Lessons Learned from Nabal

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

1 Samuel 25:36-38 (NIV)
When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

1 Samuel 25:36-38 (MSG)
When Abigail got home she found Nabal presiding over a huge banquet. He was in high spirits—and very, very drunk. So she didn’t tell him anything of what she’d done until morning. But in the morning, after Nabal had sobered up, she told him the whole story. Right then and there he had a heart attack and fell into a coma. About ten days later God finished him off and he died.
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“Then Abigail came to Nabal, and he was holding a feast in his house [for the shearers], like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s mood was joyous because he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light. But in the morning, when Nabal was sober, and his wife told him these things, his heart died within him and he became [paralyzed and helpless] like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.” -AMPLIFIED

Once again we turn our focus back to Nabal; a very foolish man. Today we will look at the outcome of his rejection to David’s appeal. Suffice it to say that the outcome was not pleasant.

Remember, Abigail took matters into her own hands and went to David in humility to appeal for mercy. Because of her willingness to go and be a mediator David’s anger was calmed. His response to her appeal for mercy was this, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this day. And blessed be your discretion and discernment, and blessed be you, who has kept me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself by my own hand. Nevertheless, as the Lord the God of Israel lives, who has prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, most certainly by the morning light there would not have been left to Nabal so much as one male.” -1 Samuel 25:32-34 (AMP)

David accepted the gifts that Abigail had brought to him. That would have been the: “…two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes.” A feast fit for a king; for that what he was to be. David sends Abigail off home with these words, “Return home in peace. I’ve heard what you’ve said and I’ll do what you’ve asked.” -1 Samuel 25:35 (MSG)

When Abigail arrives home she finds her husband presiding over a banquet fit for a king. (Makes you wonder how long she had been away?)She found Nabal drunk and in very high spirits. This could have very quickly turned to mean drunk; so she chose to not tell him what she had done quite yet. In fact, she waited till morning; when the effects of alcohol would have worn off.

In the morning when Nabal was once again sober Abigail approached him and told her husband what she had done in rectifying his blatant snub to the king-in-waiting. Scripture tells us that when Nabal heard Abigail’s news his heart failed. There have been various diagnoses to what happened to Nabal; heart attack or stroke. Suffice it to say that the consequences of his sin have now bore fruit.

God allowed Nabal’s wrongdoing and sin to come back down on his own head. Nabal did not show compassion or mercy to others; instead he was arrogant, obnoxious, and rude to God’s chosen one.

In the book of Romans the Apostle Paul wrote these words, “Do not retaliate with evil, regardless of the evil brought against you. Try to do what is good and right and honorable as agreed upon by all people. If it is within your power, make peace with all people. Again, my loved ones, do not seek revenge; instead, allow God’s wrath to make sure justice is served. Turn it over to Him. For the Scriptures say, “Revenge is Mine. I will settle all scores.” -Romans 12:17-19 (VOICE)

Moses tells us, In Deuteronomy, that God has given us each a choice. Choose life! “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding closely to Him; for He is your life [your good life, your abundant life, your fulfillment] and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord promised (swore) to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” -Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (AMP)

Nabal could have chosen to good with the wealth that God had blessed him with; instead he was greedy and arrogant. He allowed his sinful nature to have control of his life; instead of letting God have control. Nabal was a heard-hearted man and God allowed his choices and their consequences to bear fruit. Nabal died. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap.” -Galatians 6:7 (AMP)

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” -Proverbs 1:7 NIV

My Prayer:
Lord, may I keep my ways pure and holy before you. You have given each person a choice, Lord, and I choose life. Help me to live my life in such a way that it reflects that choice. Be glorified in me, dear Lord. When I feel that I have been wronged, remind me that you will deal with the problem. It is not my job to pay someone back; divergence is yours, Lord. Help me not to get hung up on judging others. Instead help me to keep my focus on you and what you are doing. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to you, oh Lord.

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