Summary: What can we learn from Abigail and Nabal with regards to wisdom?

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Sermon by Pr. Paddick Van Zyl

Sep 12, 2014

Wisdom - A Gift From God. Part 2


Wisdom is a Pass Key

Kent Crockett relates the following:

'When I was in college, I lived in a dorm that had 100 rooms, with a lock on each door. It took 100 keys to open those 100 doors. However, the person in charge had a pass-key. That single key had the ability to open the doors to every room in the dorm.

Wisdom is like a pass-key, that will unlock difficult decisions and open doors for you. The Lord is the only one who has the key, but He'll loan it to you, if you'll ask for it. James 1:5 (NASV) says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." --Kent Crockett #


Proverbs 3:13-14


In Part 1 we looked at the 4 types of wisdom, what wisdom accomplishes for the one who uses it and how to get wisdom. In part 2 we will focus on biblical examples of believers who used wisdom and some who did not....

Dennis Bratcher said about wisdom: 'wisdom is really an approach to life, a way of looking at the world and for the Isrealites, a way of living out in very deliberate, rational ways, their commitment to God' ##

Knowledge gets taught through information, wisdom get's taught through God's Word and life experience. You can have knowledge but until it is applied, it will not become 'understanding' or wisdom.

Proverbs 8:34-35

Job 28:12,15,28

Wisdom has to do with discernment and character training

Prov. 9:10

Prov. 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the start, departure point for wisdom.

The wise heart controls the unwise lips/mouth to speak life not death (Prov.16:23)

Listen to wise counsel and grow in wisdom (Prov.12:15)

Wisdom goes hand in hand with humility (Prov.11:2)

Biblical examples of not seeking wisdom:

1 Samuel 2:12-36

Eli did not teach his two sons the fear of the Lord. He did not discipline them properly. He did not teach the to respect the Lord or other people. They knew nothing about wisdom and neither did Eli apply wisdom to his own life or that of his children. The result: they all died before their time and they all died on the same day...

There are many others in the Bible whose life was ruined and cut short due to not applying wisdom to their lives.

Examples of believers who did apply wisdom to life:

Joseph (Gen. 37-50). From being a slave to second in command in Egypt, he learned to use wisdom and discernment.

Ruth (Ruth 1-4). She left the known for the unknown and gave up her dreams, family, everything to follow her mother-in-law Naomi. She listened to and followed the wise counsel of Naomi and prospered since she was humble and did what was right in the sight of the Lord.

Abigail & Nabal (1 Samuel 25)

This is an interesting account of how two people joined in a marriage union can act so differently and one applies wisdom and the other not.

Abigail means: my father's happiness

Nabal means: foolish/senseless

She was a woman of good understanding and knowledge (v 25:3) the Bible tells us. He was foolish, arrogant and full of pride (v 3,10,11).

Her actions to appease David saved not only her household (v 32-33) from destruction but she won the favor and the hand of David in marriage. His foolishness almost cost him his family and household, yet he still died early due to a stroke because of his obstinate and arrogant behavior.


A customer at Green's Gourmet Grocery marveled at the proprietor's quick wit and intelligence.

"Tell me, Green, what makes you so smart?"

"I wouldn't share my secret with just anyone," Green replies, lowering his voice so the other shoppers won't hear, "but because you're a good and faithful customer, I'll let you in on my secret: Fish heads. You eat enough of them, you'll be positively brilliant."

"You sell them here?" the customer asks.

"Only $4 apiece," says Green.

The customer buys three. A week later, he's back in the store complaining that the fish heads were disgusting and he isn't any smarter.

"You didn't eat enough of them," says Green. The customer goes home with 20 more fish heads. Two weeks later, he's back and this time he's really angry.

"Hey, Green," he says, "you're selling me fish heads for $4 apiece when I can buy the whole fish for $2. You're ripping me off!"

"You see?" says Green. "You're smarter already." (from the Good Clean Funnies List) ###


Wisdom is truly a gift from God available to all who would ask for it and apply it to their lives however very few believers do. Many think that by doing some course or reading a lot or because of their age, they have all the wisdom they need. They are like Nabal who relied upon his own power and might to be successful yet lost everything and died before his time.

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