Dealing with Life’s Nabals 1 Samuel 25

Nabal was not the kindest of men.  Okay, to be fair Nabal was kind of a jerk.  His own servants describe him as being a wicked man that no one can talk to.  He was said to be surly and mean in his dealings.  In fact, the name Nabal means fool in Hebrew –  it seems he was aptly named.  As I said, he was kind of a jerk.

David was a man after God’s own heart.  He treated Nabal with respect and humility.  When given the opportunity he and his men protected Nabal’s herds and flocks and treated him with kindness.  One good turn deserves another, right?  Except that Nabal didn’t return kindness for David’s kindness.  Instead when David sought a favor from him he belittled him and spurned him rudely.

What was David to do?  He had treated this man favorably and yet Nabal returned evil for good.  Have you ever been wronged as David was?  Ever had someone be unaccountably cruel or rude or malicious or nasty to you?  How did you feel?  David felt exceedingly angry.  In fact, he strapped on his sword and took four hundred men to go and kill that old fool Nabal.

Thankfully Nabal’s wife Abigail displayed more wisdom than her foolish husband and David combined.  She interceded with David saying, “Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.”  Wise words and godly ones.

David recognized the great wisdom in what Abigail said and decided to let go of his hurt and his pride and to allow God to avenge himself on his enemies.  Abigail knew that God could fight his own battles and was capable of punishing wicked men without any help from David or anyone else (as God did in the case of Nabal ten days later).  When you and I are wronged by life’s Nabals, let us display the faith and wisdom of Abigail rather than responding with hatred and bitterness.  Then God may say of us as David said of Abigail, “May you be blessed for your good judgment.”