Ignite! | 1 Samuel 25:1-13 | Devotional
1 Samuel 25:1-13 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon. A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings. While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, "Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! "'Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.'" When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David's name. Then they waited. Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?" David's men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. David said to his men, "Put on your swords!" So they put on their swords, and David put on his. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
Four hundred men against a bunch of sheep-shearers? Quite a show of force! Certainly Nabal is “surly and mean” but David; it won’t take 400 of your best soldiers. Ever go after a gnat with a sledge- hammer? Ever over-react?
There are times when we’ve had it “up to here.” Our nerves are frayed. The pressure is on. We are exhausted. We are in no mood for answers we don’t want. We ask kindly. But the response doesn’t go our way. And Boom!—like a match to a fuse we sizzle and blow! And those we work with, our spouse, our children, our neighbors, all those around see us go off like Mt. Vesuvius.
There is much more to the David-Nabal story that we’ll consider through the week, but today just focus on David’s reaction. Ever been there? Yeah, me too. So let’s get practical.
- Think before you act. There will be consequences to those words that are getting ready to come out of your mouth.
- Walk away. Better to blow up alone. The emotional shrapnel may hurt some people if you are in a crowded area—yeah, even some people you really love.
- Count to ten. Sound simple, it is! But ten seconds might save your reputation. Slow down the verbal train before it derails.
You need not be a great theologian or deep biblical thinker to grasp these simple truths: Hold your tongue! Tame your emotions! You’ll be glad you did.