Summary: Seek to be a peacemaker, and speak to build others up.
All of us REACT when we are angry; we don’t RESPOND with wisdom and sense. When we are in a rage, we do crazy things.
• We’re going to see one rare moment in David’s life when he was driven by anger, in 1 Sam 25.
• It can happen to any one of us, me included. I have a very short fuse, those who knows me will know.
• David was in need of food, for himself and his men, and sought out the help of a very rich man NABAL who stayed nearby and owns a large flock.
This was not an unreasonable request as NABAL’s flock has been receiving David’s protection from bandits and robbers. David’s presence nearby has been a blessing.
• Moreover it was sheep-shearing time and customary for the rich to bless the needy.
• But David’s request was harshly and rudely turned down!
• This angered David and he reacted with vengeance. He took arms and brought 400 of his men to fight Nabal to get what he wants.
Read 1 Sam 25:1-13.
Don’t let rage drive you. Nothing good can come out of it. The opposite is true, it leads us to do foolish things.
• The best thing to do when you are angry is to take time out – not to say anything or do anything, until that rage is over.
When Abraham Lincoln was still a lawyer, he was once approached by a man who passionately insisted on bringing a suit for $25 against a poor debtor. Lincoln tried to discourage him, but the man was bent on suing this man.
When he saw that the man would not be but off, Lincoln agreed to take the case and asked for a legal fee of $100, which the plaintiff paid.
Lincoln then gave half the money to the defendant, to settle out of court. The defendant confessed to the debt and paid the $25!
What amazes Lincoln was that this plaintiff agreed and was satisfied with it.
Daily Walk, 22 May 92
It’s foolish, but he is not seeing it. The passion to get even blinds us.
• Rom 12:17-19 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.”
• We are to DO WHAT IS RIGHT and this does not include TAKING REVENGE.
• Our number one concern is not JUSTICE. It is to show love and kindness, to extend mercy and grace, to seek unity and peace.
Read 1 Sam 25:14-19.
The moment she was informed by her servant, 25:18 says “Abigail LOST NO TIME.”
• She sized up the situation and came up with a plan.
• She pulled together an impressive array of goods for David and his men, the best she could offer in that short notice.
That’s propitiation (atoning sacrifice) – the offering of a gift to turn away wrath.
She was driven by the desire for PEACE. It’s not about who is right or just.
• We read in Rom 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
• Prov 16:7 “When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.”
Abigail was not trying to defend Nabal’s actions. The author starts off telling us clearly in 25:3 that Nabal “was surly and mean in his dealings”, harsh and wicked.
• His servant testified that Nabal is a wicked man who listens to no one (25:17).
• Later when Abigail spoke to David, she herself says Nabal is wicked man (25:25).
She is not trying to defend Nabal. She is seeking for PEACE, not justice. She is a PEACEMAKER, not a judge of her husband.
• Rom 12:17 says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” We are to be peacemakers.
SEEK TO BE A PEACEMAKER
• Matt 5:19 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Any guarantee of a success in this? NO. But you cannot fault her for not trying.
• Most of us fail at this point. We don’t even try. It’s too difficult, to come against a group of 400 men. Who am I? Just a housewife.