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THE CONTRAST BETWEEN ABIGAIL AND NABAL


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ABIGAIL AND NABAL

 

1SA 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.

 

I.             A Different Purpose --- the child of the world and the child of God, they think different!

1.         "Nabal" is a Hebrew name, which is translated as "stupid; wicked (especially impious)."

a.The name of Nabal represents the world in its arrogance — which in their ignorance place themselves into equality with God — as Satan promised in the Garden of Eden.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 

b.            We see this type of arrogance demonstrated in the boasting language of Lucifer 

Isa 14:13-14 for thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

c.Here as with Nabal—that ugly monster “I” exalts self in its ignorance of God!

Jesus said as he “… beheld the city, and wept over it … If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

 

2.              "Abigail" means "a giver of joy" or “a gift of joy from the Father.”

a.In Abigail we see a humble spirit!!!

i.      This verse gives a description of a true Christian —

"And the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance."

b.            A true mark of grace in our Spiritual warfare is if we die to self.

i.      Our Saviour said if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

ii.     His is asking that we be crucified daily in denying our self!

c.What is it that needs to be crucified "daily"?

Romans 6:5-7 for if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

d.   This was the mind of Abigail

i.      She was different from others.

ii.     She was a picture of the Christian saint.

 

II.          A Different Pathway

1 Samuel 25:4  And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.

1 Samuel 25:5  And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:

1 Samuel 25:9  And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

1 Samuel 25:10  And Nabal answeblack David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.

1.              Nabal slandeblack David

a.    Probably because he was having to flee for his life from Saul’s persecution,

b.   Listen to his words — "Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master."

c.    Nabal saw David’s problems as his weakness.

i.      Saw it as a time to be bold against David

ii.     He thought to just let Saul hunt him down and kill him.

iii.   Little did Nabal realize that it was he who was on trial for his life.

d.   But the world is blind and cannot see afar off.

i.      The world cannot see the strength of faith.

ii.     The world cannot see the strength of prayer.

iii.   It cannot see the strength of the meek.

Paul said … I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 1Co 12:10

e.    Nabal  showed who he was by his actions.

i.      A lack of faith comes through and spoils many a life.

ii.     How often do people not believe God’s hand on the church.

iii.   How often do people not see when God is working.

iv.   God is here, but many are blind and cannot see Him.

 

2.              Abigail saw the persecution of the world for what it was 

a.    She saw David as in fellowship in the suffering of Christ with her.

23  And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,

24  And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.

25  Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

 

b.   Our text says, "she was a woman of good understanding."

i.      A good understanding is a gift of God to the obedient.

Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

 

ii.     Those who delight themselves in the will of their Lord have a good understanding

    they walk in His special favour

    with a personal relationship and knowledge of their Lord and Saviour

    the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

 

iii.   A good understanding "that we may know Him" accompanies salvation.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

 

c.    Our text says of Abigail "…she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance."

 

i.      Even though we must all too often say with the Apostle Paul "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Ro 7:24

 

d.   See the differences between wickedness of Nabal, (i.e., a "stupid; wicked (especially impious),") — and the humility of a true believer, Abigail.

 

i.      Nabal had said, "Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?" (V11)

 

ii.     Then see how differently Abigail esteemed David — (the Lord’s anointed)!!

1-Sam 25:23-25 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,

24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.

25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

 

iii.   We see another difference in the beautiful countenance of Abigail — in that her heart was also mindful of her fellow man as she presented her offering.

1-Sam 25:27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.

 

·               This runs parallel with the Spirit our Saviour saw in those whom the Father had given Him to share in His glory

MAT 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

·               Abigail knew David was of the Lord.

1-Sam 25:28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.

29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

 

·               The question may arise in our mind, How did Abigail have this knowledge of David?

Psa 25:12-14 What man is he that feareth the LORD? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

 

iv.   Notice the Faith in her petition

1-Sam 25:31 That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.

 

·               This reminds us of the thief on the cross — in a dying Saviour a broken hearted thief sees a glorious KING.

Luke 23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

 

·               How often does the cry arise in our hearts?

Psa 106:4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;

5 That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

 

III.       A Different Prize

1.              The name "Abigail" points to the unspeakable gift of the Father in giving His only Begotten Son — that we might receive the gift of repentance and remission of sins.

 

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

 

a.    What a wonder of God’s distinguishing grace that He not only gave His Son — but gave “repentance, and forgiveness of sins."

 

Eph 1:3-5 blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having pblackestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

 

b.   This grace comes through so clear in our Saviour’s intercessory prayer

 

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them, which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

 

c.    Those whom the Father has chosen from before the foundation of the world are 100% saved, and eternally secure — Satan will never gain any advantage over them of any eternal significance—

 

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

 

2.              Nabal had a far different outcome.

1Sam 25:29  Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

37  But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

38  And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

 

3.              What you do with Jesus Christ determines your eternal destiny.

 

a.    Receive the unspeakable gift from God

i.      His Son

ii.     Repentance and forgiveness

 

b.   Or stand against God and fight the Holy Spirit

i.      Act as the fool

ii.     Who said, there is no God.

 

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