1 Sam 25:1-44 Greed / Grace & God


Ch.25 is a pivotal chapter In David’s life / Reads like a  6 Act Play

A)Act I – v.1 The Removal of a Godly Influence death of Samuel /

    Act II - v.2-13 The Response of a Graceless man


B) Act III V.12,13-21,22 The Response of A man who’s Pride is wounded

     Act IV v.14-31 – The Intervention of a Gracious woman

1)   Act V – v. 32-35 The response of a Humbled man /

     Act VI – v. 36-38 the Judgment of a Righteous God


Act I - The Removal of a Godly Influence v.1

A) 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. 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 –Read


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. There are riches in what you have, there are riches in what you do, there are riches in what you know,

1)   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.


Jesus said: Matthew 19:23-26 that material riches can be a definite obstacle to the kingdom of God

A)It is not impossible for a rich man to be godly, but being rich makes walking with God harder. So easy to trust in himself & his riches


Seneca - A great fortune can result in great slavery. ( Slave to my stuff)


B) If a rich man is to be a godly man, one of the key things there must be in the heart of that rich man is generosity.

1)   This was definitely lacking in the life of Nabal


C) And when Generosity is lacking Selfishness, greediness, foolishness & hardheartedness are the result –SCROOGE

1)   Selfish / Greedy – Cantankerous old man & NABAL had a similar Disposition


D) His name means fool – the scriptures define the fool as a man who acts like there is no God – that was Nabal

1)   He lived for himself – He horded his riches


E) Further more told in v.3 He was harsh = stubborn & Belligerent &

      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


F) Lesson: Riches don’t guarantee Happiness/ Howard Hughes – Weird paranoid – said before his death I am the most miserable man alive


In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, eight 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. Richard Whitney spent the rest of his life serving a sentence in Sing Sing Prison.


D)Arthur Cutton, that great wheat speculator, became bankrupt. Albert Fall was pardoned from a federal prison so he might die at home.

1) Leon Fraser, the president of that big international bank? He committed suicide. Jesse Livermore? Committed suicide. Ivan Krueger? Suicide.


E) Seven of those eight great big money magnates had lives that were disasters before they left planet Earth.

1)     What mistake did they make? Thinking that what they had and what they controlled belonged to them.


F) 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)   Because it was like "harvest time," 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 the Next scene the Man who’s Pride was Wounded Act III v.12,13 Read


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.T – Want a piece of me  Bring it On


B) David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword."In our modern way of speaking, David would have said to his men, "Lock and load!"

1) In a western movie, he would have said, "Mount up, boys!" David was ready to fight.  V.21,22 See David’s intent


C) Way over reaction – 400 men – David was intent on Massacre – His eyes are beaming Red – Blood red – WHY?

1) David’s pride was wounded here !!!! Pride always responds in the flesh


Now what is interesting to me is that W/ Saul David was so patient but w/ this fellow Nabal – flies off the handle – Why?

A)Samuel’s Death / Respect for Saul’s Position which Nabal didn’t hold – I don’t Know for sure but there is a lesson in this


B) This reminds us of our constant need to be on guard. The flesh is always wanting to REAR ITS UGLY HEAD

1)    Romans 6 not Annihilated – but rendered inactive – until we allow it to be activated again


C) Reckon the old man Dead – Present your members as instruments to God


"Does it not show beyond all possible doubt that I cannot stand against the enemy of my soul unless the Lord upholds me moment by moment? This story tells me that however long I may have been on the Christian path, however often I may have overcome one temptation or another, however many times I have defeated sin in one area, it can strike in another and crush me in a moment." (Redpath)




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? We can understand it in that day of arranged marriages.

A)Her father probably gave her to Nabal in order to benefit from Nabal’s riches / Many women were sacrificed for that reason !!!!


B)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.


C) God-fearing women, tender & gentle in their sensibilities, and noble in their ideals, become tied in an indissoluble union w/ a man like this

1)    Often starts when a single sister starts to feel that the men at church are just not her type or they just don’t seem interested


D) But the problem is she is getting the attention she desires from the guys at the office or at the gym or College  or some place

1)   She starts thinking – he is really nice – maybe I can convert him


So she agrees to go out for coffee – She tells him she is a Christian – asks him if he is / he says something like Yea but not a very good one Pray …

A)Or Yes I am – but she can tell he really isn’t – but she starts to think – I can bring him along!!!!


B) What ends up happening is there is a compromise – that takes place & because light doesn’t have any fellowship w/ darkness – she is affected

1)   Or he is on his best behavior until they get married & it isn’t long until the Nabal in him comes out


C) She is stuck – she is discouraged – Single people don’t lower your standard but wait on the Lord

1)    Commend you college guys & gals – always hanging out – Awesome really get a chance to see what people are like


So Abigail is this great Lady who intercedes between David and Nabal

A)When Abigail hears how her husband responded to David’s request after months of benefiting from David’s Kindness she INTERVENES


B)Told in v.18-20) Abigail made haste & prepares a present for David & his men.

  1)Since she was a woman of good understanding she knew that time was of the essence, and something had to be done quickly.


C) He 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.


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


C) 2nd 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


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; she wisely asked David to consider the outcome of his present course,

  1) And  how it would be a bad outcome.

B) Huge thing to do help people see beyond the immediate situation & see the result of their actions in the flesh

   1)Sometimes the Lord allows you to see where you are heading !!!



 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

1)     Instead, Abigail emphasized David’s glorious calling and destiny, and the general integrity of his life,


C) and simply asked him to consider if what his present course of action was consistent with that destiny and integrity.


The Result - 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


"It was a major lesson in David’s training for kingship, and one that he was going to need to keep before him at future crises. The implication is that violence breeds violence, whereas restraint makes way for a peaceful solution. This he knows with his head, but he may fail to remember it when his blood is roused." (Baldwin)



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."