Don’t Let Anger Get The Best Of You !
1 Samuel 25: 1-44
Ch.25 is a pivotal ch. In David’s life / Reads like a 6 Act Play
Act I – The Removal of a Godly Influence death of Samuel v.1 /
Act II - The Response of a Graceless man v.2-13
Act III The Response of A man who’s Pride is wounded V.12-13 /21-22
Act IV The Intervention of a Gracious woman v.14-31
Act V –The response of a Humbled man / v. 32-35 Act VI – The Judgment of a Righteous God v. 36-38
Act I - The Removal of a Godly Influence v.1
Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.
A) So This great man, who was dedicated unto the Lord and served Him from his youngest days, now dies.
B) This would have been a major Blow to David – might be part of the reason for his poor behavior in this Chapter
1) Samuel had been David’s mentor & his confidant.
2) David was accountable to Samuel – received Counsel & Direction from Samuel
C) The Prophets death would mean that this stabilizing influence in David’s life was now REMOVED
1) Plus – Samuel & Jonathan were the only ones who Knew that it was Absolutely God’s will that David be the next king – Now one was gone
D) So this had to be a very discouraging time & sort of sets the stage for what transpires in the next scene v. 2-11
Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats.
And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.3 The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail.
And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.
4 When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep,5 David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.
6 And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: 'Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have!
7 Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel.
8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.'"
9 So when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited.
10 Then Nabal answered David's servants, and said,” Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master.
11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?"
Act II The Response of a Graceless man
A)Here we are introduced to A man named Nabal, He lived (Maon, had his business in Carmel),& he was a very rich man / 3000 Sheep/1000 goats
B)The Hebrew word RICH = Heavy means this guy was LOADED!!!!
C) There are four kinds of riches. 1) There are riches in what you have, MATERIAL
2) there are riches in what you do, [love your occupation]
3) there are riches in what you know, [ Sharp intelligent – wealth of Knowledge
4) and there are riches in what you are – riches of character.
D) Nabal was a very rich man, but only rich in what he had, which is the lowest kind of riches.
Seneca - A great fortune can result in great slavery. ( Slave to my stuff)
That was Nabal - his name means fool – the scriptures define the fool as a man who acts like there is no God – that was Nabal
He lived for himself – He horded his riches
A) Further more told in v.3 He was harsh = stubborn & Belligerent &
B) He was evil in His dealings = he was dishonest
1) So the Picture that we get of Nabal is one of a man who was greedy, demanding, deceptive, ruthless & unfair man
C) Lesson: Riches don’t make for happiness
In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, Seven of the most powerful money-magnates in the world gathered for a meeting. A)These eight, if they combined their resources and their assets, controlled more money than the U.S. Treasury.
B) In that group were such men as Charles Schwab. He was the president of a steel company.
1) Richard Whitney was the president of the New York Stock Exchange, and Arthur Cutton was a wheat speculator.
2) Albert Fall was a presidential cabinet member, personally a very wealthy man.
3) Jesse Livermore was one of the greatest Investors on Wall Street in his generation.
4)Leon Fraser was the president of the International Bank of Settlements. Ivan Krueger headed the largest monopoly in the US
C) Quite an impressive group of people! – but consider the same group later in life.
1) Charles Schwab died penniless.
2) Richard Whitney spent the rest of his life serving a sentence in Sing Sing Prison.
3) Arthur Cutton, that great wheat speculator, became bankrupt.
4) Albert Fall was pardoned from a federal prison so he might die at home.
5) Leon Fraser, the president of that big international bank? He committed suicide.
6) Jesse Livermore? Ivan Krueger?
Both committed suicide.
D) Seven of those eight great big money magnates had lives that were disasters before they left planet Earth.
E)What mistake did they make? Thinking that what they had and what they controlled belonged to them.
Nabal made the same MISTAKE
The Problem begins in v. 4 when he was shearing his sheep in Carmel:
A)This was the "harvest time" for a sheep rancher.
1) Now By ancient traditions, sheep shearing time was a time of lavish hospitality towards others
B)"Sheep-shearing was traditionally celebrated by feasting, with enough and to spare." Especially to those who guarded & Protected your flocks
1) See it was a common practice in those times for soldiers who were out on Patrol or stationed in a certain region to Protect shepherds & flocks
C) Philistine Invaders or Bedouins were a threat in the area – so it was the common Practice of Soldiers or Commandos to Protect them
1) That is what David had his men had been doing for the Shepherds who watched over Nabal’s flocks
D) Now at shearing time it was also – the Practice to Repay those soldiers
1) It wasn’t required but it was sort of expected kind of like tipping a waiter at a Restaurant
So David sends his men to Nabal seeking Compensation – But Nabal responds in a very rude & arrogant way – Who is David
A)Now everyone in Israel Knew who David was – Great Battles – his fame had spread through out the land
B) So Nabal is just being a jerk – I don’t care about David – who does he think he is anyway
1) Nabal furthers the insult by suggesting that David was just like any other rebellious servant who runs off from his master !!!
C) Another thing that most of the people in Israel knew was not true about David !!!!!
Leads to Act III the Man who’s Pride was Wounded v.12,13 Read
12 So David's young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words.13 Then David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword." So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies.
David reacts to Nabal’s insulting response by saying I will show him who I am – He doesn’t have a clue who he is dealing w/!
A) Male Macho thing Eastwood w/ his beady eyes –Go ahead make my Day
Rocky to Mr. – Want a piece of me Bring it On
B) David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword."
1) In our modern way of speaking, David would have said to his men, "Lock and load!" / Mount up boys
David was ready to fight. V.21,22 See David’s intent
.21 Now David had said, "Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good.22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light."
A)Way over reaction – 400 men – like using a SHOTGUN to kill a COCKROACH
B)David was intent on Massacre – His eyes are beaming Red – Blood red – WHY?
1) David’s pride was wounded here !!!!
2) Pride always responds in the flesh
C) David who responded so well to Saul’s threats and shenanigans –
1) Gets totally in the flesh here – because his pride was wounded.
Now before we are too hard on David – Have you ever done something for some one –
A) They didn’t say thank you ? Didn’t respond
B) “See if I do that for them again” ! Pride
1) Why did you do it in the first place to bless them or to get a pat on the back
The pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch, one does want to scratch; but it is much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch.
As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval; but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither but have everything else (God, and those around us instead. C. S. Lewis
The smallest package I ever saw was a man wrapped up wholly in himself. -- Billy Graham,
C) David is becoming very small here – because of his wounded pride.
Act IV The Intervention of a Gracious Woman 14-31
A)We are first introduced to Abigail in v.3 where we are told she was . . a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance:
B). The Bible gives Abigail great praise when it says she was of beautiful appearance,
1) because the only other women who have this Hebrew phrase applied to them are Rachel (Genesis 29:7) and Esther (Esther 2:7).
C) SO Nabal’s wife was both beautiful and wise, in contrast to Nabal himself
Q.How did a woman like this ever get matched up w/ a man like Nabal?
A) We can understand it in that day of arranged marriages.
B) Her father probably gave her to Nabal in order to benefit from Nabal's riches /
1)Many women were sacrificed for that reason !!!!
C) But there are many Abigail’s today, who are in that place not because the marriage was arranged, but because they chose it.
1) "It is remarkable how many Abigails get married to Nabals.
D) Great sisters who get hooked up w/ a loser for all the wrong reasons – He is rich
1) Christian guys don’t pay attention / they are weird
E) Instead of waiting for God’s choice they start hanging out with the first Nabal who shows them attention -
F) She starts thinking – he is really nice – maybe I can convert him
1) Never works – get married crying in my office – I married a NABAL –
Never have had someone actually say that – like that
But when they describe hubby – that is what I see
Well In this next ACT ;We see how Abigail, this great Lady intercedes between David and Nabal
14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them.
15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields.
16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him."
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
19 And she said to her servants,” Go on before me; see, I am coming after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them.
So When Abigail hears how her husband responded to David’s request after months of benefiting from David’s Kindness she INTERVENES
A) Abigail made haste & prepares a present for David & his men.
B) Since she was a woman of good understanding she knew that time was of the essence, and something had to be done quickly.
C) She puts together quite a spread 200 loaves of bread . . . two skins of wine five sheep already dressed / 100 clusters of raisins:
1) The fact that Abigail was able to gather so much food so quickly shows how wealthy Nabal was.
D) If this much food was on hand, it makes Nabal’s ungenerous reply to David all the worse.
Pick it up in
23 Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground.
24 So she fell at his feet and said: "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.
25 Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.
26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, since the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal.
27 And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.
28 Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.
29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.
30 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel,31 that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant."
Abigail gives us some good insight into how to defuse a Volatile situation
A)She made haste it was an urgent situation / she acted in timely fashion
B) It is great to pray & wait upon the Lord so as to handle a situation properly / but sometimes there is no time for that
1) You just have to step out trusting that God is leading – This was one of those times
v.23 She humbles herself by Bowing before David – It is hard to be mad at someone who approaches you in a humble fashion
D) v.24 She takes responsibility for her husbands actions Abigail didn’t do this because she really believed she was guilty.
1)She put herself in the place of punishment because she knew that David would punish her differently than her husband Nabal.
v. 27 Abigail brought David a present but was wise enough to say that it was for the young men who follow David, not for David himself.
A)To say that it was for David himself would suggest that David was in this just for the compensation or the money, and that David’s insulted dignity could be bought off with money.
B) v.28 Abigail plainly, straightforwardly, asked for forgiveness (Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant).
C) v.28 Despite David’s present anger and agitation – which is clearly sin – Abigail speaks of David’s character in high terms, calls David lord
1) my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days).
D)v.29 Abigail reminded David of His DESTINY).
1)She guides David to look beyond the immediate aggravating circumstances to the Lord’s promise for his life
the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house
E) The Role of the HS in our lives
Abigail asks David not to do something he will later regret, when God’s promise is ultimately fulfilled
that this will be no grief to you . . . that you have shed blood without cause).
A)This is perhaps the single best thing that Abigail said;
B)she wisely asked David to consider the outcome of his present course,
1) And how it would be a bad outcome.
She asks him to let the Lord settle the matter, instead of taking vengeance into his own hands.
A)v.29 She reminds David of God’s care over Him / The life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God;
B) This perhaps is the strongest point of Abigail’s appeal, and she uses a wonderful turn of speech. She says, "David, you are like a bundle that the Lord holds closely and securely to Himself. Your enemies are like rocks that the Lord will sling away."
C) This invites David to act like a man who is close to the Lord!
D)"In effect she said, ‘David, your soul is wrapped up in a bundle of life in the Lord your God, and the strength of that bundle lies in the identity of God
1) with all that goes on inside it. He is there with you
Abigail’s appeal to David was so glorious, because it lifted him up instead of beating him down.
A)David was clearly in the wrong, and Abigail wanted to guide him into the right.
B) But she didn’t do it by being negative, by emphasizing to David how wrong and angry and stupid he was acting
C) Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life,
1) and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.
The Result ACT V The Response of a humbled man 32 –35
A)David thanks God for Abigail’s appeal, and receives her advice.
B) He knew that God spoke to him through Abigail’s appeal (who sent you this day).
1) God’s grace –when Samuel is gone & Jonathan is not available / God sends an Abigail to steer David right
C) God is so good at sending messengers if we would but listen to them
1) David shows that he was a godly man because he listened to this Woman’s Godly counsel
David knew the blessing here of being kept from sin.
A)It surely is a blessed to be forgiven our sins; but it is an even greater blessing to be kept from sin.
We would need to seek forgiveness of our sins less often if we would seek the Lord more diligently to be kept from sin to begin with. "There is no way of keeping out the fire of sin except by having the fire of grace blazing within the spirit. We must fight fire with fire." (Spurgeon)
B) David is being taught a good lesson – our hurt feelings never justify
1) When others sin against us, we may feel justified in sinning against them,
but we are never justified by our hurt feelings.
C) Two wrongs don’t EVER make a Right
Act VI THE JUDGEMENT OF A RIGHTEOUS GOD 36-38) God strikes Nabal dead.
A) Nabal lives up to his name; he is a fool. His life is in imminent danger – his wife knows it, all his servants know it, but he doesn’t know it.
B) He eats and gets drunk as if all is fine, and he hasn’t a care in the world.
C) Nabal is a picture of the sinner who goes on rejecting God, without regard to God’s coming judgment.
1) Just as certain as it was that David would have killed Nabal, so it is certain that God will judge the sinner who continues to reject Him.
D)God gives us Chances & wake up calls where we have the opportunity to respond or harden our hearts further v.37 Nabal’s heart becomes like stone
Jesus may have had Nabal in mind when He taught the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21).
A)That parable describes a man who had everything – eat drink & be merry Lord says You fool tonight your soul is required … rich toward
B) If your riches are yours, why don't you take them with you to the other world? Benjamin Franklin
I counted my dollars while God counted crosses;
I counted gains while he counted losses;
I counted my worth by the things gained in a store,
But He sized me up by the scars that I bore.
I coveted honors and sought for degrees;
He wept as He counted the hours on my knees.
I never knew till one day by a grave
How vain are the things that we spend life to save.
I did not know till a friend went above
That richest is he who is rich in God's love.
Money will buy a bed but not sleep; books but not brains; food but not appetite; finery but not beauty; a house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusements but not happiness; religion but not salvation--a passport to everywhere but heaven.
Chapter ends w/ David Marrying Abigail
"By his marriage with Abigail, it is probable he became possessed of all Nabal’s property in Carmel and Maon."