Back again with David, and our Blogging Through the Bible series, we’re getting ready to take a look Chapters 25 & 26. Join us as we venture further into God’s word!
Apparently, David and his men had been running a sort of security for the sheep shearers of Nabal. This rich man, however, seemed to live up to the meaning of his name which meant, “senseless fool.”
When David sent to him, speaking in a very civil manner, and telling him how safe his shearers had been, he also requested supplies. Food and drink, nothing out of the ordinary. But Nabal acted as if he didn’t even know David.
Whether or not he actually did, we will never know. Of course, David’s name was great for the many things he had accomplished. There was, of course, that thing with Goliath, and all the successful battle campaigns he had run for Saul.
Still, if Nabal did know who David was, he wasn’t letting it be known. As the only saying goes, the rich don’t get rich by giving what they have away. At least, in the world’s terms.
When the young men returned and told David how pompous Nabal had been, David decided to kill him and everyone with him, not even leaving male nor dog in his company.
David and Abigail
Before David could assemble his entourage completely though, something was going on behind the scenes. Some of those that David had protected out there came and spoke with Abigail, telling her everything that had happened between David’s men and her husband.
When Abigail comes on the scene, a few things are immediately evident. The first thing that happens after Nabal gets finished talking to David’s men is that one of the sheep shearers who had heard it went and told Abigail everything. This doesn’t come out as if it had never happened before. In fact, it looks like Abigail has had to be informed of her husband’s misguided affairs in times past as well.
She listens to the story and immediately decided to try to go out, with David’s requested supplies, before he has a chance to make it back himself. Obviously, Abigail knows how foolish her husband is, as his name implies. And obviously, she has covered for him before. She was even wise enough to know not to try to talk to him when she returned because he was quite drunk.
Of course, David is thankful for her provisions, and even more thankful for her advice, which he says outright. He promises not to send harm on them and turns his wrath away.
Abagail, wise as she is, let’s her husband sleep off his drunk, and then she tells him what happened. We don’t know how she told him. Was she harsh & condemning, with overtones of “I can’t believe you did that!”? Odds are, in her wisdom, it wasn’t.
The Bible says that when he heard it, Nabal’s heart turned to stone in him. Some believe it to mean he went into a coma after having a massive heart attack. Personally, I can’t help but think of the verse in Ezekiel 36:26 that says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of flesh.”
It’s obvious it was far more serious than that, though. Nabal died ten days later. It doesn’t say how long after that David gave thanks for the deliverance from his enemy. However, it sounds like he immediately sent after Abigail, wanting her to be his wife. Which she readily accepted.
Chapter 26, David in the Wilderness
Chapter 26 starts out with some Ziphites stirring Saul up again against David. As easy as Saul is to turn against David, it doesn’t take much and so he takes 3,000 men down into the wilderness of Ziph.
Of course, David had the upper hand because he was actually living in that wilderness. He had seen Saul and his people come in and so he sent spies to find out what was going on. I suspect he knew what was going on, but as he always did, he wanted to be sure.
Without saying why, David asked for a companion to go down to where Saul and his men were sleeping. Abishai agreed to accompany David and when they arrived, they found everyone deeply sleeping. As it turns out, God had caused this deep sleep to come on them, so they never woke.
And Opportunity to Kill Saul
Abishai saw this as a great opportunity and offered to kill Saul if David would agree. He told David he could simply pierce him clean through to the ground and wouldn’t even have to smite him a second time!
David, of course, did not consent. He told Abishai, in his massive heart of mercy, that Saul might be killed by God himself, live to see his dying day or be killed in battle. However, he said he would not stretch forth his hand against God’s anointed!
Instead, he took Saul’s spear and his cruse of water and they left. Once there was an expanse between them and Saul’s party, he called out to the Captain who was supposed to be protecting Saul. They exchanged a conversation where David accused him of not protecting the king, God’s anointed. David went further and said that he was worthy of death for such a crime.
Saul at once recognized David’s voice and began to speak to him himself. David asked again what he had done to incur Saul’s wrath, and Saul wound up admitting that he had sinned greatly. He swore, once again, that he would never try to do David any harm, and they parted ways.
My Take On It
I don’t know that I would have been able to move along as tactfully as David had, were I in the same situation. He had a right to kill the king, or even to have him killed. Time and again, Saul had seen the error of his ways and repented of treated David so badly. Time and again, he had promised never to try to kill him again. And every time, he just went back to hating David and wanting him dead.
David, however, was never anything but merciful to the king. He knew that he was “the Lord’s anointed” and would do him no harm. Although, he did show him many times he could have done him harm. If he had wanted to.
A Man After God’s Own Heart
But you know, that’s all part of the reason God said David was a man after His own heart. In 1 Samuel 13, verse 14, it was recorded, “But now the kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.”
In Acts 13:22, Paul spoke about this very Scripture when he said, “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”
I believe David’s heart of mercy, repentance, and praise, solidified his standing before God. And maybe that’s what we, too, should focus on!
Tammy and Angela will be back with the next few chapters as we continue to Blog Through the Bible.
In the Name of Jesus, I ask that you keep me mindful of being merciful, even when it seems like people don’t deserve it. I must remember, Lord, that you send the rain on the just and the unjust alike. It’s not for me to determine who is worthy of the very worst when I know that I, myself, am not without sin. But I praise and give you glory, Jesus, that you Blood CLEANSES us from ALL unrighteousness! Thank you for loving me! Now help me to love others with your love. In Jesus mighty Name, Amen!