Security often implies protection, bur does not guarantee it, especially when we place it in things other than the Lord.
In 1 Samuel 25, we see various examples of how placing our security and hope in the wrong things can result in devastating consequences.
-secure in our family/inheritance
-secure in our wealth/position
-secure in our strengths/skills
-secure in the Lord.
Secure in our family/inheritance:
Nabal: Calebite—book of Numbers story of Caleb.
Caleb: faithful, trusted the Lord.
Nabal obtained his wealth as a relative of Caleb.
-Nabal inherited Caleb’s wealth and physical blessings from God, but not his character.
-We cannot assume God’s favor and blessings for our family is a product of salvation or an indicator of our character.
-Are there areas we place our identity and security in our families that make it easy to settle for simple comforts? Does our misplaced security allow us to idolize our family?
Secure in our wealth/position:
– While David was in pursuit of Nabal and all of his household to kill them all, Nabal was drunk and feasting like a king.
-“high in spirit”: cheerful
-ignorant and unrepentant
His wealth afforded him the ability to maintain his ignorant and foolish behavior.
We see this all the time among the rich and famous. They are often blindsided when their wealth and fame suddenly disappears. A spiral most observes see coming every step of the way.
This means that those of us blessed with wealth need to be good stewards and generous givers of it. Our wealth cannot save us. What comforts do we cling onto as if we deserve them instead of generously offering them to those in need?
Secure in our skills/strengths:
-David’s skills in communication:
-Wise time to ask/shearing sheep/feasting/abundance of food.
-humble approach, sent men on his behalf not as an anointed king/military general, but as a servant and a friend.
-His kind, thought out, and humble request set expectations for a favorable response.
-David’s skills in war:
-Upon the response from Nabal, David resorted to his skills in war/ defeating enemies.
-Why such a strong response to Nabal, but not Saul?
Matthew Henry commentary: “He who at other times used to be calm and considerate is now put into such a heat by a few hard words that nothing will atone for them but the blood of a whole family. Lord, what is man! What are the best of men, when God leaves them to themselves, to try them, that they may know what is in thrirheathei? From Saul, David expected injuries, and against those he was prepared and stood upon his guard, and so kept his temper; but from Nabal, he expected kindness, and therefore the affront he gave him was a surprise to him, found him off guard, and, by a sudden and unexpected attack, put him for the present into disorder. What need we have to pray? Lord, lead us not into temptation.”
We may be patient, wise, strong, considerate, and/or resourceful, but our skills and strengths are not secure enough to keep or save us from sin. Where do we place our hope and security in our abilities and skills? How often are our abilities and skills used for our sinful ambitions?
Secure in the Lord:
The gospel is illustrated in this story in a few ways:
-Abigail interceded for a very undeserving Nabal.
-Abigail pursued and reminded David of God’s faithfulness, both past and present. She reminded him of the security he has in the Lord.
-She communicates the lasting affecta of sin by appealing to his conscience.
Abigail represents a greater savior who would come to save more than one foolish person.
-She rode to David on a donkey.
-She sought the Lord’s glory in her defense.
-In all of her interactions and upon her marriage proposal, she humbled herself, risking her own life. After the proposal, she even called herself, “a slave to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”
1 Samuel 25 is often overlooked because of the greater narrative between David and Saul, and when it is discussed, it’s usually about Abigail and how men should respect strong women. Abigail is definitely worthy of imitation, but this story clearly points to a greater need of security in the Lord.
Like Nabal, we were foolish and ignorant to our sin.
Like David, we so easily wander and act out of haste/our own desires when we are caught off guard and angered.
Like Abigail, we need to humbly seek and plead for mercy for ourselves and others, especially those who don’t deserve it. (We, in fact, do not!)
We are also presented with two choices:
Like Nabal, will we continue in our ignorance and foolishness? Will we seek security in temporary things? Will we choose to be closed off and defensive to anything that threatens our shallow security?
Like David, will our security rest in the Lord? Will we repent of our sin? Will we recognize that accountability and being called out in our sin should cause us to repent and worship, and not feel threatened?
Like David, we can respond with humility when Abigail’s come to keep us from continuing in sin. We can thank him for the mercy of accountability.
Like Abigail, we can respond to the the sin’s of others with humility and a gospel focus – communicating in love and trusting the Lord to be faithful.
When our security rests in the Lord, we can trust that all discipline, discomfort, unexpected insults, and sin is met with grace from a faithful God who pursues our hearts.