They are the words of Christ, spoken 1,000 years before Christ. The cry of the Son of Man expressed by a woman of God.
They’ve popped from the page before. They do so again this morning.
“On me alone, my lord, be the guilt.”
(1Samuel 25:24a ESV)
Or, the fresh twist this morning, the CSB’s rendering, “The guilt is mine . . . “
Still, too often, I am Nabal, “harsh and badly behaved” (25:3b). And I’m David — not David as in the foreshadow of Christ David, but David as in the hungry, cranky, impulsive let-me-take-matters-into-my-own-hands, bull in a china shop David. How I need an Abigail, literally “the father’s joy”, to intervene and intercede on my behalf.
Hovering over three words this morning and thankful for a Savior who spoke similar words on a cross 2,000 years ago for this sinner saved by grace.
Here are my thoughts from four years ago . . . .
Did I just see Jesus? Was He foreshadowed in a no-name, non-descript woman whose name pointed to her father’s joy? A lady who rises up seemingly out of nowhere to redeem an entire household? A gal identified with a worthless man and yet willing to step up to save his skin? A woman of great wisdom? A woman of great compassion? A woman of great resource? A woman who not only saves a house, but also keeps a would be king from bloodguilt? Did I just see Jesus?
Hmmm . . . I’m thinkin’ . . .
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.”
(1Samuel 25:23-24a ESV)
On me alone be the guilt. Those are the words that grabbed my mind’s eye this morning to behold Jesus.
Abigail, whose name means “my father is joy,” would have brought her father great joy if he could have seen her willingness to fall on her sword for the sake of her husband, Nabal, the fool. She was ready to bear the guilt for her worthless husband (the Scripture’s assessment, not mine) and for his entire household who, by association, were also under the curse of his guilt because of his greed-driven, bone-headed arrogance.
She sought to atone for their guilt at great cost–” two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs.” She would give of her best for the sake of the worst, in order to redeem from egocentric rebellion.
“On me alone,” she says, “be the guilt.” She who was without guilt was willing to take on the guilt of another.
And He who knew no sin, was made sin for us (2Cor. 5:21). The One in whom even the Roman governor could find no guilt, became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13). Though Jesus was rich, yet for our sake He became poor (2Cor. 8:9). Though the Christ was without blemish, He offered Himself as the spotless Lamb of God, giving His life in exchange for ours as the once-for-all atoning sacrifice (Jn. 1:29, 1Jn. 4:10).
But not only a bearer of guilt. Beyond being an offerer of sacrifice. Also an intercessor on behalf of others.
“And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant.” ~ Abigail
(1Samuel 5:27-28a ESV)
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” ~ Jesus
(Luke 23:34 ESV)
Oh, if Nabal could have seen his wife stand before David’s wrath-filled army of judgment. If he could have seen her willingness to bear his guilt. If he could have looked upon the abundant provision she brought as a sin offering. If he could have heard her words, “Please forgive the trespass of your servant.”
Then, might he have said, “How amazing is this lady!”
Oh, that we would consider again our Savior during those hours of darkness upon the cross when He bore the righteous wrath of the Father for our sin–hear afresh His cry, “My God, my God why have You forsaken Me?” That we would know again the guilt He bore for us. Be reminded afresh of the cost of His great sacrifice in order to redeem our lives. And hear once more His cry on our behalf, “Father, forgive them!”
Then would we declare again, “How awesome is our Savior!!!”
Yeah, I think I just saw Jesus.
In all His grace. To Him be all the glory.