Abigail

When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 1 Samuel 25:23-24

She fell on her face, at his feet and bowed to the ground. She decided that she was guilty and needed his grace. But let’s be honest. David was the guilty one. True, Nabal had not be nice, but he owed David nothing. He never asked for his help (1 Samuel 25: 1-22). Abigail had all the rights to be angry. David was being unrighteous. He was ready to kill innocents out of anger. She could have accused him, challenged him, rebuked him, but she chose to be meek, to become the lowliest. she forgot about her social statute. She forgot about everything. She chose to remember that David was God’s chosen king. Because of the hand of God on him, she humbled herself before him (1 Samuel 25:23-24).

When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 1 Samuel 25:40-41

It was not a game. She was not talking just to calm David down. She really did not have a high opinion of herself . She  knew the true meaning of “count others more significant than yourselves”. (Ephesians 2:3) She is a heroine, a woman who understood the heart of God (1 Peter 3:4). Oh, how I want to be like her.

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Whatever you want

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” Mark 10:35-36

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45

When James and John asked the Lord to do for them whatever they wanted, He did not say: “How dare you?” He was wiling to do whatever they asked for. And when they told Him what they wanted, He did not get upset. He did not even tell them that they were arrogant.  He did not question their motivations. The Lord has nothing against spiritual ambition. He has nothing against our requests. We can ask again and again and He will be willing to bless us. He is the one who said:  “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7 ).

However, as with John and James, He will tell us the cost of what we ask for, the cup we ought to drink before being granting the desire of our heart. Whatever you are asking the Lord at this moment, it comes with a cost: the cost of being a slave. To be a slave is not easy. A slave has no right, no dream. His only purpose is to obey his master. A slave has no dignity. He is willingly humble or he is humiliated. A slave owns nothing, but he owes his master everything.

Are you praying to get married: are you ready to be your spouse’s slave? Are you praying for that promotion, that new house: are you ready to be your boss, your neighbours’ slave? Being a slave is not easy. It demands a lot of humility: more than we are willing to have. But humility will always be the key to get everything from God, even  the most important: Himself (Isaiah 57:15). So let’s fight for it.

Mary’s Magnificent God (by John Piper)

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:46–55)

Mary sees clearly a most remarkable thing about God: He is about to change the course of all human history; the most important three decades in all of time are about to begin.

And where is God? Occupying himself with two obscure, humble women — one old and barren (Elizabeth), one young and virginal (Mary). And Mary is so moved by this vision of God, the lover of the lowly, that she breaks out in song — a song that has come to be known as “the Magnificat” (Luke 1:46–55).

Mary and Elizabeth are wonderful heroines in Luke’s account. He loves the faith of these women. The thing that impresses him most, it appears, and the thing he wants to impress on Theophilus, his noble reader, is the lowliness and cheerful humility of Elizabeth and Mary.

Elizabeth says (Luke 1:43), “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord would come to me?” And Mary says (Luke 1:48), “He has looked on the humble estate of his servant.”

The only people whose soul can truly magnify the Lord are people like Elizabeth and Mary — people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God