Revenge belongs only to God!

Scripture reading for March 22: 1st Samuel 24-26

Nabal was a “Calebite”, a descendant of Caleb, the faithful spy and conqueror of giants.  Nabal was described as being “surly and mean in his dealings”. (1st Samuel 25:3)  One of his own servants also described Nabal as a man who was “such a wicked man that no one could talk to him”. (1st Samuel 25:17)  He liked to party and alcohol was also a factor in his reputation.  (1st Samuel 25:36) If he were around today, he would fit in well with many in our world.

Nabal was married to a Abigail, a woman described as “intelligent and beautiful”.  Often our mate is the one who can help us with our own sins and weaknesses.  Hearing how arrogantly her husband had treated the servants of David, who had helped protect their herds, Abigail quickly took action to avert a disaster.  She was like the godly woman in Proverbs 31 who was working for her husband’s good.  Abigail took goods and met David and his men as they were coming to seek revenge.  She appealed to David, humbly asking for his favor.  David listened and relented.  Through this godly woman, he heard the voice of God and was spared the shedding of innocent blood though revenge.

1 Samuel 25:32-33 “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 by you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand!” Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord.”

Returning home, Abigail found her husband at a party, drunk.  She waited until morning to tell him what she had done.  When Nabal heard about her kindness, God struck him with what appears to be a stroke.  The scripture says that Nabal “became like a stone” and soon died.

What lessons can we learn for our lives today from this story of Nabal and Abigail? What were some factors in Nabal’s life that brought him trouble and judgment? How did God show him mercy? How does this story speak to today’s culture in our time?

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