Summary: A wise man learns to control his temper.

Note: This is the sermon manuscript that Ben carried into the pulpit. Feel free to use it in any way to advance the kingdom of God.

Days of David:

A Wise Woman Saves the Day

1 Samuel 25

Englewood Baptist Church

Sunday evening, May 4, 2008

With our third son on the way, I have been re-reading this book by James Dobson entitled Bringing up Boys. We are going to encourage all parents and grandparents to pick up a copy this Sunday on Mother’s Day. But Dobson confesses in the beginning of this book that raising boys is a great challenge in this day. He doesn’t mean that raising girls is easy; he simply states that the feminist movement in the 60’s and 70’s has redefined the role of manhood and our boys are growing up with confusion about what it means to be a man.

And he makes the point that man-bashing has become a popular activity on television. There is no more Cosby show where dad is a central figure, a loving father, a devoted husband, and a hard-working noble man. That person no longer exists on TV. Like the dinosaur, he is extinct and he is probably not coming back. Nowadays, the media has created a new standard for masculinity. Here is what he says…

Television sitcoms also blast away at traditional masculinity, much like a wrecking ball crashing into a building. After enough direct hits, the structure begins to crumble. There is not a single example, as I write, of a healthy family depicted on network programming that includes a masculine guy who loves his kids and is respected by his wife. None! Beginning in the 1970’s, with redneck Archie Bunker and his browbeaten wife, Edith, prime-time TV programming has evolved into today’s fare, most of which features profane and sexually explicit cohabitants who meander through one outrageous episode after another. The lead characters are usually men with the giddy mentality of fourteen-year-old boys. The best (or worst) example of this nonsense was seen in a sitcom some years ago called “Men Behaving Badly.” The title says it all.

Now, why do I bring all of this up tonight? Because as we have been following the life of David this year, it is clear that David is a wonderful role model for young men today. We watched in 1 Samuel 16 as he humbly served his family by working in the fields. He was shocked to be anointed as king, chosen over his 7 older brothers. His humility is so refreshing. But he is no weak-willed boy that likes a spine.

In the next chapter, in chapter 17, David demonstrates courage and bravery as he steps up to face the giant Goliath. He takes risks for God and does not worship his own comfort and security. How rare is that?

And tonight, we reach chapter 25, and I want to read this story to you because you will see that David almost ruins his ministry. He nearly throws it all away when he loses his temper with a fool. This is a close call for the king-in-waiting.

I heard a story this week about a bull that loved to chew his cud while sitting beneath a shade tree. That particular tree was located just a stone’s throw from a set of railroad tracks. And every time that train came blowing by, it would disturb his afternoon nap and frustrate him. So this bull had all that he could take and one day, he became so agitated that he decided to take action. He heard the train blowing it’s whistle a mile down the way so he took that train head on. He stood right there in the middle of the tracks and this was a showdown.

As you can guess, minutes later, the conductor of that train was cleaning what remained of that animal from the front of the locomotive. And when had done that, he tipped his cap to that bull, and said, “Bull, I admire your courage. I question your judgment.”

That same thing applies to our lives today. Men, God has wired you to be a leader, but you must control your temper. You must learn to exercise good judgment. In this story, you are about to see David nearly lose God’s blessing as he exercises poor judgment. But don’t worry, in the end, David comes out a king and models once again what it means to be a strong man, a strong leader. We need more Davids. Let’s follow him.

Read 1 Samuel 25.

Now go back to the beginning and be sure that we know what’s happening here. A new character is introduced and his name is Nabal. Ironically, his name means “fool.” Why any woman would name her son “fool” is beyond me, but that is his name, and he lives up to his name. He is described in the NIV as surly and mean in his dealings. He was rude. Now, I’m sure you have met someone like that before. They seem to be mad at the world.

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