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Romans 15:5-6 – Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nabal is really not a nice man.He is fool and arrogant.He treats David and his request as so beneath him.David, on the other hand, who was so magnanimous toward Saul in the previous chapter, decides that this fool and all males of his household need to die.That's where we stopped last week.
I.Somebody Had Common Sense, 14-17.
A.One of Nabal's servants somehow knows that David is coming, and that if something dramatic is not done quickly, there will be trouble for all.
1.He also knows that Nabal is a fool, with whom he cannot reason.
2.So the servant does not speak to Nabal, but quickly explains the situation to Abigail.
B.It seems this servant has a great regard for Abigail and her judgment, which is the reason he seeks her out.
C.He does not suggest to Abigail what she should do, but simply tells her the facts and urges her to act with the wisdom she is known to have.
II.Dear Abby Saves Nabal and David, 18-31.
A.Acting quickly, Abigail gathers up generous portions of food, which she sends on ahead by her servants, 18-22.
1.Having sent the food gift on ahead, Abigail works her way down the mountain, out of sight to David and his men.
2.David also comes down from higher ground, only he is still grumbling about Nabal's insults and rehearsing what he will do when he gets his hands on this ungrateful fool.
B.Suddenly the paths of Abigail and David intersect, and Abigail promptly dismounts, falling on her face before David (just as David did before Saul in the last chapter), 23.
C.In addition to offering herself as a scapegoat for David's wrath, Abigail petitions David to listen to the words she wants to speak to him, 24-31.
1.In this regard, David is very different from Nabal, who does not listen to anyone, 17.
2.To his credit and his gain, David does listen.
a.She pleads with him not to take her husband Nabal seriously, 25-28.
b.She also shows David that it would be sinful for him to kill Nabal, and thus protects David.
1)She begins by pointing out that the Lord has restrained David from shedding blood and from avenging himself by his own hand, 26 – She is certain that if David leaves vengeance to God, God will deal appropriately with Nabal, as with all others who seek evil against David.
2)David is Israel's next king and how tragic it would be for David to have a dark cloud over that kingdom, a cloud brought about by his own impetuous acts of seeking vengeance and shedding innocent blood, 30-31.
c.Abigail assures David that God will bring about all the good He has spoken concerning him.
d.If God's plans are for good, why is David so intent on doing evil?
1)David is a man after God's own heart, so he will eventually regret the very things he is now so intent on doing.
2)David will grieve and have a troubled heart over what he is now setting out to do.
3)Why not end it all here and now by giving up this reckless anger?
e.Abigail is simply urging David to act according to his own standards, his own principles, as he expressed them in chpt. 24.
1)Abigail encourages David to deal with Nabal in the same way he dealt with Saul.
2)Leave vengeance to God, and do not shed innocent blood.
III.Repentance Praises Wisdom, 32-35.
A.Abigail's words ring true to David.
1.What she says squares with all that God has taught David.
2.He knows she is right, and he now admits it by praising her before all of his men.
3.David recognizes that Abigail is literally a Godsend, and that by means of her words and deeds, God has kept him from wrong doing by taking vengeance against Nabal, and thus shedding innocent blood.
B.Had she not acted quickly, as she did, David would have carried out his plan.
1.She has saved David from folly and guilt, and at the same time spared the life of her husband and every male in her household.
2.Granting her request, David accepts the gift from Abigail and sends her home in peace.
IV.Nabal in the Hands of God, 36-38.
A.Completely oblivious to the stupidity of his actions, and how close he has come to death, Nabal is feasting like a king in his house when Abigail returns.
B.Because he is drunk, Abigail wisely says nothing to her husband about the day's events at this time.
C.As morning breaks, Nabal awakens with a clearer head, and so Abigail informs him of all that happened the previous day.
1.The color drains from Nabal's face as he begins to comprehend the magnitude of his folly.
2.Our text tells us that "his heart died within him, and he became like a stone."
a.This may mean that he had a heart attack.
b.Whatever it was, ten days later the Lord strikes Nabal dead.
3.How much better that this fool died at God's hand than at the hand of David.
V.Blessing and Marriage, 39-44.
A.When David hears that Nabal is dead, he responds with wonder and gratitude.
1.He praises God for pleading his cause and removing the reproach of Nabal.
2.He declares that God has indeed kept him from evil.
3.He sees how much better it is to have left vengeance with God.
a.The Lord removed Nabal, not David.
b.That is the way it is supposed to be, and it is all due to the wisdom of a woman, Abigail.
B.David marries Abigail, which is not condoned nor condemned, just is.
VI.Being Dead They Yet Speak.
A.Each one of the characters in this story can teach us something worthwhile.
B.Ladies first, so we will start with Abigail
1.Abigail is an illustration of God's provision for man's salvation.
a.In wisdom and humility, Abigail steps forward, taking the guilt of all the condemned upon herself, offering herself in their place, 24.
1)Is this not a picture, a prototype of our Lord Jesus Christ?
2)Due to Adam's sin and our own, we have all been condemned to death.
b.The Lord Jesus Christ (who was completely innocent and without fault) stepped forward, taking our sin and guilt upon himself.
1)He offered himself in our place on the cross.
2)He bore the penalty for our sins.
3)And through faith in him, we can enter into eternal life.
4)And, in him, we become Christ's bride.
5)Because of that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
c.Abigail helps us see the sweet love of the Lord Jesus who stood condemned in our place, who willing bore the guilt of our sin, and consequently, the full wait of God's wrath, so that we can be infinitely loved by our heavenly Father.
2.In addition, Abigail illustrates the essence of all true submission.
a.You might ask, "How can a woman who refuses to consult with her husband, who acts contrary to his will and his word, and who calls him a fool, possibly be considered a submissive wife?"
1)She certainly acts independently of her husband.
2)What he refuses to do is exactly what Abigail does.
3)And yet, in heart she is truly submissive.
a)To think that submission is mere blind obedience, or giving in to the will and the wishes of a higher authority falls short of the essence of true submission.
b)True submission is the active pursuit of the best interests of another, by the subordination of our own personal interests.
c)True submission is defined in Philippians 2:3-8.
Phil. 2:3-8 – Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
b.Abigail does not act in a way that seems to promote her own interests.
1)She would be far better off to act like the perfect wife by doing exactly what Nabal wants.
2)Had she simply stayed at home, serving Nabal another drink, she would be "liberated" by David.
3)Her worthless husband would be put to death, and she would be free from his tyranny.
4)Abigail is truly submissive in that she seeks to save her husband (and all the other males in her household).
c.I want to be very careful in what I am saying, and in what you think I am saying.
1)Most of the time, submission is evidenced by our obedience to the one in higher authority.
2)Most of the time, our submission is evidenced as we seek to bring honor to the one to whom we are subject.
3)But there are times when submission will look like something else.
4)There are times when we must act contrary to the wishes of the one to whom we are in submission.
5)This can only be in matters where God's Word is clearly contradictory to the will and wishes of our superior.
6)This can only be when we act in a way that is costly to us, but is truly beneficial to the other.
1.David is willing to minister to Nabal, but only if he feels it is worth it.
2.When he realizes that Nabal has no intention of showing his gratitude, David is ready to seek revenge.
3.David, like all of us, is guilty of failure in the area of "connectivity."
a.David could see the "connection" between his faith, God's promises, and his actions toward Saul in that cave (chapter 24).
b.But somehow the same principles that guided David in chapter 24 are completely overlooked in chapter 25.
c.It took the wise words of Abigail to remind David of the "connection" of these truths to Nabal's insults and folly.
4.David is a reminder to us of the marvelous grace God bestows upon us, especially (in this chapter) by his divine interventions that keep us from folly.
a.We know that we are saved by God's grace alone, apart from any works on our part.
b.We know further that the good things which are evident in our lives are the result of God's grace.
c.It is the grace of God that keeps us from sin and our own folly.
d.If left to himself, David would have really made a mess of things when he attacked Nabal and his household.
e.I wonder how many stupid things we would do if God did not block our path.
f.Thank God for His interventions!
D.Finally, there is Nabal.
1.Nabal represents much of what is worst in men.
2.Nabal is arrogant and self-sufficient.
3.He does not recognize that his prosperity comes from God.
4.He judges men by external standards, such as their ancestry and popularity.
5.He does not care for wisdom and will not listen to those who could spare him much trouble, and even save his life.
6.He does not appreciate his wife and the wisdom God has given to her.
7.He thinks his wealth is the measure of a man, and thus he feels he needs no one beyond himself.
8.He is the man who is completely oblivious to the destruction that lies ahead.
9.Nabal is man at his worst, desperately in need of grace, but completely confident that he can make it on his own.
Nabal was a fool and Nabal was any man, any person, without Christ.