1. David went to the wilderness of Paran. v1
a. A very rich, but mean and cruel, man, Nabal, lived there. His wife, Abigail, was beautiful and intelligent. v2,3
b. Nabal was shearing sheep. David sent ten men with a message. v4-9
c. Greetings and peace; your shepherds were with us for a while and we were good to them. Now we ask for anything you can give us.
d. Nabal meanly said: Forget it!! When David heard that, he was ready to fight (400 armed men). v10-13
e. One of Nabal’s servants told Abigail the whole story. v14-17
f. She took David a gift, said she’d accept the blame, and asked him not to shed innocent blood. v18-31
g. David listened to her and gave up his plan. v32-35
2. v5-8–David made an offer of friendship. He did good. He didn’t deserve the response he got from Nabal.
a. v10,11–Nabal’s response was totally self focused. Who is this guy?
1. I’m superior. It’s not worth my time to verify his story. Why should I share my stuff with him? He insulted (Living) and railed on them. v14
2. Nabal’s name means fool = self confident (or self focused) one. Was of the house of Caleb (v3) so he knew Lev 19:18 (love your neighbor).
3. David’s reaction was also self focused — he can’t do that to me!
b. Not how David talked to himself: v21–David had been saying to himself, “A lot of good it did us to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness so that not one thing was lost or stolen, but he repaid me bad for good. All that I get for my trouble is insults. (Living)
c. David made the decision to retaliate. He insulted me, I’ll kill his people.
d. Then he got God’s “blessing” on his plan (v22)–May God curse me if even one of his men remains alive by tomorrow morning. (Living)
3. Nabal’s treatment of David was awful, sinful.
a. However, the responsibility to walk in love was on David. The fact that Nabal was wrong in his treatment of David did not free David from his obligation to walk in love. Matt 5:39
b. But, David fed his anger with what he told himself and focused on.
c. David could have said: Maybe the man’s having a bad day. Maybe he misunderstood my message. Maybe he doesn’t realize he insulted me. Maybe he is a jerk, but God tells me to treat him as I want to be treated.
4. Notice, Abigail brought wisdom into the situation. Prov 15:1
a. v25–Talked to David the way he should have talked to himself.
b. Told him what kind of man her husband was; she didn’t see messengers.
c. v26–God has stopped you from avenging yourself. He’ll take care of you. d. v27-30–Then she gave him the gift and spoke a blessing on him.
e. She pointed out that putting off the short term benefit of venting anger for long range good. v30,31–When the Lord has done all the good things He promised you and has made you king of Israel, you won’t want the conscience of a murder who took the law into his own hands. (Living)
5. Notice these key points:
a. Uncontrolled anger harms innocent people — David and his men and Nabal’s men (almost).
b. Anger is controllable — David controlled his.
c. God really will take care of things if you obey Him and give up your desire to get revenge. v36-38; Rom 8:28