“The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure” – Proverbs 14:16 (NIV).
Have you ever encountered a situation where soon after doing someone a favor, you too, had a need, only to be repulsed like vermin! This is what happened to King David who at one point offered protection to a one Nabal. David’s men night and day had a wall around protecting Nabals sheep (1 Samuel 25:6). But when David later sent his men to Nabal for a favour, he scoffed back, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where” (vv 10-11).
Of course it hurt! David swore to go out and teach this man some lesson. “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!” (vv 21-22).
What saved the day was that Nabal by a strange coincidence had married an “intelligent and beautiful woman” (vv 3). Abigail, on learning of the imminent attack, without wasting and even warning Nabal, hurried to prepare a gift which she went ahead to deliver to David in person.
“Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal” Abigail pleaded (vv 25). “He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you” (vv 25- 26).
This entreaty and gift cooled down David who rescinded and turned back. On hearing later what had happened, Nabal, “his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died” (vv 37- 38.)
The Bible has many passages where it warns us not being as foolish as Nabal. Here was a man who had once been helped only to hurl back insults when a simple request was made. His foolishness risked the death of an entire group of people under him. This is why Proverbs 3:35 says, “The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.”
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven, today I pray for the wisdom you give and bless your servants with, to guide and lead me on, this I pray in Jesus’s name!