When I read of the life of David as he fled from jealous King Saul I think of the hurt he must’ve been feeling. He’d served his king well only to be treated like dirt. Then to top it all off he meets Nabal who also “dissed” him incredibly. By now David was probably thinking “enough is enough already !” Ever feel this way? I’m sure we all have. So what does God do? He sends Abigail to the rescue. God used her to help David to be restrained and spiritual despite the abundance of fools raining down upon his life. The lesson here in 1 Sam.25 is don’t allow the fool to make one out of you !
David had been a blessing to Nabal in protecting his flocks despite the adversity David had at the hand of Saul. But Nabal refuses to give David the time of day when he needs help: “Who is David?. . . shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers and give it unto men whom I know not whence they be?” (vss.10&11). But Nabal did know David and had profited from his military protection.
So in vs.13 David’s reaction is understandable as he said to his men, “Gird ye every man his sword !” We want revenge, we want justice. We don’t have a sword (sometimes we’d love one) so we settle for subtler weaponry. We become cynical towards such sinful actions in humans who don’t appreciate us and we overreact as David was planning to do here. We allow emotions to run amok rather than stand on the Word. Maybe we just decide to not do our best anymore or we withhold compassion but no matter how you slice it, its a “sword” !
As David approaches this Nabal, aptly named for the fool he was and much deserving of judgment, God starts to intervene. In vs.14 We get a glimpse of God immediately beginning the wheels of justice, albeit unknown to David as yet, “But one of the young men (one of Nabal’s servants) told Abigail, Nabal’s wife saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master, and he railed on them.” This tells me when one of God’s children is hurt by someone, God never takes it lightly ! He’s swift and sure in His reaction though we don’t often see it. We must believe that and wait on His timing.
To boil down the rest, Abigail meets David prior to his eeking out revenge and he recognizes God is sending a message to him, namely as Paul would write in Romans 12, ” Vengeance is Mine, I will repay saith the Lord” ! What brought David from a place of retaliation to restraint in such a situation? The same things that we need: (1) He saw the hand of God at work through His servant (2) He heeded what that servant of God told him ! And when he did, God not only prevented him from a foolish overreaction but He also gave David what he needed in his situation both spiritually & physically. He got the needed food for his men and rest to his soul !! By the way, Nabal was dealt with: “And it came to pass about ten days after that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” (vs.38). When we seek our brand of revenge isnt that sending a message to God that you dont believe He is just and His timing not impeccable? A better message to send Him, is I know You are working on it, help me to do my part too.
Is there a Nabal in your life? If not now, odds are there will be. Remember the Word will keep him from making a fool out of you. Those Nabal’s may weary you in the short run but God’s Word will support you in the end !