Pity the Woman Married to a Fool (1 Samuel 25-27)

Daily reading assignment: 1 Samuel 25-27

1 Samuel 25 – Warning: Sin Can Rob You of Everything You Hold Dear.

“And Samuel died” (25:1) is arguably an understatement of an inevitable truth that is the haunt of all mankind. Samuel’s death comes as no surprise when we remember the scriptures stated years earlier that he was already “old” when he anointed Saul to be king (8:1). Nevertheless, the direct statement concerning Samuel’s death reminds us even the greatest of men face the inescapable reality: “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

David remains a man on the run from King Saul; however, great warriors are being gathered to him, and his realm of influence in the wilderness is expanding. One beneficiary of David’s protection was a wealthy man named Nabal who “had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats” (25:2-3). “Fool” is the literal definition of Nabal’s name, and he disappointed no one in failing to live up to its meaning.

With an understanding that safeguarding his flocks would be valued when shearing season was come, David sent his men to collect the compensation they were due (25:2, 4-9). True to his name and consistent in his character, for he was “churlish (harsh, mean-tempered) and evil in his doings” (25:3), Nabal scorned David as a rebel (25:10) and scoffed paying what he owed (25:11).

Receiving news his character was slandered and the payment he was due had been refused (25:12-13), David was furious and determined he would kill every male “that pisseth against the wall” of Nabal’s household (25:22).

Though a fool in his ways, Nabal had somehow married a woman named Abigail who “was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance” (25:3). When she learned David was coming to exact revenge on Nabal, she interceded with an act of grace and humility as she sought mercy for his household (25:14-20).

Married to a fool was her affliction; however, Abigail, being a wise woman, recognized her husband was a fool (“Nabal is his name, and folly is with him” – 25:25) and had sought to mediate the consequences of his foolish ways (25:26-27). Her humble ways and wise counsel softened David’s heart and appeased his wrath ( 25:28-31).

Abigail’s counsel so impressed David, that when he learned Nabal was dead, he sent for her and took her to be his wife (25:32-42).

1 Samuel 26 – Integrity: Who You Are When No One is Watching.

Integrity, a rare virtue among men, is descriptive of David whom God described as “a man after His own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). Though he was not a perfect man, integrity was a dominant quality of his life. He was a man who loved the LORD and was a faithful son, loyal friend, and a great soldier. David was a courageous man, heroic in his deeds and humble in his walk.

When a second opportunity to kill King Saul presented itself in 1 Samuel 26; David, in spite of the appeal of his servant to take his enemy’s life, refused (26:8-10). He reasoned that to “stretch forth his hand against the LORD’S anointed” would be a grave sin (26:11-24).

1 Samuel 27 – A Spirit of Despair Gripped David’s Heart.

David had overcome the temptation to kill Saul in chapter 26, but we find him in chapter 27 struggling with a spirit of pessimism and anxiety (27:1).

Allowing his fear of Saul to become greater than his faith in God (Proverbs 29:25), David departed from Israel and encamped among the Philistines (27:1-3).  For sixteen months, David and his men appeared to prosper in the midst of the Philistines (27:8-11).

Parting Truth: Men of integrity are not driven by opinions or popularity; their foremost concern is to honor the LORD.

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith