The Sea of Tiberias

John 21:1‑7  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." Luke 12:19, 2019And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:19‑20).
The above two scriptures seem almost like a New Testament commentary upon the Old Testament story of Nabal and Abigail (1 Sam. 25). David was at this time, though God's anointed king, a homeless wanderer and fugitive from the hands of Saul, accompanied only by a small band of faithful followers who owned his claims.
What an illustration this is of the present position of the Lord Jesus Christ, God's King, rejected and cast out by the world. "The kings of the earth stood up," we read in Acts 4, "and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ." "We will not have this man to reign over us," was the world's verdict, and the last it saw of Him, He was hanging upon a cross between two thieves. When next it sees Him, He will be coming in "power and great glory," in righteousness to "judge and make war.... And... on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords" (Rev. 19).
Well, here we find David needing provisions and, being in the neighborhood of this wealthy man of the world whose shepherds he had protected amid the rocky solitudes of Carmel, he sends to ask for supplies for the young men, with the quiet dignity of conscious power. "Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. And thus ye shall say to him,... Peace."
What a lovely word! How well calculated to touch the heart of even the most thorough worldling! It is just one thing that the world cannot supply, or money purchase. "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" The world speaks of joy, mirth, pleasure, but never mentions peace, for it knows it not. "There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked." Isa. 48:2222There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked. (Isaiah 48:22).
"Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men whom I know not?" said Nabal; and when David heard the reply, he said, "Gird ye on every man his sword." If he will not have peace, judgment must fall. Alas! for Nabal. The offer of peace rejected, he fell under the judgment of God. The sweet message of mercy scoffed at and ignored, he sat down to eat and drink while death was hovering over his threshold. "And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died."
"So David's young men... came and told him all those sayings." There is a sweet thought here for all the Lord's servants. When the Word has been preached and the people have dispersed, then it is your privilege to return and tell Him about it. "Send me away," said Eliezer, "unto my master" (Gen. 24:5454And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. (Genesis 24:54)). Flushed with the success of his mission, one less devoted might have been inclined to linger in the happy surroundings where he had been so blessed. But his heart was with his master, and all the joy and success was incomplete till shared with him. So too, the apostles whom the Lord had sent forth, "when they were returned, told Him all that they had done" (Luke 9:1010And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. (Luke 9:10)).
But it is a relief now to turn to Abigail and follow the footsteps of this woman of faith. Doubtless the fame of David had reached her ears. She had heard of his gracious acts, his mighty power. She believed him to be God's anointed, though at the moment a fugitive from the hands of Saul. Her servants told her how the message of peace had come to her household, and of its rejection; and, like one of an earlier day, "moved with fear," she determined to go to meet him, and seek the salvation of herself and of her people. Happy decision!
Abigail made haste. Three times we read that she made haste. She must make peace with David without delay. All other concerns must be thrown aside till this momentous matter had been settled, and her salvation secured. "Abigail made haste," and taking her true place before David in utter self-abasement at his feet, she owned her sins, sought his forgiveness, and acknowledged him as lord.
How sweetly must those words have sounded in the ears of the hunted fugitive-"My lord"- though they came from a feeble woman's lips. How cheering the confident confession, "My lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days... But when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid." Like the dying thief, she looked on to a day of glory and, like him, she received a ready reply to her petition-"Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person."
What a marvelous picture of Christ's way of receiving sinners! And how sweet it is to His heart now, to be sought and owned by poor lost ones like you and me in this day of His rejection. Listen to His own words as He describes it when the poor outcast of John 4 owns Him in her heart as "the Christ"; "I have meat to eat that ye know not of," and in Luke 15, "Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost."
And listen to what David says to Abigail: "Blessed be thou." Why? What was she blessed for? Because she took her true place as a needy suppliant, and owned him as her Savior. Because her faith recognized him as God's anointed and, cost what it might, she determined to throw in her lot with him. So he calls her blessed.
Well, David never forgot Abigail's faith. But he was not content that she should remain at a distance from him; so, after the death of Nabal, he sent for her to be his wife. And will anything short of union satisfy the heart of Christ for His blood bought ones? No; "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" (Col. 3:44When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)).
As Abigail shared the fortunes of David, as she roamed with him from one hiding place to another-sharing his poverty and hardship-some might have said, What folly to give up a luxurious home and the broad acres and great possessions of her husband Nabal, for a life of trial and privation. But a day of reversal was coming, a day for which she was content to wait, when David, with the kingdom restored to him, would be reigning at Jerusalem, and she reigning with him. And how richly did that time compensate for all the sorrows of the past!
"He and I, in that bright glory,
One deep joy shall share;
Mine, to be forever with Him,
His, that I am there."