September 24, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, ‘who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?’ - 1 Samuel 25:10-11.
David and his men were still on the run from King Saul, but meanwhile, they had been protecting the flocks of Nabal since they were in the area. It was common and expected during those times to repay such kindness. When David’s men were sent to seek some modest compensation for their assistance, Nabal was rude and selfish living up to the meaning of his name (Nabal means fool.). Sometimes you can be rude to the wrong people. Sometimes you can be mean and selfish at the wrong time, toward the wrong people. Not that it is ever right, but the consequences sometimes are swift and severe as Nabal found out.
David fully intended to destroy Nabal and his family because of the rude response of the man. However, Abigail (Nabal’s wife) met him on his way to attack bringing gifts of food and pleaded with him not to do so. David heeded the plea of Abigail and soon God struck Nabal and within days he was dead. We need to remember that God says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord (Hebrews 10:30).”
A couple of burglars in Dallas give another example of how you can pick on the wrong people at the wrong time. They broke into the home of a Dallas police officer that was home at the time of the break-in! Officer Chris Gilliam shot and arrested one of the suspects, and the other suspect was arrested a short time later.
There will always be persecution, trials, and tribulations for Christians. However, the moral of the story is that if we live according to the teachings of Jesus Christ then we will not have to worry about the consequences we have seen in the incidents I have described. So before you lash out in anger, before you are rude, before you act like a selfish pig, remember that you do not always know what the consequences may be. And, those consequences may be very unpleasant.