THE BUNDLE OF LIFE
Abigail made such a marvelous prophetic statement, that began to speak to my heart a message on life in I Samuel 25:28-30. “I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee…”.
Abigail said this after hearing of the ill-treatment her husband Nabal (fool) had given to David and his men. David and his men had been a wall of protection to Nabal’s shepherds and his sheep out in the wilds. They deserved some provisions in appreciation of their valuable service. Well, it seems that David had decided to go take his payment out of Nabal’s hide so to speak, when Abigail met them as a peacemaker and intercessor. She knew that David had been anointed to reign. She, no doubt, had heard that a lion and a bear and Goliath could not kill him. She evidently knew that he often escaped the attempts of Saul to take his life.
Thank God for the bundle of life. The great king of Egypt could not slay the baby Moses. Neither could Herod take the life of baby Jesus, nor the Jews or Pilate get rid of Him as a young man. He laid His life down for us. Praise God for the record of the two witnesses of Rev. 11. The beast of the bottomless pit shall not be able to kill them until they have finished their testimony. Are we not kept by the power of God? “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name … Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies … O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved” Ps. 103:1,4; 66:8,9.
Oh yes, He powerfully holds those He has redeemed -Jn. 10:28-29. Those that have been reconciled by His death are saved by His life – Rom. 5:9-10. We, who were by nature children of wrath and appointed unto death and judgment, are alive forevermore, because Jesus came and gave His life a ransom. He, tasting death for every man, has met for us our appointment with wrath, death and judgment – Heb. 8:26-28. I enjoy considering the way Paul expressed the bundle of life into which we have been brought. “For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” – I Thess. 5:9-10.
Abigail successfully entreated David to not take revenge, even though Nabal had rudely refused David’s reasonable request. It was good for Abigail that David took advice from this woman. He accepted it with the attitude that only divine wisdom can give. James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is easy to be intreated.” David even acknowledged that God had sent her. Abigail had brought provisions to David and his men to sustain them. Shortly thereafter Nabal died. Later we read that David sent and communed with Abigail and she became his wife. We, like Abigail, have heard of Jesus and believed the true report. We know that He is destined to reign. We also know of His rejection and ill-treatment. We are drawn to Him by love’s strong cord and gladly bow to Him, He has also sent and communed with us. Praise God we have the joyous privilege of being bound with Him in the bundle of life.
Abigail’s name has been given to mean “Father of joy; source or cause of joy.” As in the Hebrew things seem to be worded backward, may we not read it “joy of the Father?” When we think of Jesus being the Father’s delight even before the foundation of the world, we realize what gives the Father the greatest joy. As we let Him be our source of joy, we become a cause of joy to the Father. How wonderfully blessed we are when we find in him, who is the resurrection and the life, our joy of life and living. He, who for the “joy set before him endured the cross” – Heb. 12:2. Since He has risen again for our justification, we joy in God through Him – Rom. 5:11. We are blessed to realize “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” out of faith in and love for Jesus – I Pet. 1:8. The apostle Paul spoke of some of the Lord’s precious jewels as “his joy and crown of rejoicing” – I Thess. 2:19-20; Phil. 4:1.
The bundle of life considered in New Testament terms answer for us questions about life. What is you life? With this question I think of life’s substance. James suggests that our earthly existence is as “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” – James 4:14. Paul preaching at Athens, “Jesus and the resurrection,” spoke of God that made the world, giving “to all life, and breath, and all things.” He also said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being,” but we, by faith, find Jesus Christ to be our source of real life – Gal. 2:20. He is the one that gives to our lives a better and an enduring substance. There is the saying that “life is what you make it,” but for us the best life is what we let Him make it.
Where is your life? Here I think of life’s security. Jesus said, “because I live, ye shall live also.” What promise can give us a greater sense of security than to know that Our “life is hid with Christ in God.”
Who is your life? I think here of life’s sustenance. Rejoicing with joy we read in Col. 3, that “when Christ who is our life, shall appear,” we shall appear with Him in glory, but what keeps us going spiritually in the meantime? Is it not His living in us? Oh, yes, He is indeed the bread of life, and we have the privilege and need to feed on Him daily – Jn. 6:35. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins … Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ …” – Eph. 2:1,5. What a mighty work God has wrought, in providing that all who trust in Him be brought into this bundle of life. What a marvelous change God has made and we enjoy by faith in Him. We who were spiritually dead, are now alive forevermore. Verses two and three of Ephesians two describe the condition and conduct of those spiritually dead. How could a dead man earn any favour from God? We could not contact, communicate, or claim any relationship in acceptance with God. We were like Nabal; our foolish heart was darkened. What a change! We may now walk in newness of LIFE. In God’s purpose, Jesus is to be our object of living – II Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:7-9. He is, when we find life’s satisfaction and security in Him – Heb. 13:5-6.
SUBMISSION of life: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” – Phill. 1:20-21. We seem to have expressed here, the life of one completely submitted, totally committed hence entirely consumed of the Lord. What higher standard for victorious living could there be? He who said, “follow me as I follow Christ,” wrote, “For me to live is Christ.” This is descriptive of the life of a real winner. This can only be said of one who truly lets Christ do the living.
SUMMIT OF LIFE: The highest attainments and greatest achievements of life are everlasting. He has purposed to bring those bound with Him in the bundle of life to an everlasting throne. “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” – Rom. 5:17. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” – James 1:12. “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” – Rev. 2:10. Glory to God, Hallelujah!