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Getting to Know . . . I Samuel (chapter 25) A Fool — and a Smart Wife!

Our chapter is a bit lengthy this morning, but let’s read it and then make a few observations:

Our chapter this morning begins with sad news: Samuel has died. He is buried in his home in Ramah.

We are then told the story of a classic fool. In fact, if you looked up the word “fool” in the dictionary, you would find Nabal’s picture there! He was very wealthy (1000 goats and 3000 sheep) and he had an intelligent and beautiful wife by the name of Abigail (vv. 1-3).

In contrast Nabal was “surly and mean in his dealings” (v. 4).

“Who YOU callin’ a FOOL?”

David sends 10 young men to Nabal to remind him that David and his army had treated Nabal’s shepherds kindly and did not steal from them when they were in Carmel. David asks that Nabal to be favorable toward his men and to give “your servants and David whatever you can find for them” (v. 8).

Nabal answers David rudely, asking “Who is this David?” He said that many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. He asks, “Why should I take my bread and water and meat and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (v. 11).

This report from his men infuriates David and he has 400 of his men prepare to attack Nabal! (v. 13).

Abigail recognizes Nabal’s foolishness and is told that David’s soldiers had been very good to Nabal’s men and had been “a wall around us the whole time” (v. 16). The servant encourages Abigail to see what she can do because “disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him” (v. 17).

Abigail acted quickly, collected many goods to give to David, and meets him on his way to attack her husband. David vows to kill all of Nabal’s men. But Abigail falls at David’s feet, pleads for pardon, and acknowledges that her husband is a fool! (v. 25). She convinces David not to avenge himself and to forgive her for her intercession (v. 28).

She predicts a lasting dynasty for David and asks that he not pursue “the staggering burden of needless bloodshed of vengeance” (v. 31).

David listens to Abigail, accepts her gifts, and sends her home (v. 35). Abigail finds Nabal at a banquet, drunk as a skunk. She tells him everything the next morning and he dies about ten days later (“the Lord struck Nabal and he died” – v. 38).

David rejoices at Nabal’s death, saying the Lord “has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head” (v. 39). He then takes Abigail as his wife (vv. 40-42). We are also told that David had also married Ahinoam and he now had two wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, “David’s wife,” to Paltiel son of Laish (v. 44).

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2018 in I Samuel 25

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 53)

Psalm 53

For the director of music. According to Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 6.01.44 AMmahalath.[b] A maskil[c] of David.

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their ways are vile;
    there is no one who does good.

God looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

Do all these evildoers know nothing?

They devour my people as though eating bread;
    they never call on God.
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
    where there was nothing to dread.
God scattered the bones of those who attacked you;Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 6.03.37 AM
    you put them to shame, for God despised them.

Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!

    When God restores his people,
    let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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An Anatomy of a FOOL!

Smart people can be very dumb, at least according to God.  Do you know any smart fools?

Recently I’ve been sharing the gospel with some new friends.  Chess-playing friends.  Atheist friends.  [Hello to those friends if you are reading this post!].  My friend Bill (not his real name) and I have been verbally sparring over the issue of God’s existence.  His questions to me are quite good.  [My questions to him are also quite good, if I say so myself].

Some of his questions are:

  • With our limited senses, how dare we think we can explain the universe?
  • Are some religions better than others?
  • Why are humans so arrogant as to think they are of more value than other creatures?
  • How do Christians know they are not projecting their desired qualities on God, making Him in their image?

Some of my answers have included the following points:

  • Christians don’t really claim to explain the universe, but are trying to make sense of why there is something, rather than nothing.  We do not have to have exhaustive knowledge to have sufficient knowledge.
  • I would hope most of us would oppose religions that practice child sacrifice (teenager sacrifice I can understand!).
  • It’s hard to explain human arrogance about our creaturely superiority.  But, if we are made in God’s image, that’s certainly not a small thing.  Faced with rescuing your grandmother or your dog from being run down by a garbage truck in the street, I asked Bill, he seemed to hesitate.  Now, if we were talking about a mother-in-law (not my mother-in-law, mind you) . . .
  • One wag said that “God created man in his image — and modern man is returning the favor.”  Of course, we can project our ideas of what we would like God to be.   But if He has revealed His characteristics, and if we share some of those characteristics, then that is a different matter.

Two Psalms (Psalm 14 and 53) say rather indelicately, “The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There is no god.'”  I asked my friend to read Psalm 53 — and he did.  I’ll let you know what he said in my next post.

Discussion Questions: Got any atheist friends?  What have you found helpful in talking to them about spiritual matters?

 
 

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