June 21, 2001

1 Samuel 25

V. 1, And Samuel died...

1. He was president of the college of prophets, 19:20.
2. He prayed daily for Israel, 12:23.
3. He feared that Saul would kill him, 16:2.
A man not right with God and a guilty conscience is capable of anything. Again here Saul would see Samuel's actions of anointing David as a serrious threat to his throne.

4. Samuel died, and all the Israelites...Lamented him, but Samuel lost his children, 8:3. It looks like of all people who would keep thir chidren, Samuel would, especially after seeing God's judgment on Eli.

Was Samuel too busy watching after Israel?
Was he uninterrested in them?

He gained the respect of the nation, but lost his children.

David... went... He removed himself far from Saul, avoiding trouble.

Vv. 2-11

Nabal means a fool.

V. 3, of the house of Calab. he inherited Caleb's estate (Josh. 15:54, 55, 19:4), but did not inherit Caleb's charactor. He was a disgrace and a dishonour to his family.

The most important thinga man can gain is a good name to be passed down from generation to generation. This man (a fool) was more interested in a good estate to be passed down to the next generation, or to enjoy on himself.

The name of hsi wife was Abigain, meaning, the joy of her father.

The names here are very interesting.

Nabal – a fool

1. Interested in wealth over a good name.

1 ¶ A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Pro. 22:2.)

2. Churlish – hard, cruel, sever, obstinate, stubborn

2 ¶ A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. (Pro. 18:2.)

1 Samuel 25:36, this fool's desire was to enjoy life – please his heart.

3. The man who will not hear nor do the words of the Son of David is a fool.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (Mat. 7.)

(Copied to message file, June 22, 2001, titus:3:3)
4. Titus 3:3. Actually, vv. 1-8:

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

Paul's letter to Titus:

Paul is instructing Titus concerning his duties as a leader in the church, 1:5ff. He instructs him on how to organize the church, and instructs him concerning what kind of leaders to place in the church. Paul also warns Titus concerning the false teachers, teachers who are consumed with Jewish fables, and commandments of men. He warns Titus not to be taken in by their false Jewish doctrines (as is the church today, sad to say). In fact, Paul tells Titus to rebuke them sharply, or severely, in a way that such reproof would be clearly understood, even using names, and such reproof would plainly show the wickedness of such wrong traits, 1:13, 14.

Rebuke. Rebuke offenders. Tit 2:15. See the use of the word in Mt 8:26 12:16, (rendered charged;) Mt 16:22, 17:18; Mt 19:13, 20:31, Lu 4:35, 39, 17:3, 18:15, Jude 1:9. In the New Testament the word is used to express a judgment of what is wrong, or contrary to one's will, and hence to admonish or reprove. It implies our conviction that there is something evil, or some fault in him who is rebuked. The word in this verse rendered reprove, does not imply this, but merely that one may be in error, and needs to have arguments presented to convince him of the truth. That word also implies no superior authority in him who does it. He presents reasons, or argues the case, for the purpose of convincing. The word here rendered rebuke, implies authority or superiority, and means merely that we may say that a thing is wrong, and administer a rebuke for it, as if there were no doubt that it was wrong. The propriety of the rebuke rests on our authority for doing it, not on the arguments which we present. This is based on the presumption that men often know that they are doing wrong, and need no arguments to convince them of it. The idea is, that the minister is not merely to reason about sin, and convince men that it is wrong; but he may solemnly admonish them not to do it, and warn them of the consequences. (Barns' Notes on 2 Tim. 4:2.)

1:13, such sharp rebuke is needed to make people sound in the faith.

Note that because such sharp rebuke, even by name, is missing in the church today, there are few who are sound in the faith. I have found that pointed, sharp rebuke rather than making those caught in sin stronger in the faith, generally drives them from the church. Sharp rebuke will cause them to find a church where they will not be rebuked, but praised even while they remain in the sins mentioned in 3:3.

1:16, Paul tells Titus that a person, particularly the false teacher, is not known by his words, but by his works.

Abominable – detestable, or offensive.
Disobedient – failing to obey the faith they so loudly proclaim.
Reprobate – not standing the test, or does not prove out to be what was claimed or what it should have been. (Note that our "money" with the hard metals, gold and silver, removed is now reprobate.)

Despite their claim to be lovers of God and Christians, their conduct is offensive, and does not confirm their profession. Not only are these type of men not to be placed in leadership, but they should be avoided. They are dangerous to the believer, and will corrupt one's faith.

In chapter 2, Paul tells Titus what he is to emphasize, which are the positive aspects of the faith.

Note that it is not enough to tell people what not to be and do, but we must tell then what to be and do.

2:11, 12, the grace of God that brings salvation also teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; it teaches us to live soberly – discreetly and with due restraint on our passions and natural inclinations. God's grace also teaches us to live righteously, or justly. It teaches us to perform our proper duties – fulfill our Godly responsibilities – towards others. Justice leads us to act towards others as we wish they would towards us. Godly, faithful performance of all our duties to God as required by His word.

Thus, those who do not have strong inclinations toward the character traits of v. 12 and power to obtain them, have not God's grace to teach them, for grace is both the desire and power to do God's will.

V. 15, Paul again reminds Titus to speak with authority. (Comp. with 1:13.) He has been given God's authority, so he should speak accordingly, pointing out sin, and directing the hearers on the proper way.

Paul reminds Titus of his authority from God, urging him to strongly and boldly speak out against sin, and even confront by name those who are not by their works confirming what their mouths say (1:16); Paul then tempers Titus, and all who would follow in Titus' steps as pastors and leaders among God's people, with 3:1-8.

3:1, 2, Paul reminds us through Titus that before we come down hard on others for their unchristian actions and attitudes, (1:16) we should remember that were at one time like that. Remembering our own weakness before God did His work of grace in us, should make us gentile and meek to others who are caught in the trap we were in. However, vv. 1-8 are not a call to back down from our responsibility to rebuke and exhort, but they are a call to a meek attitude and spirit as we do point out sin by name. (2 Tim. 2:25.)

V. 3, we should remember that we were ourselves at one time,

A. Foolish – unwise, not understanding, particularly concerning the gospel.
B. Disobedient – to the law, to those in authority, and primarily to God. The natural tendancy of the human heart is rebellion.
C. Deceived – by our great enemy, by false teachers, by our own hearts, by flattery. Deceived as to what is important in life.
D. Serving divers lusts and pleasures – sometimes we were so much under the control of the lusts of the flesh that it seemed that we were their servant, eating, drinking and being merry.
E. Living in malice and envy – opposite of excellent – feeling of displeasure by hearing of or seeing the prosperity of others.
F. Hateful – conduct such as to be worthy of the hatred of others.
G. Hating one another – no brotherly love nor true affection for others. (Ja. 4:1.)

The Paul goes on to remind us that even though we were in the fallen condition described by v. 3, the Lord Himself appeared to us, and saved us. Paul uses the fact that we were at one time controlled by the attitudes of v. 3 to prove that it was not by works of righteousness that the Lord saved us, for we have none. Rather, it was by his mercy and grace, v. 5. (1 Jn. 4:10, Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.)

V. 10, heresy – a choice or an opinion that does not line up with the word of God.

10. heretic—Greek "heresy," originally meant a division resulting from individual self-will; the individual doing and teaching what he chose, independent of the teaching and practice of the Church. In course of time it came to mean definitely "heresy" in the modern sense; and in the later Epistles it has almost assumed this meaning. The heretics of Crete, when Titus was there, were in doctrine followers of their own self-willed "questions" reprobated in #Tit 3:9, and immoral in practice.

reject—decline, avoid; not formal excommunication, but, "have nothing more to do with him," either in admonition or intercourse. (JFB)

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. (1 Cor. 11:19.)
¶ But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1.)

The heretic follows and teaches traditions of men over the word of God. Those traditions may appear sound, but they are not Scriptural. In this context of Titus, Paul may well be warning against those who draw out followers after their vain and unscriptural ideas — that is, the Jewish fables, and commandments of men, 1:14. (Cf. Gal. 1:13, 14.)

Jewish fables (literally, myths) are no new thing. Paul has plainly warned the household of faith not to give heed thereto. He has not given us a list of those grievous heresies; but it is well known that the one that was most fondly cherished, and that constituted the gravest menace to the truth of the gospel, was the notion that the leading purpose of the mission of the coming Messiah would be the reconstitution of the Jewish nation and its elevation to the highest pinnacle of earthly dominion and glory; for that fatuous doctrine was the cornerstone of orthodox Judaism in Paul's day; and because of his sturdy opposition to it he was persecuted, his enemies plotted to take his life, and he was sent a prisoner to Rome. No wonder that, during the term of his imprisonment there, he wrote to Titus his plain-spoken warning against "Jewish fables." (The Hope of Israel: What is it? By Philip Mauro. See Online Bible, ME 1.01. It is a good study, showing the utter fallacy of the modern Jewish hope of the church.)

The New Testament authors worked at keeping the Jewish fables out of the chruch; every New Testament book dealt with the fallacy of the Jews religion. (I have gone into this fact elsewhere, so no need to here.)

However, there are many other heresies prevalent in the church, e.g., denial of the trinity, denial of sovereignty and divine providence, election, works that prove salvation, proper authority, &c.

Paul tells Titus to exercise his God-given authority and keep the heresies, particularly the Jewish fables, out of the church. If the men promoting the heresies will not keep quiet, then they are to be removed from the church.

However, the problem is that when the fables are dealt with and the heretics are removed, their messages are so appealing that they draw a great number of people after them. And thus they start a new "church" based upon the fables and false teachings, e.g., Edward Irving was cast out of the Presbyterian church because of the tongues heresy, so he went down the street and started his own group with 800 people, the Catholic Apostolic Church, which is still going strong today. And other churches sprang off that group, which was built on heresy. Thus they have a heretical foundation.

Nabal was a perfect illustration of v. 3, the foolish.

3. 1 Samuel 25:10,

7 A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. (Pro. 18:7.)

Nabal's lips snared his soul. His rash, unthinking and foolish words cost him his life.

4. 25:25, and folly is in him.

Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly. (Pro. 15:21.)

Folly – foolishness. A disregard of moral and religious claims.

Some more things here (5039 - P 594, 1285 in TWOT)

1) Moses chides his generation, calling them a foolish people (Deut 32:6, 16) who do not appreciate the Lord's goodness and provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods.

The heathen nations are characterized as foolish, leaving Moses comparing his generation's unfaithfulness to the pagans.

The result of God's people's foolishness is (Deut. 32:1) shame and self-destruction. (Nabal a perfect example.)

Here again we see the law acted out in the life of an Old Testament character, illustrating the New Testament doctrine listed in Titus 3:1-3. Thus, New Testament doctrine is rooted in the law.

2) The prophets spoke of the fool and his end, not only in Isaiah (32:5-7, above), but also in Jeremiah 17:11. Here is a man who gathers wealth unjustly, and he will lose it in the midst of life. As Nabal lost his in the midst of a rich harvest of wool, he died. He worked all his life, only to leave it to David.

3) Nabal had a closed mind, saying in his heart, "No, God." (Ps 14:1, 53:1.)

He would not listen to David, or the Son of David today. "My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts."

4) The fool, Nabal, oppresses the poor and need; he will not hear their cry.

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. (Pro. 21:13. See Deut. 24:15.)

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. (Mat. 25:45.)

In rejecting David's cry, Nabal rejected the Son's cry.

5) A fool, Nabal, reproaches the servants of God.

8 Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish. (Ps. 39.)

Reproach – put guilt or blame on another. (Neh. 6:13.)

Thine hand... The fool in his folly cannot find anything to give the Son of David except maybe a little of the excess.

6) Nabal, the fool in his folly, could care less about the protection David had provided him. (25:15, 16.)

I know those who can look back on their lives and see how the Son of David has protected them day and night, and they still cannot find time to serve Him nor can they find the money to tithe.

7) Nabal, the fool (25:36ff.) was much more interested in the "good times" than he was in helping David.

8) Nabal, the fool,) answered David without thinking (25:10), and now he finds out the result (25:37-38). Scares him to death.

Because once a truth from God's word is presented, the man is finnished until he acts upon it.

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thes. 2. Ja. 1:22.)

I could not name all the people I know who claim to be Christians who have and rejected a truth from God's word, and now they are firmly caught in a lie.

Why? The fool is dead in his folly. The Son of David spoke to them, yet they rejected that word. Today, their hearts are dead. Their lives are like stone, and they will die in that condition if they do not answer the request of the Son of David.


A few more things about Nabol:

1. He turned his back upon a moddest request from the one who had been anointed above his brethren, but had not come into his kingdom yet.

2. A man who is ‘full,' prosperous, forgets the Lord and where it came from. He forgets who helped and protected him day and night.

3. V. 8, David called himself a son, and asked his ‘father' for bread. His ‘father' gave him a stone instead.

V. 13.

Now David messes up. He is about to return evil for evil. What was David's motive for protecting the men in the wildreness. Was it for the prospect of pay?

V. 21, Surely in vain... David repents of the goo he had done because it did not turn out as he believed it should. He says Nabal gave him evil for good, but David here is no better — he is about to give evil for evil.

V. 22, kill every male in Nabal' sline. David here sounds more like Saul than David. David had just spaired the life of the man who sought to kill him. Now he is about to kill a man and his family for simply refusing to feed him, and saying a few bad things about him.

If we are not careful, we will become just like our enemy – if we spend our time watching him and thinking on him instead of the Lord, we will become like him.

David expected Saul to be against him, but he did not expect this of Nabal. David was caught off guard, so he starts to do some things he should not do.

Did God leave David here for a season to try his heart?
Our prayer needs to be, Lord, lead us not into temptation.

V. 14, now we come to Abigail, Nabal's wife.

Abigail, Joy of her father. Notice here that she would not be much joy to her father married to Nabal. Her father probably gave her to Nabal for money. How many children are thrown to the ungodly for money, e.g., given over to the state for education.

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband. (Pro. 12:4.) Here in her wisdom, she spared her husband's life from an angry man, David.

Questions with no answers, vv. 18-35:

David, who knew better, is about to commit murder by taking matters into his own hands. How could he?

Answer? The Lord here shows us that anyone can fall victim to their pride and anger. We must be continually on guard to keep our emotions area under control. However, the Lord did protect David from himself, and He used a godly woman to do that.

Our greatest enemy is our self, our own spirit. And God gives us godly wives to help us.

Abigail takes the best of the house and meets David.

She knew her husband would not approve of what she did, but she did it anyway.
Did she rebel against her husband? Does the end justify the means (rebellion here)?

Could she lawfully do this in defense of her household because she did not use her husband's goods for self-gratification nor vanity?

V. 25, does Abigail here rail against her husband – speak evil against him, or just speak facts well-known to all. (V. 17.)

V. 25, I saw not... Is she here telling David that she knew better how to manage her husband's affairs? See Proverbs 31.

V. 26, Let thy enemies be as Nabal... How would this sound? Let thine enemies be as my husband. Here again, is she speaking derogatory of her husband. Is she saying that she hopes God avenges and kills him?

V. 31, is she here offering to trade her husband for David?

Now, this is all on the bad side, and maybe it is not. These are just unanswered questions in my mind about this situation.

1. Abigail saw a threat to her home. While her husband slept in a drunken stupor, she moved to protect her household.

2. She saw the great danger, and responded correctly to spare both her household and the Lord's anointed, David.

3. Her cool head calmed David's hot passions.

4. She presented the facts in such a humble, soft way (A soft answer turneth away wrath, Pro. 15:1) that David had no choice but to listen and heed.

5. She realized David had God's hand upon him, in her gentle manner, reminded David of that.

6. She took the blame for her husband's shortcomings. Notice here that more times than not, the wife fills in the husband's weak points. Opposites attract. What Nabal lacked in his folly, his wife made up in her wisdom.

This almost makes one wonder if Nabal was not prosperous because of his wife's wise management. It appears that Nabal's wife was "holding him up" by making the right household decisions while he got the credit for the prosperity. V. 25, the reason the bad decision was made was because she did not get to the men first.

7. She preached a sermon that was hard to ignore, vv. 28-31.

A wise man will listen to a woman's warning, especially his wife's. In fact, he will seek and heed her advise.

8. V. 32, David credits the Lord God for sending Abigail to him with her gentle rebuke. Many times, a woman is more sensitive to the still small voice, especially when the man is moved with a spirit of vengeance, hot passions.

V. 35, a wise man will hear the message regardless of the messenger. Many times, men in their pride will not hear the warning, message, of a woman, even though she is speaking the truth. She was truly the joy of her father.

Here David listened – truth is truth no matter who speaks it.

V. 22, David had made an evil vow.
Upon advice of someone inferior in every way ( a woman especially to a jew was worse than a slave), David broke the vow.

God many times might send a warning with someone we might consider inferior. Our best bet is to consider that warning according to the word of God, regardless of the source. Remember, Balaam and the source of his warning. It would have been death if he did not hear and heed. (Nu. 22:28, 2 Pet. 2:16.)

Oaths and vows cannot bind that go contrary to the principles of God's word. It was an evil vow, but it would have been more evil to have preformed it.

God prevented — God avenged.

V. 36, how easy for us to get into our heads to work things out on our own. Do it our way. We must learn to set back, mind our own business, and let the Lord God move and take care of the details as He did with Nabal. We need to glorify God: 1) for keeping us from sin. 2) for taking care of the situations if we will allow Him to do so.

Sum at this point:

1) Nabal the fool, in his folly did some stupid things.
2) David was about to go set him strength by answering stupid with stupid, folly for folly, foolishness with foolishness.
3) Abigail, the joy of her father, gave him a mild reproof.
4) David listened, and held himself back from sin.
5) God moved in time, and He took care of the problem.
6) Instead of God's hand on David for chastisement for killing Nabal, it was on him for good for listening to Abigail.

We need to examine our actions, especially actions under the heat and emotion of the moment, from every angle, or we may find God's hand against us. In this case, if David had gone ahead and killed Nabal and his house, he would not have been able to make it right.

We can make it right, but never undo the damage done by our tongue or actions when we answer foolishness with foolishness.

Psalms 144:3, Lord, set a watch before not only my mouth, but before me. Send me the warnign in whatever form that pleases You before I move contrary to your word.

Lord, help us to know, help us to hear, help us to stay right, even in the heat of passion.

V. 34, David takes Abigail for his wife. he would have been a fool to pass up a chance to geta woman such as her.

V. 41, notice her humility. She was willing be a servant to David's servants. What does God promise to those with humility? More grace to handle the situations we find ourselves in (1 Pet. 5:5.)

David in his pride was blind to proper action.
Abigail in her humility had the wisdom of Almighty God upon her to handle every situation. Of course, Abigail was a good example of the Proverbs 31 woman.

Too bad David could not be happy with her; he would have avoided the problem with Bathsebah.

V. 43, these Old Testament men sure had problems with their wives. I cannot think of any who had only one at a time except Adam and Noah, and Isaac. Ahab only had one wife, and I am sure Jezebel was enough.

Vv. 37, 38, Jude 12, twice dead. Nabal the fool – 1) dead drunk with wine. 2) the fool, dead while alive – fear caused a heart attack or a massive stroke, and he became paralyzed. He went from merry to heavy as a stone.

The end of mirth is heaviness. The joy of the Lord makes the heart light.

All the wisdom in the world would not bring the fool to repentance, but reproof brings dispar.

3) he died. And no one missed him. In fact, they probably rejoiced at his going – the typical departure of a fool. No one has pleasure in a fool. Where are we investing our lives? The fool into things. Wisdom into people and things eternal.

June 28, 2001