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09(1Sam 25) Crafting Peace

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1 Samuel 25:2-3

§  “good understanding” – intelligent.

1 Samuel 25:4-8

§  Sheep shearing time was a festive occasion, and Nabal s/b in a good mood.

1 Samuel 25:9-12

§  Nabal recognized no authority other than his own.

§  He is unwilling to even give the men bread and water, a basic courtesy.

1 Samuel 25:13-17, 21-22

§  David responds to the snub with anger, not going to let that pass, it wasn’t right, etc.

§  Nabal’s actions are not only known to Abigail.

§  She did not choose to explain away his behavior or make excuses for Nabal.

I.                   Abigail’s Craft

A.     She made haste to resolve the conflict (18)

§  She does what should have been done.

§  She hopes to avert a disaster for herself and those she loves.

§  She wisely doesn’t approach or reproach Nabal (19)

§  What she does she does for Nabal’s benefit – to tell him would be to harm him.

B.     She shows the consideration that her husband did not (23-24)

§  She is humble as she approaches a dangerous situation.

§  That confidence in the storm will come with trust in God.

C.     She puts a distance between herself and the offense (25-31)

§  She admits his folly in ignoring David and his men.

§  Yet she also appeals to the character of David to stay his anger.

§  She needed to win David without betraying Nabal.

§  Solution: intercedes on Nabal’s behalf while admitting he has no case or hope for survival.

§  In other words, while defending him, she disassociates herself from him.

§  Her urgency is modulated throughout by courtesy and politeness.

§  Her description of Nabal as “a fool” is neither disloyal nor heartless.

§  David would not have had a wife who displayed either poor trait.

§  Yet her integrity prevents her from pulling any punches.

§  Her plea is to Scripture: “vengeance is mine, says the Lord.”

D.     David agrees to her request (32-34)

§  He admits she would have been harmed as well.

§  He heeds Abigail (34) not to make amends with Nabal, but out of respect for Abigail.

II.                Abigail’s Timing (36-38)

§  While Nabal had refused to give any food, now he is seen gorging himself with food.

§  Abigail chooses the right time to speak to her husband, when he will fully understand.

§  The shock did not kill him, he died ten days later by the hand of God.

§  But the news did turn his heart stone cold, the opposite of what repentance does.

§  Ezekiel 36:26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

E.      David recognizes that God is fully capable of taking vengeance. (39)

§  The contrast is remarkable:

§  The Lord kept David from doing wrong.

§  The Lord brought Nabal’s wrong doing down on his own head.

§  Joel 3:4  "Indeed, what have you to do with Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the coasts of Philistia? Will you retaliate against Me? But if you retaliate against Me, Swiftly and speedily I will return your retaliation upon your own head”

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