Nabal and Abigail

Bible Teaching by Nicky (Smith) Eatalapaka

1 Samuel Chapter 25

The name 'Nabal' means 'fool' and he was just that! Despite being a rich man and having everything he needed, he did not appreciate that with blessing, comes responsibility. 

Responsibility comes with whatever we may receive in this life.   With wealth and material blessing, come the responsibility of handling them and using them wisely. With spiritual things comes the responsibility of using and handling them wisely. Responsibility for those things we recieve.
Nabal received of David and his men, protection from roving bands of Philistines, who moved around the countryside taking anything that was not well protected.   Nabal lost nothing, whilst David and his men were protecting him and his lands, however he chose to ignore David's request for practical help in the form of food and supplies.   David at this time had some 600 men and their families with him. 

Nabal's response to David's request was, 'Who is David?'   His justification was to choose to ignore what he knew of and the blessing he had received, because he did not want to do anything.   With responsibility also comes the need for action.   God requires us to act upon what we receive and not just sit on it. 

Whatever we receive from God we are accountable/responsible for and choosing to ignore where and from whom it came, does not justify us. 

The word 'responsible' means 'to be liable' or 'called to account for ones actions'.   The New Testament gives us a clear picture of the responsibilities we have and states that we will be held accountable for such things, as we have received. (1 Corinthians 4v2, Matthew 25v14, Luke 19v13, 1 Pet 4v10.) 

Nabal is a good example of a 'shirker', who allows his responsibilities to take second place to his own ideas and desires.   He justifies himself with the question, 'Who is David?' and then goes home, enjoys himself and gets drunk. 

We may not get drunk, but how often do our own desires and ideas cause us to justify the shirking of our responsibility.   Remember, whatever God gives you and wherever he places you, he will also hold you accountable for your actions. 

Excuses for Sin
Genesis 3v12 -'Blame it on someone else'.   This may seem obviously wrong, but how often do we blame our failure to fulfill our responsibilities on family, business, or the excuse of not having time etc. 

Exodus 32v24 - 'It just happened that way!' In every situation we always have a choice. We may be easily swayed, but we still make our own choices. 

1 Samuel chapters 13 & 15 - 'Fear of people' is another excuse we make for sinning, but if we read these two chapters we see how much trouble this excuse caused Saul. 

Nabal's excuse was really to cover up for the fact that he could not be bothered to help David.   We can do the same, but we cannot shirk our responsibilities and get away with it. We should take warning from what happened to Nabal. 

Excuses will only ever cause us to shirk our responsibility, but before we make an excuse we should first consider the consequences.   

First and foremost we are responsible for ourselves and our actions. Whatever we have learned, received or been given we are accountable for. (Romans 14v12, Luke 12v48, Romans 11v29.)

What do we do, with the things we have received?


Proverbs 9v12 really sums up Nabal and Abigail's actions.   He was scornful of David and so he reaped the consequences of his unhelpful actions.   Notice how Abigail was much wiser and saved herself through her actions.   Just because our partner does not do as they should, does not mean we can ignore the responsibility we have to the truth that we have embraced.   Too often wives 'go along with' their husband's irresponsible actions. A husband can also be dominated by a silly wife, yet he may do nothing.   Abigail did not use Nabal's attitude as an excuse for avoiding her own personal responsibilities. 

Nabal's irresponsible behaviour caused him to: 

Despise the Blessing
When we act irresponsibly, we despise the blessings that God has given us.   In this passage, Nabal despised the blessing of protection that he had received.   A responsible attitude will remember the blessing and act accordingly.   Abigail acted in a responsible manner after hearing of the blessing, which they had received from David and his men.   She was also to provide the means of escape for David, as she prevented him from killing Nabal. 

Despise the Anointing of God 
Nabal must have known who David was, as his wife acknowledged both David's blessing and his anointing (1Samuel 25v30).   When we shirk our responsibility we can then end up despising God's anointing. This attitude helps us justify ourselves, when we do not act, as we should. Nabal's refusal to help David meant he had to also deny the knowledge of David's calling; otherwise he could not justify his action to his own conscience. 

It may sound complicated, but how often do we take offence at the pastor's request or advice. At times like this we shirk our responsibility by saying 'I'm being got at', or 'I'm always getting told off'. The only reason the pastor give such advice, is because of his responsibility towards God.
Hebrews 13v17, Ezekiel 33v6. 

Despise Small Things
There is much despising of 'small things' today, with 'small works' being seen as not necessarily of God, because they do not show worldly success.   Nabal even questioned whether David was right, because he was not attached to any great army or leader, but was on his own, 'out on a limb'.   God always has used the remnant, standing alone, rather than the religious and those who are successful in the world. 

Showing a lack of responsibility causes us to have a lack of judgment.   If Nabal had acted responsibly, he would have saved his own life. Amen.' - Reverend Nicky Smith