is there judgement day?
“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
Romans 14:10-13 NIV
We are going to give account for our works for Christ. Our God ordained purpose. Those who didn’t follow Christ will give account for their life and sin.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
James 2:14-17 NIV
We are to live out our purpose for Christ.
““Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.”
Isaiah 46:8-13 NIV
You are something. You fill a hole nobody else can fill. Someday you will give account for your actions and I’m confident you aren’t going to fail. You won’t let God down. You are going to give, bless, pray, help, grow, and love.
I know, God will remember.
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
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