December 3, 2015
1 Samuel 25-Part 3
Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail; and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was... 1Samuel 25:3a
LET IT GLOW
Better go get you a hot cup of coffee, peppermint tea, or hot chocolate. Today's lesson is a long one. Although, David has a short fuse that gets lit. We read about a beautiful lady in our story, so come on, let's get going.
David and his men were in the neighborhood of a man named Nabal. They protected Nabal's sheep and shepherds in the wilderness from wild tribes. It was customary for the owner to show his gratitude for such protection. However, we learned what kind of man this Nabal was-rich, evil, dishonest, unfair, demanding, deceptive, need I continue?
How this kind of man ended up with such a lovely wife as Abigail, I do not know.
How does the Scripture describe her?She was a woman of good understanding and she had a beautiful countenance. Sounds like she was lovely inside and outside, both intelligent and wise, as well as beautiful.
Life Application Study Bible pictures her as:
a sensible and capable woman; a persuasive speaker, able to see beyond herself. Although her culture and her husband placed a low value on her, she made the most of her skills and opportunities. Abigail was an effective counselor to both of the men in her life, working hard to prevent them from making rash moves. By her swift action and skillful negotiation, she kept David from taking vengeance upon Nabal.She saw the big picture and left plenty of room fro God to get involved.
Don't we all desire to be an Abigail in our little world? Do we use our skills to promote peace? Can we look beyond today's situation and see the big picture? Do you face a challenge that needs a person under God's control and insight?
LET IT GROW
Now that we know somewhat about Nabal and Abigail, let's see how they affected David.
David sent 10 of his men with a message for Nabal:
- Peace and prosperity to you and your family, and everything you own.
- I am told it is sheep shearing time.
- While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them.
- Add your own men, and they will tell you this is true.
- So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration?
- Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David?
This man Nabla, whose name means fool, did a foolish thing. He accused David of being a run away from his master.
"Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I've slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where," asked Nabal in his reply.
When David's men returned with this message from Nabal, he immediately strapped on his sword and told his men to do likewise. Then 400 men started off with David to get revenge, while 200 men stayed to guard camp.
In the meantime, (don't you like those?) one of Nabal's servants overheard David's message and Nabal's response, then decided to go to Abigail and relayed the goin' ons. He went so far as to say that Nabal screamed insults at the men. He reinforced those facts that David's men never stole from them and was very good to them. The servant added, "In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep." He knew Mrs. Abigail needed to be aware of the situation so she could figure out what to do. He knew there was trouble ahead for Nabal and his family. It was because Nabal was so ill-tempered that no one could even talk to him.
Perhaps David and his camp full of men were hungry and ladies, we know that hungry men can be a little testy. Maybe they were waiting and sitting around the campfire, talking about leg of lamb, roasting mutton shish kebabs with onions. (Swindoll's idea)
Anger can make people do and say unthinkable things they normally would never do, much less think about doing. Severe anger is a form of insanity. You are insane whenever you are not in control of you behavior. Therefore, when you are angry and out of control, you are temporarily insane. (Someone once said this.)
Anger is a choice that easily becomes a habit. So we need to beware, on our toes, constantly. It is very difficult to not fly off the handle when someone spouts off at you, which I know. Learning to choose our words carefully will keep us from trying to snatch them back into our mouth later.
David is the same man who refuse to retaliate or fight back months earlier when Saul was trying to kill him. Patience must have burned up in the fire as David burned with anger. David didn't think about what he was doing, I don't think anyway. He strapped on that sword and off he went with 400 men. It's like shooting a fly in your house-you may get rid of the pest, but you gain a hole in the wall to repair. Oh, David, stop before you make a huge mistake-murder.
We will discuss the outcome of this saga next time, friend. You may be surprised who God uses and the technique used.
LET IT GO
Spend as much time working on beautifying my inner person as I do my outer person. (That's a tall glass of tea.)
Seek God's wisdom and apply it.
Work on a gentle and quiet spirit.
Lasso that ugly anger so it doesn't get me tied down to ugly ways.