Nabal the Fool

Scripture Passage: 
1 Samuel 25:1-44

INTRODUCTION: The name Nabal means fool (see 1 Samuel 25:25). In Scripture, a fool is an identifiable type of person with a particular set of characteristics (Ecclesiastes 10:3). This person is to be avoided because of the harm they can cause you (Proverbs 17:12). Therefore, we should learn the characteristics of a fool so we can recognize them when we see them. The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes especially deal with the fool, and the passages on fools in these books can be studied with great profit (for example, see Ecclesiastes 10:1-15).

  1. DAVID’S REQUEST FOR SUPPLIES (1 Samuel 25:1-9)
    1. The Death of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:1)
      1. The Israelites mourn for Samuel and bury him.
      2. David goes to the wilderness of Paran.
    2. The Man Nabal (1 Samuel 25:2-3)
      1. His location - In Maon with possessions in Carmel (1 Samuel 25:2)
      2. His possessions (1 Samuel 25:2)
        1. Great in sheep and goats
        2. A time of the shearing of sheep
        3. NOTE: The time of sheepshearing was a time of festivity and generosity, much like the time of harvest (Psalm 4:7). Absalom used this time to invite his brethren to a feast and to kill Amnon (2 Samuel 13:23-29) when Amnon’s heart was “merry with wine.” Nabal could expect a good profit with the shearing of 3,000 sheep. David had a right to expect him to be generous at this time.
      3. His wife (1 Samuel 25:3)
        1. Named Abigail
        2. A woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance
      4. His character (1 Samuel 25:3)
        1. Churlish: miserly, stingy (Isaiah 32:5) and evil in his doings
        2. Of the house of Caleb
    3. The Request of David (1 Samuel 25:4-9)
      1. His blessing upon Nabal (1 Samuel 25:4-6)
      2. His care for Nabal’s possessions (1 Samuel 25:7)
      3. His request for supplies from Nabal (1 Samuel 25:8-9)
  2. DAVID’S WRATH AGAINST NABAL (1 Samuel 25:10-13)
    1. Nabal’s Answer (1 Samuel 25:10-11)
      1. He accuses David of rebellion (1 Samuel 25:10).
      2. He refuses to give them anything (1 Samuel 25:11).
    2. David’s Response (1 Samuel 25:12-13)
      1. David’s men report to him (1 Samuel 25:12).
      2. David prepares to go to battle (1 Samuel 25:13).
  3. ABIGAIL’S PLEA TO DAVID (1 Samuel 25:14-31)
    1. Abigail Hears the Story (1 Samuel 25:14-17).
      1. The servants report on Nabal’s actions (1 Samuel 25:14).
      2. The servants tell of the kindness of David’s men (1 Samuel 25:15-16).
      3. The servants warn of coming evil (1 Samuel 25:17).
    2. Abigail Sends Supplies (1 Samuel 25:18-19).
      1. She sends them before her (1 Samuel 25:18-19a).
      2. She does not tell Nabal (1 Samuel 25:19b).
    3. Abigail Comes before David (1 Samuel 25:20-24).
      1. David comes in anger with his men (1 Samuel 25:20-22).
      2. Abigail falls before him and asks to speak (1 Samuel 25:23-24).
    4. Abigail Asks for Forgiveness (1 Samuel 25:25-28).
      1. She speaks of the folly of her husband (1 Samuel 25:25).
      2. She warns David of avenging himself (1 Samuel 25:26); David’s reputation would have been damaged had he avenged himself (1 Samuel 25:31, 33).
      3. She asks David to receive her gift (1 Samuel 25:27).
      4. She asks forgiveness for her trespass (1 Samuel 25:28a); notice that she takes the guilt of Nabal’s sin on herself.
    5. Abigail Praises David (1 Samuel 25:28-31).
      1. David fights the battles of the Lord (1 Samuel 25:28).
      2. No evil has been found in David all his days (1 Samuel 25:28).
      3. “The soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God” (1 Samuel 25:29) – a picture of our identity with Christ (Galatians 2:20; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 3:3).
      4. David shall be ruler over Israel (1 Samuel 25:30-31).
  4. DAVID’S ACCEPTANCE OF ABIGAIL (1 Samuel 25:32-35)
    1. David Blesses Abigail (1 Samuel 25:32-33).
      1. Blessed be the Lord who sent you (1 Samuel 25:32).
      2. Blessed be your advice (1 Samuel 25:33).
    2. David Accepts Abigail (1 Samuel 25:34-35).
      1. You kept me from hurting you (1 Samuel 25:34).
      2. I have hearkened to your voice (1 Samuel 25:35).
      3. I have “accepted thy person” (1 Samuel 25:35; see Ezekiel 20:40; Ezekiel 43:27).
  5. DAVID’S MARRIAGE TO ABIGAIL (1 Samuel 25:36-44)
    1. The Death of Nabal (1 Samuel 25:36-38)
      1. Nabal held a great feast (1 Samuel 25:36).
        1. He got “very drunken.”
        2. Abigail told him nothing.
      2. The next morning (1 Samuel 25:37)
        1. When the wine was gone out of him
        2. Abigail told him what had happened.
        3. His heart died and he became like a stone.
      3. About ten days later, Nabal died (1 Samuel 25:38).
    2. The Marriage of Abigail (1 Samuel 25:39-42)
      1. David heard of Nabal’s death (1 Samuel 25:39).
      2. David sent for Abigail to be his wife (1 Samuel 25:39).
      3. Abigail hasted to come to David (1 Samuel 25:40-42).
    3. The Other Wives of David (1 Samuel 25:43-44)
      1. Ahinoam of Jezreel (1 Samuel 25:43)
      2. Michal, the daughter of Saul, given to Phalti (1 Samuel 25:44)

CONCLUSION: David left his problems in the Lord’s hands and the problems were taken away. If David tried to take vengeance on his own, it would have yielded additional troubles. The same could be said in your own life.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:24

Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: