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Yesterday when I was jogging in the Charlotte marathon, I heard somebody say, “Do you know how to know if someone’s run a marathon? Don’t worry—they’ll tell you, was the answer.” [laughter] All the signs on their cars and everything else.
I want first of all just to say, as a reformed Baptist who lives in the neighborhood, how much I thank God for Christ Covenant Church. I’ve been here just over two years, in our area, and I’m so blessed to see how the Lord has used this church to plant other churches, to be a blessing to the wider community, to provide help and resources and ministries that benefit the other churches in the Christian community.
Our little church usually doesn’t have an evening service and I’m often here to fellowship with you and my wife and I were actually able to walk over here this morning, we live so close, and so we’re just so thankful for the life of this church in this area.
And today we’re going to be in 1 Samuel chapter 25.
And another thing we would share in common is that we share a commitment to what we would say is complementarianism, that we believe that the Bible teaches that in the home and in the church there are different roles for men and women. But sadly, some people abuse complementarianism and become abusive. And we have a text today where a wife goes behind her husband’s back, against his clearly stated wishes, and our understanding is this woman is a wise and heroic woman who rescues her family in so doing.
And as we look at this passage talking about Abigail, there are typically three things I like to do when studying an Old Testament narrative or teaching one, and this might help you as you read through the Old Testament.
First, we need to understand what’s going on. And a narrative, in this case, is a great story. It’s just a dramatic, exciting story, but we have to interpret it as well. We have to understand it in the context in the early days of the kings, and then we also have some unusual behavior, when this woman goes against her husband’s wishes, is this like a bad thing where she’s disrespectful, or is it a good thing where she’s a hero. I’m going to take the hero position.
Another aspect is we want to apply it to ourselves today. In 1 Corinthians 10, verse 11, it says “these things happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” And for us today. What can women learn from what Abigail does in terms of rescuing her family from the destruction that would have been brought upon them from her husband’s foolishness? What does a wife do if her husband is a bully? What does a wife do if her husband is taking actions that threaten her safety or the safety of her children? There are many other wonderful things we will see in this passage in terms of Abigail, I think, gives a model of how to bring correction, as she does to David, and David is a model of how to receive correction and then as is indicated from the title, what’s happening here as well in the bigger picture of 1 Samuel is the Lord is rescuing David from what would have been a very terrible sin.
So we want to understand what’s going on, we want to see how it applies to us, and then third we want to see how it points to Christ. And we know this from Luke 24 where the risen Christ with His disciples went through the Old Testament and showed how all of it points to Him, and just reading through 1 Samuel 25 for the first time it might not jump out at you how much this passage does point to the Gospel.
And so I’m going to work my way through the passage, bit by bit, and the context is that Samuel has anointed David as king, and yet Saul is still on the throne, and these are days in which David is on the run. He has hundreds of men with him, but Saul has thousands of men and Saul is chasing David around, and David is now in southern Judea, in Judah, and it’s actually a sequence of temptations in chapter 24, 25, and 26.
In chapters 24 and 26, the chapters surrounding our passage, David has opportunity to sneak up on Saul and kill him. And in both cases, he resists the temptation to take personal revenge. But in chapter 25 David is insulted by this guy Nabal and in chapter 25, our text now, David is about to succumb to the temptation and take revenge and wipe out everybody. And David therefore is rescued by a woman.
We pray in The Lord’s Prayer “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” and in this case, and it’s explicit in the text, that the Lord sends Abigail to rescue David from doing something that would have been very wrong and very shameful.
So beginning in verse 2 you are introduced to some of the main characters. “David arose, went down to the wilderness of Paran, and there a man of Maon whose business was in Carmel, a man very rich, and he had 3000 sheep and 1000 goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved. He was a Calebite.”
So you meet not anything became and Abigail, and Nabal is a man of importance. He has about half the wealth that Job did, although he has something Job didn’t have—he has a trophy wife. And he is a man who is harsh and evil and foolish.
In verse 25, we’re told that His name means “fool.” Now you might wonder what mother would name her baby that name; this may be a name that he acquired later. But in the Bible, names are very significant. It’s a name apparently he earned over time.
Now the fact that he was foolish doesn’t necessarily mean that he was stupid. He might be like a lot of the people in our nation today, who are very shrewd businessmen or politicians, nobody can push them around. They’re shrewd with their money. That seems to be the kind of man he actually is. But he is foolish because he is proud and arrogant and godless. He’s foolish in relation to the Lord Himself. He’s actually a man kind of like Saul we’ve been dealing with in 1 Samuel.
On the other hand, Abigail is a woman who combines the exceptional qualities of both outward beauty and of wisdom. And now another question may occur to you—why did she marry this guy? And probably it was an arranged marriage. In our day we’d say that they met like on eOpposite.com. You know, what on earth are they doing together? [laughter] She probably was pushed into this marriage in circumstances beyond her control, and so here they are.
And then we see that David approaches Nabal. David and his men are in the area where Nabal is and continuing in verse 4, it says “David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, so David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, ‘Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him, Peace be to you! And peace to your house! And peace be to all you have! I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us and we did them no harm. They missed nothing out of all the time we were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will tell you, therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David. ‘”
So again, understanding the context, the time of sheep shearing would be a time of festival, a time of celebration. Later in the chapter Nabal has a big feast with all of his friends, where he gets drunk. So it’s also meant to be a time of generosity. So David sends a delegation.
And my wife and I lived for several years in Saudi Arabia and you can kind of picture this even in the office where I worked, when you would go talk to a Saudi boss about something, there was kind of a formal ceremony of greeting and drinking tea and there were kind of social expectations on both sides.
Well, that’s what David is doing, and he’s coming very humbly even though he’s got an army with him, and even though he’s been anointed to be the future king, your son David is just asking some provision, that we would like for you to include us in your ceremony. Three times “peace to you, peace to you.” He reminds Nabal of the benefits. These were kind of Wild West days in Judah, but all of Nabal’s crops and sheep and men were kept very safe. David’s men were not marauding. And Nabal is expected to offer something in return.
Now you can read this when, you know, David is kind of saying “you ought to give us something,” like it’s a shakedown of some kind, like watch out, it’s kind of a mafia thing, pay protection money. It’s more like a tip in a restaurant. You’ve gotten outstanding service, they’ve gone above and beyond, and it’s just customary that you would reward such outstanding care with some food, and include us in your feast.
But there’s a really important point of this that’s really crucial to the passage, and that is David is no ordinary visitor. He is the anointed one of God. And later we’re going to see Abigail knows. Nabal’s going to respond “well, who is David?” but for Nabal, as well look at this biblically, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. Remember in Psalm 2 it talks about kiss the Son. You know, the anointed one of God has come into the presence of Nabal, the one who is the type of Christ, the one who is the future king. This is Nabal’s chance to bless the one who is blessed of God and to honor him, and we’ll see he does exactly the opposite.
This actually reminds me in Luke chapter 10 when Jesus sends His messengers out and they would go to villages and they would offer peace and those who gave them hospitality were blessed and those who turned them away were under the judgment of God.
Well, that’s what Nabal does, as we continue, Nabal very rudely responds. So verse 9, “When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David and then they waited. And Nabal answered David’s servants, ‘Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from where I don’t know?’ So David’s young men turned away and came back and told him all this. And David said to his men every man strap on his sword and every many strapped on his sword and David also strapped on his sword and about 400 men went up with David while 200 remained with the baggage.”
So Nabal, I mean, he had different options, right? He could have given a, a kind of a token gift. He could have been very generous which would have been the best thing. He chooses the option to belittle and insult David. And there is no acknowledgement of the great work that David had done in the past through, you know, killing Goliath, defeating the Philistines, the goodness that he had shown to Nabal personally, and for all the good that he had received. And you learn about him, there’s a lot of repetition of words in this passage, and I read it with emphasis, you know, “my my my, I, I.” He’s a stingy man, and again this is exceptionally foolish. Those who bless you, I will bless, the Lord says. Those who curse you, I will curse. He curses the Lord’s anointed. He wastes the opportunity of a lifetime.
But then his wrong is initially met with another wrong on the part of David. David’s saying “stray on your swords.” ___ the word three times “peace, peace, peace” in the initial greeting. Now it’s “sword, sword, sword.” He’s angry.
You, you go down to verses 21 and 22, in terms of David’s reaction, and now David had said “surely in vain I have guarded all this fellow has in the wilderness so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. God so do to the enemies of David and more also if by morning I leave so many as one male of all who belonged to him.”
So David is planning vengeance, the very temptation he resisted in the previous chapter with Saul, now he wants blood. And it’s a disproportional vengeance—one man has insulted him and he’s going to wipe out all the males, and now David sounds more like Saul, he sounds more like the typical Middle Eastern king, which is a reminder that David is a sinner like the rest of us.
We all have good days and bad days, I guess, even as believers, and we can be doing well and resisting, we prayed this morning that God would forgive our sins, and we go through seasons where God helps us to act wisely and then suddenly we find ourselves slipping very badly.
Now David is like the proverb says, like a city with the walls broken down, as a man who has no control over his spirit. And David’s about to do something really awful that will taint his kingdom, but the Lord preserves him by sending the right person at the right time.
And now we come to Abigail, continuing in verse 14: “But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, ‘Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. Yet the men were very good to us and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields as long as we were with them. They were a wall to us, both by night and by day, and while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him.’”
And so the servant, why does the servant go to Abigail? Well, he says, he says there’s no point in talking to the master, he’s not going to listen to me. He is a fool who will listen to nobody. And this may not be the first time the servants have had to go Abigail to save the day. He is accurate in sizing up the threat that when you insult a guy like David this way, really awful things are going to happen. And ultimately God sends the servant.
And then we see Abigail’s response, verse 18: “Then Abigail made haste and took 200 loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain, and a hundred clusters of raisins, two hundred cakes of figs, and laded them donkeys. And she told her young men, ‘Go on before me; behold, I come after you.’ But she did not tell her husband Nabal. And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold David and his men came down towards her and she met them.”
So Abigail hurries. And actually there are three times in the passage that she hurries, she hurries. She is the wise woman who knows just what to do, she acts very quickly, she’s planning probably what she’s going to say, she’s got lots of food. By the way, these people have lots of food—there was no problem in meeting that need. But she doesn’t tell her husband. And it’s very dramatic, because it’s, it’s one of these scenes were you’ve got Abigail coming down the hill and David’s coming up the hill, and David’s coming, everybody with sword in hand, they’re going to kill everybody, and Abigail’s rushing to head him off at the pass and to stop him. And she makes it on time, rushing towards what could have been a very dangerous situation, and then in verses 23 to 21 you have just the most magnificent part of this passage where Abigail gives one of the longest speeches by a woman in the entire Bible. It is a masterpiece of wisdom and of charm, so I’m going to read her speech, beginning in verse 23.
“When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey. She fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She felt at his feet and said ‘On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak to your ears and hear the words of your servant. Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow Nabal, for as his name is, so he is. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But I, your servant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives because the Lord has restrained you from blood guilt and from saving with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant, for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord and evil shall not be found in you as long as you live. And if men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of the living and the care of the Lord your God and the lives of your enemies shall be slung out as from the hollow of a sling. And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause for my lord working salvation working upon himself. And when the Lord has dwelt well with my lord, remember your servant.”
This is just an amazing speech. She, she approaches David humbly, calls him again and again “my lord, my master.” She’s a noblewoman, and yet she’s gently asking permission to be heard. And the most amazing thing is she’s saying “let the guilt fall upon me for what my husband has done.” Now, this has all kinds of interesting implications. Well, why would she say that? Well, I think of Genesis 2:24 which says “the two shall become one flesh,” and what her husband did affects her and acting on behalf of both of them, but I think some of you by now are seeing some of the Christological implications where you have someone who is innocent taking upon herself the guilt of someone who’s very guilty.
But I’ve actually seen this in real life. I remember many years ago when we were in San Diego there was a woman who had embezzled about $10,000 from the church. And when she was caught her husband stood with her to seek forgiveness of the congregation, even though he had not done it or known what she was doing, but he felt that as we are one, I am taking that upon myself as well and he also took upon himself the obligation to pay.
So, she’s saying “blame me,” and then she brings an offering, really, essentially to propitiate, to turn away the anger of David with that food. She acknowledges that her husband has been very, very foolish. She’s kind of saying “if I’d been around, this might not have happened this way,” but then she’s appealing to him so wisely, “the Lord has restrained you thus far from shedding blood, it’s a good thing I got here in time. So receive my gift and forgive.” And then she’s appealing to him from a very biblical, sound perspective when she’s saying “it’s the Lord who will exalt you, He will protect you, and He will avenge you,” and she speaks of the Lord over and over and over again, opposite of her husband who’s ” me me me, my my my.”
And the most amazing statement is in verse 28, where she makes the statement “The Lord will give you an enduring house.” The language she uses here is the language of the Davidic covenant, which does not come until 2 Samuel chapter 8, here God promises to give David a house that will last forever. This woman has faith. She realizes who David is, she knows what his destiny will be. She knows that God will protect David. He does not have to take personal revenge, that “you’re bundled in the wrap of the living that God is protecting as God will one day make you ruler of all Israel, He is the one who will avenge you. Vengeance belongs to Him.”
It says, and the language she used, is that the people who oppose you will be like, you know, something slung out of a slingshot, which you don’t have to think very hard to think in terms of Goliath and slingshots and how God in that case brought deliverance and judgment.
So because God is with you, you can trust God to exalt you and God to avenge you. She’s appealing to him “don’t taint your rule, don’t taint your kingdom, by avenging yourself with needless bloodshed.”
And then her very last statement, again I don’t think you have to be a Bible scholar, she says “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” What does that sound like? You know ___? Who is it? The thief is the one who says that, and actually the circumstances are remarkably similar, right? There is one criminal who looks at Jesus in unbelief and mocks Him and scorns Him, but then there’s one when Jesus looks in His utter humiliation and yet he still has faith to believe that Jesus is a king and will reign and wants to be a participant in His reign, and here’s Abigail when David, the odds are against David, right? I mean, it’s like second half LSU against Alabama, there’s no way they’re going to win, right? Um, in this case, you know, David, he’s the guy with a few hundred men against thousands of people, but she has faith that the Lord has anointed David, one day David will be king, in spite of all appearances, and she is saying remember me. And of course, this is all turning out to be virtually prophetic.
And then as we come to the end of the passage, the Lord orchestrates a glorious outcome. And so as we continue in verse 32, “And David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me. Blessed be your discretion and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from blood guilt. And from working salvation by my own hand. For as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me truly by morning there would not have been left to Nabal so much as one male.’ Then David received from her hand what she had brought to him, and he said to her ‘go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.’”
He’s saying, and by the way, this is something remarkable as well, and I think you want to contrast this, he had made a vow to wipe out Nabal, and he made that vow in front of all of his men. Can you think of other cases in the Bible where people have made foolish, sinful vows? Jephthah, whatever comes out of the house, I’m going to kill it. Herod, whatever you ask, I will give to you. (It turns out to be John the Baptist’s head.)
David had made a foolish vow, but he is a noble and godly man, he listens to wise counsel. He’s the opposite of Nabal. He praises God for sending her. He blesses her for her discernment. He accepts her propitiatory gift and puts away his sword and proclaims peace again. And I think something very significant–he repents of a foolish vow. And that kind of answers an interpretive question I think for Jephthah and Herod—if you make a really stupid promise and it would be sinful to keep it, don’t sin again. To give a particular example, if you’re engaged to a Nabal, break the engagement. [laughter] Get away while you can.
Foolishly made promises, it sometimes is more sinful to keep the promise.
But he humbles himself, and then the Lord vindicates David by killing Nabal. Verse 36: “And Abigail came to Nabal and behold he was holding a feast in his house like the feast of a king, and Nabal’s heart was merry within him. And he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said ‘blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his head.’ Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, ‘David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.’ And she rose and bowed her face to the ground and said ‘Behold your handmaid, as a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord,’ and Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey and her five young women attended her and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.”
So after Nabal’s royal feast, a feast like, Nabal could have held a feast for THE king, he had the provisions to do that, he, he has all the stuff he could have used to bless the Lord’s anointed, but instead he uses it selfishly, for personal enjoyment, and then the next morning Abigail wisely probably waited until then, tells him what happened, and the Lord strikes Nabal dead. The very thing that Abigail had predicted would happen to all those who opposed David and those whom the Lord loves, this is what happens to the person who curses the anointed of God. This is what happens to those who oppress the people of God even today.
And then David recognizes all that God has done, and then Nabal’s loss is David’s gain. Abigail quickly becomes David’s wife, he proposes marriage, she is a worthy queen, and Abigail quickly accepts, humbly accepts, and she’s willing now to be a wandering fugitive along with David because she is confident that one day he will be king, and we know that she has a son, it talks about a man named Chileab who was born of her, and the story has for David and Abigail a happy ending.
So a few points of application. One would be that Abigail is a reminder that God uses and even commends strong women. This is a woman who was not passive, she was not merely property, she was quick-thinking, fast-acting, and she is used of God to save the day. It’s actually in an era where the Lord is using strong women to shape biblical history, people like Hannah and Naomi and Ruth. She is humbly serving God. Another thing that parallels with the life of Jesus is when Mary is told her role in Jesus’ birth, she says “behold the bond slave of the Lord, may it be done me to according to Your Word.” Like Abigail becoming David’s wife.
Sometimes the Lord may even use an Abigail to admonish a ruler, a leader, and we should be willing to listen. A woman can be a wise theologian and a wise counselor. I think it was Calvin who said of the thief on the cross that that day he might have been the world’s greatest theologian, recognizing Christ when all others were denying Him. Well, this woman was probably one of the great theologians in all of Israel, recognizing who David is, and believing with all of her heart that he is the true anointed one of God.
I think Abagail is also a model to us of how to confront others who are sinning, especially even those who are in authority. Galatians 6 says “brethren, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one gently, looking to yourself so that you will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
And here Abigail, she sees that David is about to do something wrong, but as she comes gently, humbly, asking permission to be heard. So often when we see others doing wrong, our temptation is to come to them in judgment. We come as judges or lawyers to prosecute them rather than as doctors or nurses to heal them. She comes as a healer and she’s pointing him back to the Lord as she comes respectfully, turning him away from his sin, and helping him to remember the promises of God and the blessings of God.
And I think she is a model for us. There are times when a wife needs to bring correction to her husband. There are times when a church member may need to speak to church leadership, speak to those in authority. We, if Abigail can talk to future king David, it’s true in all relationships, but to do so with such a humility and such a God-centeredness is an example for us when we need to bring correction to others. How often are we guilty of coming in anger and condemnation, or perhaps being guilty of not going at all when we should.
Another aspect of Abigail is just the reality that situations occur in which a woman may need to take action like Abigail did. There is in our day among people who would say they believe the Bible something I would call hyper-patriarchy, an idea that they love Ephesians 5 or 22, “wives submit to your husbands,” they don’t want to read down to the part about “husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church,” and there are men who claim to be Christians even who are domineering and bullying and foolish and they’re like Nabal, and sometimes those men are mistreating their wives and their families by abusing them, by bullying them, by putting them into danger. I’ve counseled in situations where such a man is angry, out of control, demanding that his wife and their baby get into the car, she believing that to get into the car with a man who is so out of control would put themselves in danger, saying “but you must submit to me, ’cause I am the head and the Bible says… ”
And I believe there are cases like that in which the Abigail principle applies. That a woman who recognizes that what her husband is doing is putting her family at grave risk and grave danger has the freedom to do what is necessary to keep her family safe, even if it goes against the wishes of Nabal, her husband.
Interestingly enough, you’re going to have Chris Moles here in the coming week, I believe, speaking to some of you who is an expert on issues of abuse, issues of dealing with men who are Nabals, who need to be taught wisdom, and I think these are important principles.
There are other cases where a woman gets an inheritance and her husband, through gambling, substance abuse, or just laziness, is squandering that inheritance, and I’m not sure she just has to submit and watch that happen as her future and her children’s future is just blown up in smoke by an ungodly man who claims that his headship over the family gives him the right to behave this way.
So I think Abigail is an example that there are times when a woman may need, and I’m not saying all the time, every time, and I think this is where having godly elders and older women who can give counsel to these situations, and this may apply to others of us in relation to authority, so sometimes a wife may need to be an Abigail. She should ideally to go a husband, and of course this is getting to the next point, and appeal to him the way she appealed to David to try to turn him from his sin, but I don’t she’s obligated in every case to submit to foolishness which puts the family in danger.
And then, thinking about David, how do we respond to correction? David’s response to Abigail is something amazing. When you’re thinking about a guy who’s the leader of the militia, the future king, you think about other leaders in the Bible who didn’t listen, people like Nabal who wouldn’t listen to anybody, the proverb says a rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. And David, for whatever faults he has including his impetuous desire for vengeance, when Abigail comes and gently admonishes him based upon the truths of the Word of God and the character of God and David’s calling, David listens. And this is something quite amazing. And by the way, this is something we need. We need correction sometimes and we need to be not like Nabal who won’t listen, a scoffer does not love the one who reproves him, he will not go to the wise.
And we can be tempted sometimes when people correct us, to be angry or defensive. Proverbs chapter 9, verse 8, says if you rebuke a scoffer, he will hate you; but if you rebuke a wise man, he will love you. And again I would speak especially to those of you who have authority, it really applies to all of us but husbands and fathers and church leaders and bosses, that if someone who is subordinate to you comes to you and brings you correction, are you like Nabal or are you like David? Will you humbly listen, believing that God may be speaking to you as God spoke to David through Abigail, to deliver you from your sin? And what a blessing it is that David blesses God for sending Abigail to rescue him from his sin.
And then just in general how we should be so thankful to God, we pray lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil, as we are all prone to wander as we sang today. Spurgeon writes the best of men always need to be on their watch, lest in some sudden temptation they be carried off their feet. We need to watch and pray. And the psalmist says my foot had nearly slipped, and what a blessing it is. How we should thank God. I think when we get to heaven, we’re going to realize there were so many times God sent us an Abigail or something else that kept us from doing what we otherwise would have done, but especially in marriage. In Proverbs 31 it says that she does him good, not evil, all the days of her life, that the teaching of wisdom is on her lips, that her husband trusts in her. And we as husbands ought to be men who welcome gentle correction from your wives, that we, too, could be delivered, and wives from husbands, as well.
I guess one last application would also be that when there is evil, when you see the evil in the world today, we talk about governments imprisoning Christians, or torturing innocent people, when you think of all the wrong done in our society, be it abuse, be it other criminal activity, be it the unjust killing of the unborn, how thankful we can be that it is not our job to take vengeance because God will avenge the wicked in His way and in His day, and in that we can rest.
So, the last thing I said I would do would be as we think of who, and reminder we’ve already talked about it, somehow this all points to Christ. And we think “Well, who is the hero of 1 Samuel 25?” and the title I gave was “David Rescued by a Woman,” but really the title should be “David Rescued by the Lord.” She recognizes God sent her, he recognizes the Lord sent Abigail to rescue David from causing ruin to his future kingdom, and He is the great hero. We’ve already said how do we see Christ? And I’m going to take one thing I haven’t made as much of so far, I brought it up earlier, that as David the anointed one sent messengers offering peace to Nabal, Jesus Christ today sends messengers offering peace to the world, to foolish people in the world, doesn’t He? And Jesus Christ offers peace and fellowship as He is the true anointed one of God, and like Abigail, Jesus who offers peace when we were the guilty ones as Abigail took blame upon herself for the sins of others, Jesus who was perfectly innocent, He who know no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, and as Abigail said “on me be the blame” even though she was innocent, Jesus when He went to the cross said “on me be the blame,” as He turned away He propitiated the wrath of God for us.
And as the dying thief was like Abigail recognizing who Jesus is and believing and was welcomed into His kingdom, that’s the offer today is that and then we have another offer made to Abigail where she was offered to be the bride, and Christ comes to us and He makes an offer to people who were once foolish and disobedient. He makes the offer to us that if we would turn to Him and receive His peace, that our sins would be forgiven and that we would be welcomed into His fellowship.
And so as David came to Judea, as David came to the household of Nabal, really the response he receives is the response that is the whole world’s response. There are some who are foolish, like Nabal, and they’re proud and they think they have no need of Christ, and such people wind up under the judgment of God. Then there are other like Abigail, who by faith recognize Jesus, the anointed one, and believe on Him, and they have the privilege of being the very bride of Christ.
And I’ll just close with Titus chapter 2, because if you’re a believer today it’s not because you were better, wiser, superior to the others, but it’s by the grace of God, for Paul writes we ourselves once were foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another, but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our savior appeared, He saved us, not because of the words done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit which He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Even if you’ve been foolish, and have like Nabal turned away Christ, today you can believe, you can receive Him, and you can enjoy all the benefits of being united to Him.
Let’s pray. Father in heaven, we thank You so much for Your mercy to us, though we were once foolish, the Christ has come and you gave us eyes to see and faith to believe. We thank You, O God, that as David, the anointed one, was delivered from sin and from evil that you protect us, guard us, help us and deliver us. Continue to deliver us. Help us to listen to wise rebuke. Help us to gently admonish one another but most of all help us to respond in faith to our savior, even as we partake of the Lord’s Supper today, as we have received Him by faith, we acknowledge Him and we love Him. We thank You that He was willing to take upon Himself guilt that was not His that we might be forgiven, and that Your wrath has been turned away because of His gracious work on the cross. We pray this in His name. Amen.