1 Samuel 25. A mammoth chapter. Forty-four verses. Here’s the breakdown:
- David had been on the run from King Saul.
- In so doing, David protected an entire estate belonging to a rich, but very mean man, named Nabal.
- David asked Nabal for some food and supplies in return for protecting his men.
- Nabal said NO. Remember, I told you he was mean. A crusty old rich man.
- David decides to let Nabal and his entire estate have it by planning to attack, destroy, and take the leftovers for himself.
- Abigail (Abbey), Nabal’s beautiful and sweet wife, gets word of David’s intentions and sets out to stop the attack.
- Abbey meets David and his crew, offers them food and gifts, and throws her husband under the bus for being such a jerk.
- David relents and backs off his attack.
- Abbey tells a hungover Nabal what happened.
- Nabal has what we would call a heart attack, due to shock, and dies a week and a half later.
- Abbey and David marry.
- Nabal’s people are free.
I’m not sure about you, but when I read the Bible I tend to put myself in the passage. Am I like Nabal? Am I like David? Am I like Abbey? That’s fine and good and has its place at times. But I wonder if I often miss the forest for the trees? Usually, God is the hero. What am I thinking? ALWAYS, God is the hero. What if I am not any of the characters? Or, what I am like the servants at Nabal’s estate?
Let me explain.
I believe the Bible is constantly, while telling many mini-stories, telling one big story. Do you see how the story in 1 Samuel 25 is a microcosm of the Gospel? David seeks retaliation against Nabal, on a mission to give him what he deserves. Abbey runs interference to turn David’s wrath away from Nabal. Because of Abbey’s actions, David relents, Nabal dies, and Nabal’s people go free. Isn’t that a lot like us? We deserve wrath and are under the rule of the evil one. God, in his holiness, must punish sin. Jesus runs interference and absorbs the wrath we deserve (the cross). God “relents” (so to speak). The enemy is destroyed. We get to go free.
The Gospel. Because of Jesus, we are free. He ran interference, accomplished for us what we could never accomplish for ourselves, and now we are released. Nabal’s servants were able to enjoy the company of Abbey and the Son of Jesse (David). For us, we are now able to enjoy the constant presence of our Father who loves us and gave Himself for us.