A devotional for men, featuring the New Living Translation
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Tuesday January 17th, 2017
Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “…You deserve to die, but I will not kill you now.”
1 Kings 2:26, NLT
God often goes well beyond second chances. Most of us can think of examples of this truth in our lives. Second chances come so often we may take them for granted. We may not even value them. It’s always dangerous to assume we will get another chance.

Abiathar’s name puts him near the top of the alphabetical list of Bible people, but his reputation comes to us mixed. His actions were an important footnote in God’s dealings with his people. His character, however, revealed disappointing flaws.

God mercifully allowed Abiathar to avoid certain death twice during his lifetime. The first time, he escaped with nothing but the ephod on his back. An ephod was a special garment identifying him as a priest—not the ideal outfit to wear when running for your life! A vengeful King Saul had all the other priests and their families in the city of Nob killed for helping David, but David welcomed Abiathar into his protection.

David trusted Abiathar for many years. But instead of a lifetime of gratefulness to God and loyalty to David, Abiathar eventually conspired against David and Solomon, God’s choice for the next king. But he was again shown tremendous mercy and lost only his priestly position as punishment for his disloyalty.

There are many times in our lives when we are given second chances and experience great mercy. Perhaps you have been given another chance in a damaged relationship or an important opportunity you thought you’d blown. Some people would call it good luck. We know it to be a gift from the merciful hand of God. Like Abiathar, we may be tempted to neglect our gratefulness to God and to others for their graciousness. Make it a point this week to remember the many “second chances” you have recently received and express your thanks.

Thank God for the many ways you experience his mercy.
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