I Samuel 25:5-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
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?”
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.
What about anger? Let's defeat it lest it defeat us.
--We get upset. Need self-control, wisdom and calm.
--We need the Lord, to win over anger, and sin.
--We learn how, in God's Word here. May God use it.
In I Samuel 25 God shows us, a picture of three people.
--Of David, godly, is mistreated; stirred to anger.
--Of Nabal, rich and selfish, foolish; causes anger.
--Of Abigail, Nabal's wife. Wise and a peace-maker.
First let's review the background of David.
--Born in Bethlehem. A shepherd. Defeated Goliath.
--To defend and save Israel, even as a youth. Godly.
--He was peaceable, prayerful, kind, even-tempered.
--King Saul's son, Jonathan, was David's best friend.
--He had married Saul's daughter. Saul now at odds.
--The king was jealous of David, sought to kill him.
--So David flees. Several times saves Saul's life!
David has faults, as we all; but a man of God.
--The writer of many inspiring, precious Psalms.
--He is now on the run from Saul, with 600 men.
--They needed food, so he sent 10 men to Nabal's.
--They had been protecting Nabal's men, and herds.
--Nabal had benefited. He had plenty, could share.
They came in "Peace to you .. your house .. to all that you have" (I Samuel 25:6). They state their mission.
--They mention David's help to them. Asks theirs now.
--"Please give whatever comes to your hand" (v 8).
--Nabal had plenty - throwing a party for his men.
--David's men received nothing! Left empty handed.
The way was an insult. It angered David greatly.
--Out of 3000 sheep, Nabal wouldn't miss five, and he would have made 600 friends - and spared tempers.
--His furious anger was out of character for David!
Let's meet Nabal; his name means foolish, and he is.
--A man of great wealth. Great sin and selfishness.
--He was mean. Needed the Lord, to save and change.
--He was like some people, who just live for self.
--Nabal was unkind, uncaring, unthoughtful, unwise.
--He was also a drunkard (I Samual 25:38).
--You can imagine what a personality Nabal had.
--He sent David's men away - empty! "Get going!"
Disappointed, the men returned; reported to David.
--Actually, it was an insult! And David was angry!
--As he had never been before! It was uncontrolled!
--He said, "Every man gird on his sword, and David also girded on his sword" (v 13). To get this Nabal!
--Do you see the danger, in David's anger? Anyone's?
--"About four hundred men went with David."
--To get rid of Nabal, his family, and all his men!
--These, with flocks, David had been protecting free.
God help us when our anger gets going, uncontrolled.
--Out of hand, anger leads to rage, like road-rage.
--One doesn't care about anyone, or anything else.
--The one concern - revenge! Theirs, not the Lord's.
--Anger robs us of calm logic. Prayerful thinking!
Have you ever seen people like Nabal? Causes anger.
--Who is hard to live with. Seldom in worship.
--Self-indulgent. They are always right. The boss.
--They never take any blame. Always blame others.
--Nabal was that kind of person. He has kinfolks!
--I've seen some around, who we have tried to win!
Like Nabal, some can cause an undue amount of anger.
--And, like David, cause others to get angry back.
--So that in some homes, among spouses and kids, the tempers often flare into fussy, bitter, feuding.
--For those times, and those folks, here's a model.
Let me introduce you to Abigail, Nabal's lovely wife.
--What do we know about this wonderful woman?
--All that we know is good. Commendable. Art ideal.
--She was a woman of wisdoms and good understanding.
--Humble. Peaceable. Winsome. And beautiful.
--She was very caring. Godly. An ideal wife.
--Just the kind of girl any good man should have.
Somehow one of Nabal's men heard of David's plans.
--He hastened, not to Nabal, but to Abigail.
--The man told Abigail, "You better do something now or we are a goner," to put it in modern terms.
--"Harm is determined against our master and against his household. For he is a scoundrel" (v 17).
--We see what Nabal's servants think of him.
--"He's such a scoundrel one cannot speak to him."
--And the servant complimented David, and his men.
Let's not miss God's hand in all of this.
--Let's follow Abigail. We see, "Abigail made haste."
--Read about all the foodstuffs she got ready!
--David's six hundred men won't be hungry for long.
--She puts the food on the donkeys. Starts out.
--Where is she going? To David, before he gets them.
David, with his men, were making their way to Carmel.
--All along, enmity and useless anger burning inside.
--This is not natural for David. He needs the Lord!
Look how the Lord is working. Abigail meets David.
--The groups meet on the trail. She on a donkey...
--When she saw it was David and his men, "she dismounted quickly ..fell on her face before David, bowed down to the ground" (v 23).
--She has great respect for. David. What a diplomat!
--We could use folks like this in our capitals or in Washington, or the United Nations, couldn't we?
--This dear lady knows how to win, over anger!
Her speech is so elegant; is worthy of our studying.
--It commences, I Samuel 25:24, goes to verse 31.
--Let us note some of its valuable highlights.
1. She though innocent accepts all blame.
2. Gives the Lord praise', asks David to listen.
3. Asks David not to take judgment; let God do it.
4. Appreciates what David has done for Israel, her.
5. That, under God, David is destined to be king.
6. For David not to have on his conscience, murder.
7. She gives God glory, asks David to remember her.
Isn't that a fine example of being a peace-maker?
Up to this time, David's life had been exemplary.
--Through Abigail, God kept David, from grave sins.
God says, ".. live peaceably with all men" (Rom 12:18).
--Yet among most of us there arise small differences.
--Let's overlook them. Forget them. Show our love.
--Make for peace. Joy. Cheer, and encouragement.
--Anger should have no harbor in believer's hearts!
I have ministered to folks, mad at people, even God; and prayerfully, seeking to reconcile them to Him.
That's what Abigail was doing, going to meet David!
--She's a combination of faith, wisdom, compassion.
--She shows David truths that make for lasting peace.
--David tells Abigail, "Blessed be God, who sent you."
--"And blessed is your advice .. blessed are you."
--"You have kept me this day from bloodshed."
--Her gentle spirit, calmed David's bitter spirit.
--That will save marriages! Friendships! Jobs!
My friend, each of us chooses, if anger wins out; or, if by God's grace, we win out over anger! Let's win.
Listen to David, "I have heeded your voice. Go up in peace to your house" (I Samuel 25:34f).
--"The Lord God has kept me from hurting you."
--"Blessed is the Lord God of Israel who sent you."
Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Matt. 5:9).
--He said, "Be reconciled to your brother, then come, and offer your gift" (Matt. 5:24).
God says, "Cease from anger, forsake wrath" (Ps 37:8).
--"A soft answer turns away wrath" (Prov 15:1).
--"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty". (Proverbs 16:32). Let no temper cause any regrets.
--Life is too short. Peace too important to lose!
Anger is back of many heartaches, divisions, or wars.
--"Do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Eph. 4).
--Jesus said, "children of God are peacemakers."
--Be God's "child." Be "born again." Trust Jesus.
--Follow Him as Savior and Lord. You will win!
--Win His love, eternally! And, win over sin.
--No better way!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 920