Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 25

The death of Nabal

1 Samuel 25:36-39

Abigail had convinced David that he should not attack Nabalís house. She had saved Nabalís servants, and she could have saved Nabalís life too. However, Nabal was much too proud and wicked to receive any benefit from her actions.

Nabalís proud attitudes astonish us. It did not worry him that he had offended David so seriously. He was not even making plans about how he might defend himself from an attack by Davidís men. Instead, he was very happy. He had arranged for himself (and, probably, his friends) a great meal with plenty of food and wine. He was enjoying himself very much.

Probably, Nabal was pleased that he had cheated Davidís men. They had worked hard for him for several months, and he had not given them the usual payment. Nabal probably thought that he was very clever. This proud and foolish man thought that it was clever to behave in a wicked manner.

David did not need to punish Nabal. As Abigail had said (25:29), God acted against him. The news of how Abigail had acted to save Nabal and his servants, upset him greatly. The Bible says that his heart became like a stone. He was completely unwilling to change his attitudes; this seems to have caused a terrible illness.

Soon afterwards, Nabal died.

David heard, and he gave thanks to God. He did not thank God for Nabalís death. He thanked God because God had saved him from the responsibility for an evil deed. David had not carried out his intention to kill Nabal and his servants. Instead, he waited and he allowed God to act against Nabal.

So Nabal died, not because David was angry with him, but because of Godís judgement. David could see that Godís judgement against Nabal, like all Godís judgements, was right and proper.

Next part: Abigail becomes Davidís wife (1 Samuel 25:40-44)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.