WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27
SCRIPTURE:1 SAMUEL 25
BY: Jeremy Witt
In verse 1, the prophet and spiritual leader of Israel, Samuel dies. The whole nation is gathered together for his funeral. The nation had King Saul, but he had lost the blessing and hand of God for his disobedience. Samuel had been the voice of God for decades. He had been the one to hear the voice of God, to speak for God, and to speak to the nation on what God had said. Samuel was the last judge/prophet of Israel. Now there would be a spiritual void or silence in the nation until David would become king.
It is critical for us to listen for the voice of God, to watch and see where God is at work, and to be ready to join in what He is doing. It requires of us patience, faithfulness, obedience, and persistence through the midst of distractions and more. These are important traits for us as a church today both individually and corporately.
The story of Nabal, Abigail, and the shepherds cover verses 2 through the rest of the chapter. What we must first understand is that this passage covers some cultural issues that are we do not practice today. Travelers were to be fed if they passed through the country. It was a sign of hospitality but also was meant to remind the Jewish people that they were foreigners in Egypt, and they should be looking after those travelers passing through. For those who have been reading the devotional for some time will remember that God intended for the nation of Israel to be the priests to the nations. They were to lead the nations to worship the LORD. They were to live so differently from the rest of the world that the world would take notice and inquire why they were so different. Does that sound familiar? It should! That is what we are to be today as Christ followers. We are to live so differently that others will see Jesus being lived out in us.
We clearly do not see this in Nabal, but we do see it in Abigail. Abigail does some things that show her integrity as well as wisdom. When she hears that her husband acted like a fool, she took action. It took strength, guts, and wisdom to do this without Nabal knowing what she did. Verse 16 and following shows us what she does and then when she encounters David and his men, her words win over David begin in verse 24. She took responsibility for her husband. She asks for forgiveness in verse 28. She provides food and more to David and his men.
Read verse 29. Do you notice that she is aware that David is hiding/being pursued by Saul? Saul had eyes and ears everywhere watching David. Nabal most likely knew this too, and he refused to help David. However, Abigail saw that God was with David which speaks to her faith and insight. Notice the rest of what she says in verses 30-31. Abigail was watching after David as well.
She returns home and finds a party happening where Nabal is drunk. The next day she tells Nabal what she had done and in verse 37, we read that his heart turned to stone. Some translations say that he had a stroke. Regardless of what it was, Nabal died 10 days later, and once the time of mourning was over, David sent for Abigail to become his wife as we read in verses 39-42.
Before any of you ask about the marriages of Abigail as well as to Ahinoam in verse 43, I don’t understand it either. It was a cultural issue for a man of wealth to have multiple wives, but for the life of me, I can’t explain it to you. Before I say something about a wife that will get me in more trouble than I am usually in, I will simply stop typing until tomorrow.