04/01/16 – 438
Yesterday we left David having been intercepted by Abigail, the wife of Nabal, who had badly mistreated David’s servants instead of giving them. In fact, the phrase we read yesterday in 1 Sam 25:14 that was translated in the NIV as the servant telling Abigail that Nabal “hurled insults at them” is translated in other versions as “railed at them” or “screamed insults”. The original Hebrew word has the connotation of a sound like that of a bird of prey shrieking as it makes its fatal swoop at its victim.
Why is this important? Jesus answered that in Matt 12:34 “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. Nabal’s words as well as his actions revealed his true nature. On the other hand, so did Abigail’s. Reading her words, it becomes obvious that she not only knew who David was, she believed in his destiny, and in the God Who had willed it. After she brought the gifts, she continued to bless him. We’ll just eavesdrop on a little bit of it – but it’s worth the time to read the whole story.
1 Sam 25:28-29 Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God.
David was quite impressed with her, I think. He thanked God and asked Him to bless her for stopping a massacre, and told her to go home in peace. When she got home she found a very drunk Nabal, no doubt celebrating how he had bravely chased away those people who thought they could take advantage of his good nature. So, she said nothing to him until the next day when he was awake and sober. Then she told him all that had happened. Let’s just say he didn’t take the news well.
1 Sam 25:37-38 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. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
When David heard about this, he basically said ‘what goes around, comes around’ (but in a very kingly fashion), then asked Abigail to marry him. She accepted. He also married another woman Ahinoam from Jezreel. At the same time, however, Saul gave his first wife, Saul’s daughter Michal, to another man. That was probably not a good idea, considering what happened when Samson’s father-in-law did the same thing.
So, you may have noticed that we’ve talked as much (or more) about what people said as about what they did in this story. What do you suppose is more important? HA! Trick question! The answer is…both! Consider the earlier quote from Jesus. We can hide an evil heart from others with nice speech – for a while. But sooner or later our true selves will come out.
The only way to really never have to worry about hiding your true self is to be the person God created you to be. If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember the lies. If you speak kindly you don’t have to worry about making others angry. And so on. Let Christ’s love live in you, and that is what will flow out of your mouth.