Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Samuel

First Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Twenty Five







How often will people sorrow outwardly for one when dead to whom they did not care to listen when living. There had been a time when Samuel was appreciated by Israel particularly when they were feeling the pressure of the Philistine yoke; but more recently he has been despised (1 Sam. 8). They had preferred a king to the prophet, but now Saul was proving such a disappointment, and the breach between the king and David showed no signs of being healed, they lamented the removal of Samuel. With Samuel gone Saul is left without a prophet-priest.

Nabal and his wife, Abigail, are introduced to the reader. Nabal is a very wealthy man and also very selfish; his name means "fool." He is called a churlish man, that is, base, rude or ungrateful. His wife Abigail seems to be his opposite, "a woman of good understanding."

What follows is one of the greatest pictures in the word of God of Christ's selection (typified in David) of his bride. For other types see: Rebekah, (Gen. 24), and Asenath, (Gen. 41). Again, we remind the reader, that David is a king in exile. Jesus is the King of Kings, yet, at this moment he is a king in exile. We, the church, are the betrothed Bride of Christ, waiting for our "Prince Charming" to come back and take us home with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19:7-9).

Nabal pictures the Devil, Anti-Christ, sin and the world system, to whom we were married before our "divorce proceedings," (Rom. 7:1-4).



David in his continued wanderings, applies to the well-to-do farmer, Nabal, for some "public assistance." The appeal is suitably timed, courteously worded, and based upon a weighty consideration - they were starving! Nabal was a fellow Israelite, "of the house of Caleb," surely their 'brother' would consider seriously their present need.

Notice: the use of the number 'ten', the number of the Gentile, used in association of seeking a bride, (Gen. 24:10); (vs. 5), text.

Upon presenting David's request the young men are rebuked, "Who is David?" (vs. 10). Nabal knew him well enough to know that he was the son of Jesse. He also knew a little about David's present situation for he accuses David of being an insolent, rebellious, runaway slave boy. Nabal's retort is filled with the language of a four-year old. Note in verse eleven, my ... my ... my ... my ... I ... I. The mark of a selfish, immature, childish individual is his constant preoccupation with himself.

The response of David's young messengers is commendable. They could have become righteously indignant, as many a young man is given to be, and read Nabal the 'riot act' on the spot: Yet, the men leave peaceably and return to David with Nabal's response..."Get Lost.!"

Instead of exercising grace, David is moved by the spirit of revenge. No man stands a moment longer than divine grace upholds him. The "eminent" saint is not the one who has learned to walk alone, but he who most feels his need of leaning harder upon the "everlasting arms" of his Lord. The irony of the matter is how great patience and grace he has exercised in his poor relationship with Saul, a man bent on murder, and how quick David is to pass the death sentence on the selfish Nabal. Nabal's rudeness was yet a greater test of the character of David. David girds on his sword and with four hundred men leaves camp with fire in his eyes and revenge in his heart.

Nabal reminds us of the rich man of (Lk. 12:18-20). By the way Nabal's selfishness was in direct violation of (Deut. 15:7-11).



There are some who have criticized the actions of Abigail in this chapter. The phrase that seems to cause the majority of the problems is found in (vs. 19), "But she told not her husband Nabal." It is very clear that what Abigail did was most necessary for the protection of the family including Nabal. Perceiving that Nabal's stubbornness would bring ruin upon the household, the urgency of the situation seems to have fully justified her conduct. Her motive was right. As we see in (vss. 24,28), she acted from no disloyalty to Nabal.

It appears that David was already on his way to execute vengeance upon the household of Nabal when Abigail met him (vs. 20). Abigail's graciousness is intended to more than offset her husband's churlishness. Nabal had insulted David as a runaway slave boy, but his wife treats him as a superior, the king. In (vss. 24-31) we observe Abigail's appeal to David. We might note a few things concerning her plea. First, she takes the blame upon herself (24); she is then honest with David in reference to Nabal's character, or lack of it (25); she acknowledges the justification of his anger, but pleads for his forgiveness (26-28); lastly, she acknowledges his right to the throne (30).

David's response follows. He praises God for keeping him from engaging in this sinful, revengeful act (32); it is a true mark of spirituality when we discern the Lord's deliverance in such situations. David, then thanked Abigail for interposing between him and his intended actions. Lastly, he accepted her apology and offering, and sent her on her way (35).

Abigail is a wonderful picture of a lost person being brought to Christ.

[1]. Abigail was yoked to Nabal; so by nature we are wedded to the law and it is against us (Rom. 7:1-5; Col. 2:14).

[2]. She was barren to Nabal (Rom. 7:1-4).

[3]. It was tidings of impending doom which caused her to seek David.

[4]. She took her place as a sinner as she bowed before him.

[5]. She came to him confessing iniquity.

[6]. She sought forgiveness.

[7]. She was persuaded of David's goodness.

[8]. She exalted him.

[9]. She, like the dying thief, begs to be remembered (31). David granted her request, accepted her person, and said, "Go in peace" (35).



Nabal is all to used to having things his way. He throws a big "bash" for all his "friends" and proceeds to become inebriated (things haven't changed a whole lot in 3000 years). Abigail waits till morning to "share" the good news with her husband. Filled with bitterness and remorse, it appears to be too late to repent. Nabal finds himself in a state of abject depression and despair. "Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness" - (Prov. 14:13). Nabal's heart is dead, laying in a senseless stupor for ten days, the Lord lets the man suffer a bit before he smites him.

The Lord takes care of the wicked man Nabal, David's plans were carnal, fleshly, senseless and inferior to the way God "balances the books." "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" - (Rom. 12:19) See (vs. 39; Psa. 58:10,11).

Abigail has made quite a personal impression upon David. Upon the news of Nabal's death, he extends an invitation to her to come and be his wife. Abigail's departure may picture in some way the rapture of the church; it is interesting to note that five damsels accompany her, (Matt. 25:2,6,7,10)! Michal (44) shows up later in (2 Sam. 3-6).

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