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“And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand” (I Samuel 25:33).

Abigail was the wife of Nabal, the churl who selfishly slighted David and his men. She prevented David from punishing Nabal and it is instructive to note David’s blessing upon her, in particular the phrase, “avenging myself with mine own hand.” David was, however, avenged, for “it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died” (I Samuel 25:38).

Paul teaches us to “avenge not (our)selves, but rather (to) give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). God reserves and retains the right to avenge.

Nabal’s shepherds had been guarded by David’s men, but when the time came to be recognized as protector, David and his men were rebuffed by Nabal and sent away. In capsule, this is a picture of Christ, our Deliverer and Protector being rejected, and then God, in righteousness, judging the rejector. It is Christ who was “once offered to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28), who “by His own blood . . . entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (v.12). He then is the “righteous judge” (II Timothy 4:8), and those who reject Him will, as represented at evil Babylon, be given “the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” (Revelation 16:19). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” but “he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:16,36). In His sovereignty, God has reserved all rights to vengeance on those who reject the salvation that He, in His own great love, reserved the right to purchase. CJH

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