"And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house like the feast of a king. And his heart was merry, for he was very drunk; So (Abigail) told (Nabal) nothing at all until the morning light."
I Samuel 25: 36, Amplified Bible
"Party Like There's No Tomorrow"
"God examines both rich and poor, not according to their lands and houses, but according to the riches of their hearts."
Augustine of Hippo
What account do I take in my life with regard to the heavenly issues which matter for eternity?
If God came to judge my life today, would I be pleased with the priorities I have chosen to live by?
"I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I do know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, He will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?' Rather He will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?'"
"So then, each of us will give an account of (herself) to God."
Romans 14: 12, N.I.V.'
Shearing time was over. Nabal had come away feeling successful both financially and emotionally. He had shown David who was boss and now, completely unaware that David was marching toward Carmel to kill him and his men, the wealthy and wily Nabal decided it was party time!
Unaware his wife Abigail, was out saving his neck, Nabal decided to get "very drunk" and with his workers, celebrated like there was no tomorrow.
If you'll just close your eyes for a moment and imagine the drunken debauchery evident in this scene, you can almost hear the bawdry laughter and smell the flow of strong drink.
For Abigail, this was the scene that met her gaze when she returned home, having saved her inebriated husband and his cohorts.
Just for a moment, let's place this drunken shindig up against the feasts at harvest time when God's children celebrated the generosity His hand had kindly bestowed upon them. What a contrast! One party glorifying the work of human hands, the other bringing glory to the generosity of heaven's Hand.
As I reflected on the response Nabal had to the blessings in his life, it got me to thinking about the way so many people today handle the success which befalls them.
A few days ago, I was watching a biography on a well-known man of wealth and fame. To hear him talk, he was self-made. His brilliance had gotten him where he was. And his talents, which he noted were many, would keep him at the top. As he lauded all his accomplishments, I thought of the words of Jesus, "Tonight thy soul is required of thee." When I repeated these words to myself, I began to think about the fact that when that day comes for each of us, how will we reflect on the legacy we have left behind? Will we bring glory to God or like Nabal, will we choose to party like there's no tomorrow as we shower praise on ourselves.
In reviewing his own life, Pastor John Newton offered this perspective:
"I can hardly recollect a single plan of mine, of which I have not since seen reason to be satisfied, that had it taken place in season and circumstance just as I proposed, it would, humanly speaking, have proved my ruin; or at least it would have deprived me of the greater good the Lord had designed for me. We judge of things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences, if we could do so likewise we should be perfectly of His mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is spoken of as one of His heaviest judgments, when He gives any person or people up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk after their own counsels."
What a profound statement. When Nabal returned from a successful season, oblivious to the protective hands of both his wife and his heavenly Father, his only thought was to "party-hearty" and delight in his own ability.
In Romans 14: 12, Paul reminds all God's children that our Father "sees" us. He knows and He watches. And He asks each child for an account of the time they have been given.
I'll never forget one of my college years when rather than focus on my studies, I engaged in a lot of "partying!" In the end, the "account" came due when my parents received my less than stellar grades. I didn't have to tell them what I'd been doing, my grades told the entire story. And sometimes, we as though our lives the very same way. Without much thought about tomorrow, we live as though we have all the time in the world to party like there's no tomorrow. This choice proved fatal for Nabal and the same can be said for you and me if we decide to give glory to ourselves and forget the heavenly Hand that so graciously blesses us from day to day.
"Lord of my life,
I give you my time,
and my desires.
Thank You that You
receive whatever I offer
and transform it,
so that this gift of my
life is taken up into
Your energy of love."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.