Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday- The Peacegiver, Part I

To start my gospel study I began reading The Peacegiver by James L. Ferrell. This book has been recommended many times to Robert and I, we bought the book awhile ago and I just haven't gotten around to reading it.

This book is written as a modern day parable that is easy to read while bringing to light some great doctrinal insights. Part I deals with the story of Rick who is having marital struggles stemming from an unhappy and abrasive wife. His Grandfather comes to him in a dream and relates the story of David and Abigail found in 1 Samuel 25. The thing I found so compelling the Grandfathers explanation of Abigail's action as a "type of Christ".

First he brings to light the fact that war began when David's heart sought to do wrong. Even though he had yet to raise his sword against Nabal, his corrupt heart had caused troubles already. This really brought home the fact that "if our hearts fail to love, neither the law nor the prophets, nor anything else-including outward 'righteousness'-can save us." The most important things are to have our hearts right with our Heavenly Father.

The second insight that really hit home was that of the atonement. "The story of Abigail suggests that the atonement is as much for the benefit of the sinned against-the victim of sin- as for the sinner. But her story goes beyond even that. It suggest also that one of the effects of sin is to invite those who have been sinned against-David, in this case- to become sinful themselves, and that the atonement provides the escape from such provocation to sin." The book goes on to say "The idea that the Lord offers to those who have been harmed of potentially harmed by the sins of other the help and sustenance they need to be made whole. Those deprived of love can receive his love. . . With their burdens lifted in this way, the sinned-against are saved from the provocation to sin and are therefore redeemed from their own sins. " So often we think of the atonement as benefiting the sinner. However I know I have found peace through the atonement when I have been the one sinned against. If we bring our sorrow to our Heavenly Father, he will make us whole and bring peace to our hearts. What a wonderful gift that we have been given.


Lorie said...

I just read that book a few months ago. Like you, it had been suggested many times and I finally got around to reading it. I love seeing stories from the bible in a new way.