Summary: Learn from a very wise woman(Abigail) how to handle a very foolish man (Nabal)
What To Do When You’re Married to a Jerk
The scene opens in the desert, west of the dead sea.
David and his 600 guerrilla fighters are camped and hiding from Saul. But they’re not idle. They’re a kind of unofficial police force for the area.
They protected shepherds from the attack of marauding tribes who would suddenly overrun an area, steal livestock and assault small villages.
Now, a big beneficiary of their presence was a guy named “Nabal”. Nabal was kind of the “Ben Cartwright” of the area. He was very rich, and as a result… very influential.
On his “Bonanza” he owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. Pretty good, when you consider that the average rancher owned only about 100 sheep.
But unlike Ben Cartwright, Nabal wasn’t wise, caring and fatherly. In fact, he was just the opposite. The name Nabal , lit. in the Heb means, “fool”.
When the bible uses that term it’s not talking about a dumb or ignorant person… it’s talking about a person who lives their life as if there’s no God.
Ps. 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God”. By that definition, there are a lot of “Nabals” in the world today.
People going about their lives as “practical atheists”. Maybe they “say”, there is a God, but they live each day as if He doesn’t exist.
(you probably know some people like that.)
Anyway, Nabal was a fool… what would be today’s equivalent of a JERK!
Can you imagine going through life with a name like “Jerk”? How would you explain it to your kindergarten teacher on the first day of school?
Or to the clerk at the DMV, when you get your license.
How would you like to sign all your checks “Jerk”?
Kind of makes you wonder how a guy would get a name like that doesn’t it?
1. I mean, did his mother name him that? Could you imagine naming your kid, “Jerk”?
“Jerk!… time to come in for supper!”
“Goodnight Jerk…sweet dreams!”
2. Or maybe it was just a nickname that he was given as a kid, and it stuck.
3. Maybe his Dad named him “Jerk”. Kind of like “The boy named Sue”. His way of making him grow up tough!
4. It could even be that people started calling him “Jerk”, behind his back as an adult. You know, like some workers have a secret name for their boss. Or the way, students hang nick-names on their teachers. (we’ve all done that!)
We don’t really know for sure how Nabal got his name. But what we do know from the incident we’re going to discuss this morning, is that He certainly lived up to it!
Vs. 3 of chap 25 gives us some insight into his personality. It tells us he was “harsh and evil in his dealings…” In otherwords he was…
and 3rdly… he was…
And that really is the “Portrait of a JERK”…
• Someone who expects their mate to put up with their obnoxious behavior and treatment of them.
• Someone who’s always trying to get something for nothing…and uses other people to get it.
• 3rdly, A Jerk is someone who is stubborn. A person who doesn’t admit that he/she has a problem, and is unwilling to change.
Now, I want you to notice that Nabals wife is exactly the opposite of him. The bible contrasts her with him, in that same verse, it says here that she was both “intelligent and beautiful”.
Lit., she had good understanding and a beautiful form. She was lovely not only on the outside… but on the inside as well.
Their marriage was a study in oxymorons! Here was this beautiful, intelligent woman… married to this rude, mean… brute!
Have you ever seen it? After all, it’s not the first time that a talented, competent, & gifted woman… has married a jerk!
For Abigail, it could have been an arranged marriage… she didn’t have any choice in the matter… but then again, like some women, she may have married him for his money…
…It could even be that she saw some spark of greatness in him and thought she could change him over time. A lot of women get married for that reason.
And as a result, a lot of women get married to jerks! We can try and talk them out of it… but most of the time they just won’t listen.
Sometimes, a husband can start out nice and then over time turn into a jerk. Everybody changes… sometimes for the worse, and if you’re married today… you are at least partially responsible for your partners changes (good or bad).
If you did a survey of the women in this room this morning, you’d probably find out that all husbands are at least part-time jerks. Now I’m not “male-bashing”, but once in a while, or maybe once a year… every husband plays the part of the fool.