Nabel Rejects David’s Message of Protection

There was a man that had the reputation for always being able to catch fish. Regardless of the time of the year it was, or whether anybody else was catching fish, this man was always managed to come back with a boat load of fish. His brother-in-law, who happened to be a Game Ward … More


Samuel, the spiritual leader of Israel for many years, dies and is buried with honors in Ramah, the place where he was born. Historians say that the prophet was in his nineties when he died. Without Samuel, the spiritual leadership of Israel is gone until David becomes King.

The scene shifts to Nabal and his wife, Abigail, who are rich with this worlds goods and live in Carmel (v. 2). He had 1,000 goats and 3,000 sheep, which must have required a considerable amount of pasture land and would have given him virtual monopoly over the smaller farmers of the area.

On the basis of kindness and protection, David sends a ten-person delegation asking for food for his people. His request was legitimate in light of the favors he and his men had done for Nabal. Nabal, with utter contempt, scoffed at this request and refused to give anything. David’s men had no option but to return empty-handed. This so angered David that he decided to take 400 men and take forcibly from Nabal what he wanted.

David’s attitude in this situation is in marked contrast to what it had been when he spared Saul’s life.  With Saul, he had been controlled by spiritual principles and now he was intent on personal revenge.  Perhaps this was at least partially due to the fact that the council of his dear friend and confidant, Samuel, was now gone.


I should never allow the action of people govern our attitudes and reactions toward them but seek to apply the principles of God’s word in each situation.

I Samuel 25:1-17 (English Standard Version)

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