"Snippets" from David
David and his followers were hiding from King Saul in the wilderness area in the region of the Maon. In the town of Carmel (the place King Saul erected a monument to his victory over the Amalekitesó1 Samuel 15:12) was a wealthy man. One way Nabal obtained his wealth was by having large flocks (3000 sheep and 1000 goats) and some shepherds in that wilderness area. Evidently, this wealthy man was an extremely selfish with little consideration for others. Evidently he found the worth of his life in his money.
Though Nabal seemed unaware of it, it was in Nabalís interest to have David hiding in the same wilderness area Nabal pastured his sheep and goats. Davidís followers gave Nabalís shepherds protection from lawless people who might take advantage of them. Though Davidís men provided Nabalís shepherds protection, never once did Davidís men take anything from the flocks. That is quite a statement of character! Hiding in a wilderness area did not make having food supplies convenient!
The time to sheer the sheep came. This was pay-off time! The investment was in keeping the flocks alive and well. The money came at sheering time when the wool could be sold. Typically, it was a time of hard work, joy, celebration, and gift giving. It was a time to enjoy oneís new prosperity!
David sent ten young men to peaceably greet Nabal and receive a modest gift. Nabal responded by insulting David. In our words, Nabal said, ďWho is David? Why should I give a gift to a servant who has run away from his master? What I have to give is for the people sheering my sheep, not for David! I do not owe David any consideration!Ē
When the ten men returned and told David Nabalís response, David became very angry. He told four hundred of his warriors to prepare for battle. As David considered Nabalís response, he grew in anger. His intention was immediately to kill Nabal and every man who worked for him.
One of the servants heard Nabal insult David to Davidís men. He knew consequences would come quickly. He told Nabalís wife, Abigail, what happened. She was informed about Davidís kindness to the shepherds. She, too, knew how Nabalís response would offend David. Thanks to her wisdom and prompt action a major catastrophe was averted.
When Abigail successfully intercepted David and cooled his anger, David instantly knew her wisdom. He thanked God for sending her. He knew he would have acted in a way he had never acted beforeóhe would kill to avenge himself rather than to avenge God.
Anger can be such a powerful evil force within us. It can control us by motivating us to act hastily without thinking about what we are doing. It can cause us to do things we have never done before. It does all of that by making us extremely self-centered and by justifying our selfishness.
April 2, 2007
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