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Summary: David, our hero, is about to make the biggest mistake of his life, but Abigail saves the day.

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Introduction:

A. One day a minister noticed that he was putting his congregation to sleep with a rather dry sermon.

1. To wake folks up he declared, “I lived with a woman for over 17 years who was not my wife!”

2. As you can imagine the sleepy heads in the pew quickly woke up and paid attention.

3. He then clarified, “The woman was my mother” and he proceeded to talk about the effect his mother had on him.

4. It so happened that another preacher was present that day and was amused by the wit of the preacher and made a mental note to use that same technique back at his church.

5. So on his first Sunday back in the pulpit, he opened with the same line – “For 17 years I lived with a woman who was not my wife!”

6. An awkward silence lingered as the preacher realized that he forgot the punch line.

7. Finally he confessed, “And for the life of me I can’t remember who she was.”

B. Today we want to look at a woman who came into David’s life and saved the day.

1. Like David, many of us have had wonderful women full of wisdom who have made a huge difference in our lives.

2. The last thing we want to do is to forget them and the blessing they have been to us.

The Story:

A. Chapter 25 of 1 Samuel opens with the announcement of the death of Samuel the prophet.

1. The Bible says, “Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.” (25:1)

2. The entire nation gathered and mourned the passing with profound emotion.

3. Samuel had been the last of the judges to guide Israel under God, and in his own right he had been a pretty good judge.

4. When the people had asked that he be replaced by a king, Samuel had been the one to warn them about the consequences of such a choice – they were suffering those consequences under Saul.

5. Samuel had certainly played an important role in David’s life having anointed David as Israel’s next king, and having been in important source of strength and comfort for David.

6. But now the great man of God was gone, and the nation mourned, and David mourned although I’m sure he was not able to assemble with everyone else for the services.

B. As the story continues in this chapter, we are going to be introduced to a very rich, yet foolish man, and his wise and beautiful wife.

1. We are also going to see our hero David, who has modeled patience and self-restraint come very close to losing it all in a fit of anger.

C. Let’s set the stage – Saul is still king, and David is still on the run.

1. David and his six hundred fighting men have been moving about behind the scenes, fighting various wild tribes in the wilderness.

2. And in the process they often were protecting shepherds from attack from these wild tribes.

3. The wilderness of those days was a very dangerous place, what you might call a high-crime district.

4. Bandits frequented the wilderness preying on travelers, and plundering the defenseless.

5. One of Jesus’ most famous parables is about a traveler in the Judean wilderness getting robbed and beaten by thieves – The Parable of the Good Samaritan.

6. So David’s men have been offering their services as an unofficial neighborhood watch group, or a security company.

D. Some modern commentators have accused David of working a “protection racket” like the mob, where you extort money from people on the pretext of “protecting” them, but in reality you are threatening to be the one who inflicts the damage if they don’t pay.

1. But I do not believe that that was what was going on, and the text certainly doesn’t insinuate that. Nabal might have thought that’s what David was doing, but he was wrong.

2. David and his bad of men are fugitives, but they aren’t criminals.

3. They have in fact been offering their services in hope of a generous response from the owner.

E. Let’s pick up the story in verse 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. 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. While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.” (25:2-4)

1. According to the customs of that day, at the time the sheep were sheared it was common for the owner of the animals to set aside a portion of the profit he made and give it to those who had protected his shepherds while they were out in the fields.

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