1 Samuel 25
1 Samuel 25:1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
Nabal of Carmel [by Haifa]
This is a classic story of pride and the deceitfulness of riches.
Here we have a very rich man who has been made proud by his wealth and looks down on the poor and weak whom he regards as beneath him; yet Jesus Christ looks on the heart of a person. In numerous places Christ teaches us not to judge by the seeing of the eyes or by the wealth or poverty of a person; but to judge by the spiritual things of faithfulness to the Word of God. We are told not to depend on physical riches which can vanish in a day; but to seek out and lay up spiritual riches that will last for eternity.
This is also about the pride that brings the downfall of a person; a pride that so obvious and self evident in the Ekklesia today, that they will do anything to cleave to their false traditions against the Word of God.
I think that most of us know the story of Nabal and David and that Abigail was a virtuous woman, it is important to see that the story of Abigail was a lesson for us today.
Abigail was the wife of Nabal and we all know that a wife is to be subject to her husband in the Lord. Here we have a foolish man with a virtuous wife, which can be a problem in some marriages. This is an allegory that we are to be faithful to GOD and his Word first, before any human authority.
When Abigail knew that her husband and family were in jeopardy, she went out to save them, contrary to her husband’s wishes.
Brethren, this is an allegory and lesson for US; that we must put the Word of God FIRST, above the words of any man or corporation, no matter what title they call themselves. Abigail did what was right in God’s eyes, by serving God and doing what was right and wise by God’s Word.
Knowing that God had chosen and anointed David to be king she discretely and wisely did the right thing by the Word of God contrary to the wishes of her husband; giving us a lesson that we must also wisely obey God and not men who claim authority over us. Our FIRST obligation is to learn and to live by every Word of God.
We are to obey men in authority only so long as they do not require us to sin against the Word of God!
Will we be steadfast to the whole Word of God to do what is wise and right in God’s eyes like Abigail? Or will we follow the teachings and traditions of men?
25:2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
Nabal was selfish and nasty, but he had a wise and beautiful wife.
25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
David hears that Nabal has his sheep together for shearing and sends ten men to him to request food from him.
25:4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. 25:5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: 25:6 And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
When they requested food from him these men told Nabal of how they had had peace with his shepherds and helped them.
25:7 And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
David’s men present their petition with the greatest respect.
25:8 Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. 25:9 And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
Nabal then ignores the fact that even Saul says that David will be king and prefers to think of David’s band as a band of outcasts and runaway servants. He sees and judges with the sight of his eyes and cannot see the heart and spirit of men to judge them as God judges men.
Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: [Jesus Christ; [Hebrew: Yeshua HaMashiach].
11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Nabal the rich and lordly, then despised David the leader of a band of poor downtrodden men. Nabal the worldly, rejected the poor in spirit that God finds acceptable.
1 Samuel 25:10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. 25:11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? 25:12 So David’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
David then takes 400 men to react against Nabal, because after all David is the anointed king.
25:13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
A servant of Nabal tells has wife Abigail and she rushes to placate the anger of David.
25:14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. 25:15 But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields: 25:16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 25:17 Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot [reason with him] speak to him.
Abigail rushes to make peace with David.
25:18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
Abigail meets David
25:19 And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. 25:20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
25:21 Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good. 25:22 So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall [any man alive].
Abigail petitions David for the lives of her family and servants of Nabal.
25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the
ground, 25:24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal [fool] is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
25:27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
Abigail knows that David is a man of God and anointed to be king, a fact which her husband disdained. She adds a little diplomacy by saying that David has not sinned in all his days.
25:28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
Abigail speaks of Saul and makes a prophecy of David. This prophecy is for all the people that God has called out, if they will only be faithful to follow Christ to live by every Word of God.
Brethren, ALL the called out have been anointed to become kings and priests of Jesus Christ, anointed with the Holy Spirit to learn to fulfill those offices in a godly manner.
If we persevere and if we are faithful to learn and to keep the whole Word of God, and to follow the Lamb wherever he goes; we will like David overcome our enemy which is Satan, and enter the Promised Land of eternal life.
25:29 Yet a man [Saul, and for us Satan] is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord [David and the spiritually called out] shall be bound in the bundle of [eternal] life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, [spiritually the enemy is Satan, his demons and sin] them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. 25:30 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed [exalted us to the kingship and priesthood of Jesus Christ] thee ruler over Israel;
This applies to us in the phrase: “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
If we faithfully obey God and do not sin we would not need to repent and would not need a sacrifice.
25:31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
God used this woman to save David from committing a great sin of murdering many for the sin of one. Always consider very carefully the advice of your wives and others who have proven themselves faithful, whatever their physical condition or poverty.
25:32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 25:34 2For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall [male].
David accepts the words and food from Abigail and is turned back from his purpose.
25:35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
Abigail returns home to find her husband having a feast for himself; like very many of today’s church leaders and elders who take all the very best for themselves and demand the chief seats and the respect of the people; which they do not deserve.
25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
In the morning when Abigail told Nabal all that had happened [she was honest and was no sneak] Nabal fell down dead, for God had judged him.
25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 25:38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
The lesson is that the proud who exalt their own ways and seek to be chief among the people in place of God, will be judged.
Then David took Abigail to wife just as Jesus Christ will take his faithful followers who diligently live by every Word of God to be his collective bride on that day.
25:39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife. 25:40 And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.
Abigail, a type of the virtuous bride of Christ, then agreed to the marriage in godly humility.
So it is that the virtuous who are full of the wisdom of God through internalizing the Word of God and who are passionately zealous to do all that our Lord requires; loving to please him and to internalize his very nature: Will also be made a part of the collective bride of Christ at the resurrection to spirit.
Abigail pledged in submissive humility to wash the very feet of David’s servants and our baptismal pledge is to serve Christ in submissive humility for all eternity, and to care for humanity by teaching all humanity to diligently live by every Word of God.
25:41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 25:42 And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.
David then had two wives Abigail and Ahinoam; for Saul in his rage had given Michal to another.
25:43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives. 25:44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.