The last chapter of 1 Samuel records startling accounts of David’s life. The sweet psalmist of Israel is not so sweet as he threatens to wipe Nabal off the earth and pillages neighboring towns under a shadow of deceit. Sometimes God works in our lives by bringing reality check moments. These are moments when we should press pause on our life and seriously seek out the answer to the question, “What am I doing?” These moments are divine stop signs. As in life, blowing a stop sign may be OK a couple of times, but eventually, you’ll be T-boned.
David blows through the stop sign of reason. Abigail stands between David and the “Last of the Nabalites.” Whatever pause David took from this moment was lost as he reacts in desperation. David loses all hope in God. The praises he sang at Nabal’s comeuppance, fly from his mind. David believes he will die at Saul’s hand.
David blows through the stop sign of the ridiculous as he becomes a vigilante and deceiver. He soothes his cause by giving of his spoil to neighboring Israelite towns. It would be at this moment you would think, “I had better stop while I can.” Not David. He finds himself marching into battle against Israel, allied with the Lord’s enemies!
Then at the stop sign of reality, David is not T-boned, but he has a brush with devastation. Everything he and his men valued in this life is razed to the ground or absconded. Someone served David a little of his own medicine. It was only by God’s mercy they did not slaughter their families. Finally, David takes the reality check and encouraged himself in the Lord. In this repenting, restoring, and refreshing moment, David came back to God.
For over a year, David was estranged from God. How sweet the reunion was when he returned to God, but how desperate the circumstances. Will you decide today to encourage yourself in the Lord? If you have wandered far away from Him, will you wait any longer or will you press pause and face the reality check from God?
In my ministry experience, I have found God’s intervention steadily grows in intensity the more we ignore His divine stop signs.
“For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, Neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; But the fitches are beaten out with a staff, And the cummin with a rod” (Isaiah 27:28).
God is never excessive, but the harder cases earn a more determined chastening. Remain tender and pliable in the hands of God. It is in such a case that the mere whisper of the Spirit will produce God’s work in your life.