David and Abigail teach us a really important lesson about anger and vengeance in our reading today. David and his men have been in the wilderness of Moan. In that area was a wealthy man named Nabal, a descendent of Caleb … Caleb you will remember, who along with Joshua, was one of the twelve spies sent into the Promised Land after coming out of Egypt. While in this region David and his men had not taken anything from Nabal and in fact had provided protection for Nabal’s livestock and men. When the men went to sheer sheep, David made a request for some provisions. Nabal blatantly refuses.
Now we must read this in account with the scope of the culture of their day. We might look at this and say Nabal was completely in the right to not give the provisions David request … after all he did not ask David to live there and offer protection to his men and livestock. But that is our culture not theirs. Because of Nabal’s rejection, David burns with anger. He decides that Nabal and all the men in household and in his service must die.
As David sets out to destroy Nabal, his wife learns what her husband has done and prepares a gift for David and his men and sets out to meet him. When she meets up with David she speaks with sense and ends up talking David out of his anger. Through this discourse David realizes that anger is not the best option for him to operate under and that God will revenge Nabal’s wrongs. Read again David’s words … “David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands.” (1 Samuel 25:32-33 NLT)
Let me ask you this … how willing are you to listen to the sense of others when you are burning with anger? It is wise to not act in anger, to not act in the moment, but to let yourself calm down where reason and sense can provide clear direction. Just think, if you operate this way the hurtful things you say to your spouse, to your children, to co-workers might not be said because you are letting the venom of your anger subside before proceeding. Just think, you may not have to fix the dry wall from the hole your fist put in it from your anger if you walk away and calm down. If not anyone else, let the working of the Holy Spirit move in you to calm you down before you do something that is not a part of who you really are and desire to be.
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