I Samuel 25:1-44

Sunday, March 15th, 2015



We have been watching David refusing to take vengeance on Saul, but until chapter 25 we have not seen David apply this same thought to others. In chapter 25 God will provide David with some instruction about taking personal vengeance on others as well as on King Saul.

We have seen -

I Samuel 24:4 - And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

We have also seen -

I Samuel 24:6 - And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.

We have furthermore seen -

I Samuel 24:10 - Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed.

And we have seen -

I Samuel 24:12 - The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

David made certain statements here regarding King Saul. He said, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.

He also said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed.

Then he said, The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

David made certain statements regarding King Saul, but do they not apply in principle to others as well as to Saul? God is about to show David that they do, in fact, apply to others as well as to Saul.

Remember that God makes no mistakes in what He does. Remember also that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. God allowed this problem with Nabal to come into his life to teach him something he needed to learn. What was true in reference to Saul was true also in reference to others. David should not put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, i.e. against Saul; and he should also not be putting forth his hand against others either.

In I Samuel 25 we see that we should not be putting forth our hands against any, that we should extend the thought of I will not put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed to all persons.


I Samuel 25:1 - And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.


I Samuel 25:2-9 - (2) And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. (3) Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish [i.e. the man was harsh or surly] and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb. (4) And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.

David and his men had been protecting the flocks and possessions of Nabal in return for provisions, and it was now time for Nabal to pay what he owed. It appears that David had made a prior arrangement with Nabal.

(5) And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: (6) And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. (7) And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought [i.e. anything] missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel [This was because David and his men provided protection for these shepherds and their sheep so that no enemy could come and hurt the men or steal the sheep.]. (8) Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men [i.e. David's young men] find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. (9) And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

David and his men had been protecting the flocks and possessions of Nabal in return for provisions, and it was time for Nabal to pay them for what they had done.

III. NABAL'S ANSWER - 25:10-11

I Samuel 25:10 - (10) And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master. (11) Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?

Nabal acted like he did not even know who David was.


I Samuel 25:12 - So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.

V. DAVID'S RESPONSE - 25:13, 21-22

I Samuel 25:13 - And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff [i.e. stayed by their goods, their supplies, their baggage, or their equipment].

I Samuel 25:21-22 - (21) Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept [i.e. protected] all that this fellow hath in the wilderness [i.e. in the desert], so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me [i.e. paid me back or repaid] me evil for good. (22) So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall [i.e. any male].

Do you see what's happening here? Although it was wrong for Nabal to have paid David back (or to have repaid David) evil for good, David is now intent on paying Nabal back (or on repaying Nabal) for the evil Nabal had done to him!

This is how things are too often done. You say something mean to me; so, I say something meaner to you. So, you say something still meaner to me, and I say something meaner yet to you. And it keeps getting worse and worse with neither side willing to stop and both sides furious with each other.

VI. DAVID KEPT FROM SINNING - 25:14-20, 23-31

I Samuel 25:14-20 - (14) But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute [i.e. to greet] our master; and he railed on them [i.e. he reviled them, he hurled insults at them, he scorned them, he yelled at them, or he screamed at them]. (15) But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them [i.e. as long as we accompanied them], when we were in the fields: (16) They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. (17) Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial [i.e. such a worthless man or such a scoundrel], that a man cannot speak to him. (18) Then Abigail made haste [i.e. hurried], and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles [i.e. two wineskins] of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn [i.e. of roasted grain], and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses [i.e. laid them on donkeys]. (19) And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. (20) And it was so, as she rode on the ass [i.e. as she rode on the donkey], that she came down by the covert of the hill [i.e. she came down in a mountain ravine], and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.

I Samuel 25:23-31 - (23) And when Abigail saw David, she hasted [i.e. she hurried], and lighted off the ass [i.e. she dismounted from the donkey], and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, (24) And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. (25) Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial [i.e. this worthless man, this scoundrel], even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. (26) Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. (27) And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. (28) I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid [Abigail confessed Nabal's sin as her own.]: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. (29) Yet a man is risen to pursue thee [i.e. Saul], and to seek thy soul: but the soul [i.e. the life] of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life [i.e. shall be bound in the bundle of the living] with the Lord thy God; and the souls [i.e. the lives] of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. (30) And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; (31) That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless [i.e. without cause], or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.

If David were to take vengeance on the household of Nabal, he would eventually regret it. If he were to allow the Lord to take care of Nabal, David would always have a clear conscience in the matter.


I Samuel 25:32-35 - (32) And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: (33) And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. (34) For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come [i.e. unless you had hurried out] to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall [i.e. any male]. (35) So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person [i.e. I have heeded your advice and have respected your person, which means, I have granted your request].

David recognized that God had sent Abigail to stop him from killing Nabal and all of his male descendants, to stop him from taking vengeance on someone other than Saul. In addition, David accepted God's intervention and let God take vengeance on Nabal. It came swiftly and suddenly. Nabal had no idea of what hit him.

I Corinthians 10:13 is pertinent here,

I Corinthians 10:13 - There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

God put a roadblock in David's way so that David would not commit sin. He will do the same for us. We do not have to yield to temptation.


I Samuel 25:36-39 - (36) And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. (37) But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone [Nabal apparently suffered a major heart attack or a major stroke.]. (38) And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died. (39) And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head [David recognized that the Lord had taken vengeance on Nabal on his behalf.]. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.


I Samuel 25:40-44 - (40) And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife. (41) And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. (42) And Abigail hasted, and arose [i.e. Abigail arose quickly] and rode upon an ass [i.e. upon a donkey], with five damsels of hers that went after her [i.e. with five maidens (or servant girls) who attended her]; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. (43) David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives. (44) But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

Polygamy often, if not always, caused a great deal of misery. Although God allowed polygamy, God's desire, from the time He created Adam and Eve, was for one man to have one woman as his wife. If one partner died, of course, the living spouse was free to remarry within the will of God.


Let's remember the principle that vengeance belongs to the Lord. It does not belong to us. Whenever we try to do the Lord's job for Him, we make a mess of things. If we would recognize that the other person who has offended us is the Lord's problem to deal with and not ours, we would be a whole lot better off.

Romans 12:17-21 - 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.