Summary: David, Pt. 6 of 15


Public Agenda, a non-profit group, interviewed more than 2,000 people in its study on civility and manners called “Aggravating Circumstances: A Status Report on Rudeness in America.” The group revealed that eight in 10 Americans say a lack of respect and courtesy is a serious problem, and six in 10 say things have become worse in recent years. More than a third (35 percent) admit to being aggressive drivers.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they’ve often seen customers treat sales staff rudely -- while 46 percent also say they’ve walked out of a store because of the way the staff treated them. Nearly everyone surveyed (94 percent) agreed that the biggest complain is to “call a company and get a recording instead of a human being” and 77 percent said telemarketing is “rude and pushy.”

While three-quarters say that people have become more caring and thoughtful to others after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, only 34 percent said the feeling would last a long time; 46 percent thought it would only last a few months and 18 percent believed it was already over.

More than two-thirds (71%) say they’ve witnessed parents shouting at coaches, referees or players. (USA Today 4/2/04 “How rude, and aggravating”).

David was the great Jewish hope to the throne, the next in line to succeed Saul, and a Zorro or Robin Hood figure to the masses. People should thank him for his victories over Goliath and the Philistines, but they heard he was Saul’s enemy, he had no army, and he had befriended Moab (1 Sam 22:4). All of a sudden, David was out-of-luck, out-of-favor and out-on-his-own. The former hero would soon be the ex-son-in-law of Saul (v 44). The Chinese say “Everyone hits a rat that crosses the street” and “Dogs bully the tiger that descends to the plains.”

How do you respond when you are treated like dirt or scum? What could you do if you are pushed out, pushed too far, and pushed to the edge?


2 A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings. 4 While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. 5 So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. 6 Say to him: ’Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! 7 “’Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. 8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’“ 9 When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited. 10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” 12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. (1 Sam 25:2-12)

When the traveler entered the small-town bar, patrons were (gathered around) watching (intently at) a presidential news conference (that was blaring) on TV. The outsider listened (to the president’s speech impatiently and agitatedly) for a few minutes, then blurted out (in frustration in front of everybody): “Boy, Bill Clinton sure is a horse’s rear.”

Suddenly, nearly every person in the bar beat him to a pulp. Dismayed, the stranger got up and exclaimed (to the bar’s friendly bartender), “Wow, this must really be Clinton country.”

“Nope (stranger),” responded the bartender. “(This is not Clinton country, this is) Horse country. (Don’t insult the horses like that).”

Someone once said, “Temperamental is 95% temper and 5% mental.”

Thomas Kempis, the author of “The Imitation of Christ,” said, “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”

David once almost lost his head when he was insulted. He had tried hard to be good, to be a nice guy, to do the right thing, but he had it with tycoons like Nabal and up to the neck and sick and tired of people like him. David and his men had done much for Nabal. They were no free-loaders, extortionists, or beggars. According to Nabal’s servant (v 15), David and his men had volunteered to guard Nabal’s flocks from bandits, thieves, and wild animals for an extended period of time without pay or complain, but they were looked down, laughed at and taken for granted.

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