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1st Samuel – Fools and Princes, Part 1

Our message comes from the first half of 1 Samuel 25:1-17. Here we learn of Samuel’s death, and then launch into the story of David, Nabal, and Abigail. The foolish Nabal is a powerful contrast to David, but David’s response to Nabal’s foul behavior is way out of character and out of line. Our sermon concludes with four practical applications that will help us deal with temptations in our daily lives.

Our public reading was 1 Corinthians 10:1-22, our benediction was Numbers 6:24-26

Sources for the citations in this sermon are:

Edersheim, Alfred. Bible History of the Old Testament. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994. Print.
Phillips, Richard D. 1 Samuel. Phillipsburg: P&R, 2012. Print.
Chantry, Walter J. David: Man of Prayer, Man of War. Edinburgh: Carlisle, PA, 2007. Print.
Blaikie, William G. Expository Lectures on the Book of First Samuel. Birmingham: Solid Ground Christian, 2005. Print.
Bunyan, John. The Pilgrims’ Progress. 3rd ed. Berryville: Hess Publications, 2011. Print.
A.W. Pink, A Life of David, Grand Rapids, MI. Baker, 1981.

1 Samuel 25:1-17

25:1 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah.

Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” 12 So David’s young men turned away and came back and told him all this. 13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.” (ESV)