1Samuel 24-25

Thursday Evening Bible Study

May 3, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

Saul was anointed to be the first king, but through Saul’s continued disobedience to God’s commands, God has told Saul that he will no longer king.

Samuel has anointed the next king, a young man named David. In God’s eyes, David is the king, but in the nation’s eyes, Saul is still king.

As God used David to bring victory over the Philistines, Saul began to grow insanely jealous, to the point of trying to have David killed.

Play Map to En Gedi

David is now a man on the run.  He’s been hiding out in the deserts of Judah, and last we saw, he had headed over to the oasis at En Gedi.

24:1-22 David Spares Saul

:1 Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.”

:1 En Gedi – “spring of the young goat”

En Gedi is located on the coast of the Dead Sea.  The area all around the Dead Sea is nothing but desert.  There is a spring that flows into a narrow canyon at En Gedi.

PlayEin Gedi small” clip

You can see why David would hide out here.  It’s a beautiful place in the middle of a desert.  It is also filled with all sorts of caves and hiding places.

:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats.

David is outnumbered five-to-one.  He has six hundred, Saul has three thousand.  Which group has the advantage?

:3 So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. ( David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.)

:3 to attend to his needs

Old King James reads “to cover his feet”.  This is a nice way to say that he is going to the bathroom.

:3 the cave

The canyon that you can hike through at En Gedi does have what used to be a huge cave at the end. The roof collapsed and now there’s no cave, just a waterfall called the “David Waterfall”. 

Play En Gedi 2011 clip.

There are also lots of other caves all up in the hills.

:4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

:4 This is the day


Be careful about advice

Last week we talked about how important it is to listen to advice.
(Pr 12:15 NKJV) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.
David’s men are now giving him some more advice.
Apparently there had been some sort of prophetic word concerning David’s enemies.
David’s men encourage him to take advantage of the situation and kill Saul.
Even though David’s men have David’s best interests in mind, they aren’t always the ones giving David good advice.  It seems that more often than not, David receives bad advice from his men.
Even well-meaning people can be telling you the wrong thing.  Even well-meaning people who seem to be basing their advice on God’s Word.
In the end, you are the one accountable to listen to advice, weigh it, and make your choice.
Going to a pastor, counselor, or friend for advice doesn’t get you off the hook to make a good decision.

:5 Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe.

It seems that David starts off intending to do something to Saul.  When he finds Saul’s robe, he cuts a piece of it off, but that’s as far as he goes.

David has a sensitive conscience.  Even though he is following some pretty sensible advice, his heart is sensitive enough to notice that he’s doing the wrong thing.

:6 And he said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.”

:6 the Lord’s anointed

David sees Saul as “the LORD’S anointed”, God’s chosen king.

Yet ironically, you could make a point for David being the Lord’s anointed.  After all, he has been “anointed” by Samuel, just like Saul.


Touch not the Lord’s anointed

I have to admit this concept has been used and abused much, particularly in the more charismatic ministries, where leaders and pastors are considered to be “anointed”.
This phrase is usually used when somebody in ministry is being questioned about their practices or is being accused of something.
But for David, this meant not killing Saul.
David will confront Saul.  Saul will be convicted about his actions.  But David won’t kill him.

:7 So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.

:8 David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down.

:8 David stooped … and bowed down

Even after Saul has been trying to kill David, David still treats Saul with nothing but the greatest respect.


Respecting Leaders

I have seen both in the church as well as out in the business world where a subordinate gets this idea that they’re just like “David”.  They feel that somehow they are the “anointed” one, the “real” leader that everyone should be following.
Instead of acting with respect toward their “Saul”, they do everything they can to cut Saul up into pieces.
When I was an assistant pastor at Calvary Anaheim, there were times when I didn’t like a decision that Pastor Mark made.
The temptation is to think that you are smarter than your boss.
When you have your own little group of friends around you cheering you on, it makes it even worse.
One of the darkest times I’ve faced was trying to decide whether or not to go along with a group that wanted to leave and split the church.

I’m glad that in that one incident, I made the right choice and decided to say “no” to my friends and stand with my boss.

If God has indeed called you to be a leader, then God will promote you without you having to stick a knife in someone’s back.
Be a person of integrity.

:9 And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’?

:9 the words of men

Apparently David has heard reports that some of Saul’s men have been making things worse for David by lying to Saul.

Some have suggested that David wrote Psalm 7 because of this, and that “Cush the Benjamite” (Saul’s tribe) was one of the chief men lying to Saul about David.
(Ps 7 NKJV) — A Meditation Concerning the Words of Cush, a Benjamite. 1 O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me,
(Ps 7:14 NKJV) Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. 15 He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made.

:10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’

:11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it.

:12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.

:12 my hand shall not be against you

David has never done anything to hurt Saul, yet Saul has continually tried to hurt David.  And now David has returned Saul’s continual attacks with kindness.


Paying back evil with good

David is giving us a good example of what Paul taught about:
(Ro 12:17–21 NKJV) —17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
David is not giving Saul what Saul has been giving David.
David is letting God take care of handling Saul.

:13 As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you.

:13 Wickedness proceeds from the wicked

Jesus said it this way regarding how you can tell a good prophet from a bad one.

(Mt 7:17 NKJV) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

What is David saying?

David is saying that he, David, must not be wicked because he is not doing anything wicked.

Yet indirectly, he’s also saying that Saul must be wicked because Saul is doing wicked things.


Confront with the truth

David is putting the truth right in front of Saul.
(Eph 4:14–15 NKJV) —14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

We all have a chance to grow up a little when we are learning to speak and listen to the truth.

Just because you speak the truth doesn’t magically make everything better.  The other person has to be open to listening to the truth, but at least you’ve done your part.

I’m not saying that the conflict with David and Saul is just a small understanding, but too often little misunderstandings become big problems because we simply don’t talk about what’s going on and discuss the truth.

Too often we listen to the wrong ideas and make wrong assumptions, and that gets us into trouble.

:14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?

David is saying that he’s about as harmful to Saul as a dead dog or a flea.

:15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”

:16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.

:16 Saul lifted up his voice and wept

Saul seems to be convicted about the things that David has been saying.

David has temporarily overcome evil with good.

I think this is a sample of what Paul (and Solomon) meant by “heaping burning coals on their head”.

:17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.

:18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.

:19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.

:20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

It seems that Saul has known that David would one day be king, but he had been fighting against the truth.

:21 Therefore swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house.”

It was a common thing when a person became king to kill all the descendants of the previous king to keep there from being any competition for the throne.

:22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

:22 David and his men went up to the stronghold

Play En Gedi to Masada clip.  It might be that David went to Masada.

strongholdmatsuwd – fastness, stronghold (Masada)


Watching for repentance

Saul has been sorry before … before trying to kill David again.
David doesn’t take this apology from Saul and go back to work as Saul’s guitar player.
He leaves.
Sometimes we get confused with apologies, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration.
We are taught that the Christian response to an apology is to forgive the other person.

And that’s correct.

We no longer need to hold a grudge, or should seek revenge on them.

Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that we go back to the way things were.

The person who apologizes may mean well and intend to change, but until they do change and show that they are actually making right choices, I think there’s a place to put some distance between you and them.

Saul goes one way, David goes another.

Paul gave us a good standard to measure the sincerity of a person’s repentance:
(2 Co 7:11 NLT) Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.

When you are being abused by another person, sometimes it is not the right thing to just “turn the other cheek”.  There’s nothing wrong with making choices for yours or your family’s safety and watch for true repentance.

It’s a good thing that David separates from Saul.  This won’t be the last time that Saul pursues David.  He will try to kill David one more time (1Sam. 26).



Over and over we have seen David delivered from the hand of Saul.  But it’s often different each time.  So far, we’ve seen –
Deliverance through a peacemaker – Jonathan talked to his dad, and for awhile, there was peace between Saul and David (1Sam. 19:1-7).
Deliverance through running – this seems to be a major factor in David’s life – When Saul sent messengers to David’s house, Michal helped David run away (1Sam. 19:11-17).  Over and over again, when God brings about a chance to escape, David runs.
Deliverance through God’s power – when David hid with Samuel at Naioth, God’s Spirit supernaturally overwhelmed each of the messengers until they all were prophesying (1Sam. 19:18-24).
Deliverance through God’s guidance – David enquired of the Lord and God warned David to flee from Keilah so he wouldn’t be betrayed (1Sam. 23:7-13)
Deliverance through encouragement – Jonathan encouraged David in the Lord – he kept David going (1Sam. 23:16-18)
Deliverance through the exit – God caused Saul to get sidetracked long enough for David to make his escape (1Sam. 23:26-29)
Deliverance through kindness – instead of killing Saul, David showed kindness, and Saul temporarily allowed David to go (1Sam. 24).
Deliverance through confrontation – David didn’t just show kindness to Saul, he confronted him about the truth (1Sam. 24).

25:1 Samuel Dies

: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.

:1 lamented for him

This morning we were reading this Psalm of David.  It made me wonder if it might have been written when Samuel died.

(Ps 12:1–2 ESV)1 Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone; for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man. 2 Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

:1 the Wilderness of Paran – “the place of caverns”

An area far to the south.

25:2-44 David, Nabal, and Abigail

:2 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.

:2 Maon … Carmel

Play Masada to Carmel map clip

David was in Maon in last week’s study (1Sam. 23:24-25) when he was running from Saul.

Carmel is an area near Maon.  Don’t confuse this with Carmel in the north on the coast.  Or with the one in northern California.

:2 three thousand sheep …

He is a wealthy man.

: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.

:3 NabalNabal (naw-bawl) – “fool”

Do you remember Gayle talking about the significance of a person’s name?  Sometimes a name is a pretty good indication of a person’s character.  This is one of the best instances where that is true.

:3 Abigail‘Abiygayil – “my father is joy” or “the joy of her father”.

:3 of the house of Caleb

Nabal was a descendant of the great hero, Caleb, of the tribe of Judah.

Being a descendant from Caleb might have given him a sense of privilege, but I’m sure Caleb wouldn’t have been proud to have this man as a descendant of his.


Don’t be a fool

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about “fools”, the English word is found 78 times!
There are several words for “fool” in the Hebrew. The type of “fool” that Nabal is NOT is “stupid”, the guy with a lot of air between the ears. He probably was not blonde.

foolish[email protected] – simplicity, naivete; it comes from pathah, meaning “to be spacious”, probably as in lots of air in the head and no brains. It is often translated “simple” or “naïve”.

fooleviyl (from a word meaning “to be perverse”) – be foolish, foolish; of one who despises wisdom; of one who mocks when guilty; of one who is quarrelsome; of one who is licentious

fool[email protected] – fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one. Strong’s says, fat, stupid or silly.

The Blonde and the Lawyer
A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun. He explains, “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vise versa. Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now agitated, says, “Okay, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500.00.” This catches the blonde’s attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game. The lawyer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” The blonde doesn’t say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer. Okay says the lawyer, your turn. She asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?” The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references, no answer. He logs into the airplanes WiFi and searches the net and the library of congress, no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers, to no avail. After an hour, he wakes the blonde, and hands her $500.00. The blonde says, “Thank you,” and turns back to get some more sleep. The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, “Well, what’s the answer? “Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep. And you thought blondes were dumb.
fool nabal – foolish; senseless.  There are several ideas behind this word.
Insensitive – this is a person who doesn’t care about other people.

Peter told men how they are to treat their wives:

(1 Pe 3:7 NLT) In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

Men are to study their wives.  Get to know everything about them.  Treat them as fragile, expensive, fine china.

Unreasonable – a person you can’t talk to without being insulted or offended.

A “fool” has harsh, lying words. Solomon wrote,

(Pr 17:7 NKJV) Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince.


David writes about the “fool”,

(Ps 14:1 NKJV) The fool has said in his heart,“There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

There is nothing so insensitive or foolish as the person who refuses to acknowledge God.

You’re going to see all these ideas in Nabal.

:4 When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep,

Cutting and selling the wool your sheep had grown during the winter was what made a shepherd his income.

Sheep shearing usually took place around June or July.  A feast usually was held at that time, a time of celebration (Gen. 38:12).

: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.

Remember that David had been in Maon earlier (1Sam. 23:24-25).

While David had been in the area, he had taken it upon himself to protect Nabal’s shepherds while they were in the fields.

: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.’ ”

This is not an unreasonable thing for David to request in that he had been a help to Nabal. David doesn’t ask for anything specific, just whatever Nabal would care to give. David asks with humility and respect, calling himself “your son”.

: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.

Nabal accuses David of being a rebellious servant, having rebelled against Saul.

: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?”

Nabal is insinuating that David and his men were “bastards”

Nabal doesn’t seem to have minded that David’s men had protected his shepherds and flocks, but he doesn’t want to lift a finger to help David in return.

: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.

It seems to me that David has simply hit his limit. He’s been abused and accused. And he’s not going to take it anymore, least of all from this “fool”.

I have actual footage of David’s response.  It’s strange how much he looks like “Twisted Sister”. PlayWe’re not going to take it” clip. 

David splits up his men. Four hundred will go with him to confront Nabal, two hundred stay back at camp.

When Saul first began to reign over Israel, there were only two swords among all the Israelites: Saul’s and Jonathan’s. Now with David’s band of men, every man has a sword.

: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.

It seems to me that some of Nabal’s servants realize what a fool he is as well, and that Abigail was the one with the wisdom in the family.

: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.

There could have been attacks from the Philistines, who had just plundered the city of Keilah. There could also have been attacks from Ishmaelites or from wild animals.

: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.”

:17 harm is determined against our master

They know that David isn’t going to take Nabal’s response very well.  No one would.

:17 scoundrel – literally, “son of Belial”, “son of Satan”

I find it interesting that Abigail doesn’t seem to be offended at this young man calling her husband a “son of Belial”.

: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.

This is a nice gift to bring, but certainly not huge or anything that Nabal couldn’t afford. The guy had 3,000 sheep. Certainly he could afford to give David and his men five sheep.

: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.

:19 she did not tell her husband Nabal

Abigail sends the servants ahead of her with the gift for David.

This is similar to what Jacob did when he met his brother Esau. He sent a gift ahead of him so that when he met Esau, Esau would be in a good mood and not kill him.

She wants David to be in a good mood before she meets him and tries to apologize for her husband.


Teaching your husband a lesson

The Bible does give women a preferred way to teach their husbands a lesson.
(1 Pe 3:1–6 NKJV) —1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
Gals, the preferable way to teach your husband is through your submission.  It’s not by insulting him or taking control of the household.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t share your ideas or opinions.  Sarah is held up as an example, and she told Abraham what to do all the time.  But at some point you need to let your husband learn to make good decisions, and that means letting him fail every once in a while.  If you never let him make any decisions, how’s he ever going to grow to be the man God wants him to be?


A time to intervene

Even though the “norm” is for a wife to submit, there will be times like with Abigail and Nabal, where a wife is doing the right thing by stepping up and protecting the family.
But it’s the exception, not the standard.  If a gal is always “stepping in” to take over, the man will never learn.
Caution: Be careful about doing things behind another person’s back, especially your spouse.
Usually, if you are doing things behind their back, you’re the one in trouble.

: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.

: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.”

:22 if I leave one male

Before David meets Abigail, he has made these statements to his men.

David has done good to Nabal, and Nabal has returned the favor with insulting David.


Out of control

Play “Wellman’s Baseball Outburst”
Don’t try and justify David’s anger.
He’s gone too far with his anger.
James writes,
(Jas 1:19–20 NKJV) —19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
David has a right to be angry, after all he has been insulted. But wiping out every living thing is hardly the appropriate response.

: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.

:24 on me let this iniquity be


Bearing the cost.

Abigail wants to pay for the sin of Nabal.  She wants David to consider her to be the sinner and let her pay for the crime.
Paul did this with a runaway slave named Onesimus.  He wrote to Onesimus’ master, Philemon and said,
(Phm 18 NKJV) But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account.
Ultimately, this is what Jesus did for us.  Just as Abigail is going to make peace with David by paying for Nabal’s sins, Jesus made peace with God for us by paying for our sins.  This is why He died on the cross.  We can come to have a relationship with God not by our own efforts, but when we come to trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
(Ro 5:10 NKJV) —10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

: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.

She doesn’t see David as a disobedient servant of Saul, but someone who fights the God’s battles.

: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.

:29 bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord

The Jews have taken this phrase to be referring to eternal life. The Jewish paraphrase, the Targum, translates this as, “the soul of my lord shall be treasured up in the treasury of eternal life, before the Lord thy God

Ryrie: The figure is taken from the custom of binding valuables in a bundle to protect them from injury. God cares for His own as a man does his treasure.

: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.”

She knows that David will one day become king.

She is trying to keep David from ruining his reputation. If David wipes out Nabal, he will gain the same type of reputation that Saul has, someone who is quick to anger.

:32 Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!

:33 And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.

:34 For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!”

:33 kept me … from avenging myself

Abigail had been used by God to keep David from making a huge mistake.


Keep learning

David has been learning to let God take care of revenge.
In the last chapter, David passed a huge test.
David didn’t kill Saul when he had the chance.
He let God take care of his enemy.
Now David has another “enemy” of a sort – Nabal.
What is David going to do with Nabal?
Sometimes we recognize that we’re “taking a test”, and it’s a little easier to make the right choice (like David in the cave).
Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve got the same lesson to learn, but it looks a little different (like with Nabal)

:35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person.”

:36 Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light.

:37 So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone.

It sounds like he either had a heart attack or a stroke.

Some have suggested that when he finds out how much Abigail gave to David, that this caused the reaction. I think that perhaps the realization that David almost wiped him out caused the shock.

:38 Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

:39 So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.” And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife.

:39 For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal

David again has learned that God can take care of “revenge”

:39 proposed to Abigail

Here’s another warning from the story of Abigail.


Don’t be dreaming of David

You might feel as if you’re married to “Nabal”, a “fool”, an insensitive person.
And then a “David” comes along, a nice, caring, loving person. And you start thinking of how Abigail ended up with David.
Don’t go there.
Abigail doesn’t do the things she does hoping that Nabal will keel over and she’ll end up with David. Her actions are done to save her family.
Don’t give up on your home. Don’t give up on your marriage.

:40 When the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her saying, “David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.”

:41 Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, “Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”

:42 So Abigail rose in haste and rode on a donkey, attended by five of her maidens; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.

:43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives.

:43 David also took Ahinoam

Ahinoam seems to have been married to David before Abigail. She would be the wife that would give birth to David’s first son, Amnon.

Ahinoam is from the northern part of Israel (Jezreel)

David is practicing polygamy.

Polygamy is against God’s original design for marriage, which involved one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24). Though God seems to tolerate the people in the Old Testament practicing polygamy, it seems to have always caused nothing but trouble (1Sam. 1:6-7).
It could be that David is following the example of the King before him, Saul. Saul had more than one wife. Yet this wasn’t God’s originally design for kings either:
(Dt 17:17 NKJV) Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

David’s son, Solomon, would also have more than one wife. He’d break the world record. And his many wives did turn his heart away from God.

:44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

:44 Michal

This was David’s first wife, the daughter of Saul. She was the one who rescued him by having him escape out of the window while she made excuses to her father’s messengers (1Sam. 19). Now we see that Saul has given her to another man.

Perhaps Saul is trying to change people from thinking that David is his “son-in-law”.