Home > Scripture Reflections > Past triumphs don’t guarantee future victories

Past triumphs don’t guarantee future victories


In a sermon on 1 Samuel 25 about David, Abigail and Nabal, Alan Redpath provides the following warning:

This story tells me that however long I may have been on the Christian path, however often I may have overcome one temptation or another, however many times I have defeated sin in one area, it can strike in another and crush me in a moment. I may have overcome great temptation by the grace of God; I may have stood my ground against the fierce onslaught of the enemy in one way or another and yet be tripped up by the smallest pin prick that gets under my skin.

The victories which I win–by the grace of God and through the power of the blood of Jesus–cannot impart strength to me for the future. No spiritual triumph in my life can give me power to resist the devil the next time he comes. There is nothing so sinful but that I may fall to it at any time, unless moment by moment I am being kept in His love. To show restraint in dealing with one person who has been unkind, highhanded, hateful, is no guarantee that an unguarded moment may not come when I will say, “I am going to wreak my vengeance on this person,” especially if it is someone to whom I think I am superior.

How tragic it is that years after years of Christian experience, men and women, saved by God’s grace, redeemed by Jesus’ blood, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, fall into a silly little trap like that and ruin their testimony!

I think what Abigail said that captured David’s heart is found in 1Sam 25:29 “Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the LORD your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.” (NIV)

David did the right thing in 1 Samuel 25 but at the end of his life, David told Solomon in 1 Kings 2–it’s pay back time now that my son is in charge. A sad ending.

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