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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Clif Johnson
Aired on Mar 08, 2024
Show Day by Day
Mar 06, 2024
00:05:40 Minutes


1 Samuel 25:7-8

Even if we fail when God tests us, He may give us other opportunities.   ~~~   When I was a boy, I would play kickball with my buddies. And one of the unwritten rules of our kickball game was that everyone received at least one do-over. So that if you messed up, or didn’t get a good kick on the ball, you could simply shout out, “Do-over!” And you would get a do-over. A mulligan. While David and his men were deep in the wilderness of Paran, he used his men to help protect people and their resources. David’s men are called in 1 Chronicles, “Mighty men.” These are guerrilla soldiers and commanders who had defected from Saul, and joined David in his causes. We are introduced to one such man that David and his men protected, Nabal. Nabal is described for us as a very wealthy man who had upwards of 3000 sheep. But not only did Nabal have sheep, he had shepherds as well, who worked for him. Think about how much land would be needed to take care of that many sheep! So David and his men protected the shepherds and the sheep from thieves and wolfs, whatever might try to attack them. And notice how well they did their job—vs. 7-8“your shepherds have been with us and we did them no harm and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will tell you.” So we read that it was time to shear the sheep. This took place twice a year, and it was a time of celebration. This is where you made your money. So great celebrations and feasts would be had during the sheep shearing days. With David seeing this, he knew it was only right for he and his men to be paid as well. David knew that one of the reasons that Nabal and his men could celebrate was because David and his men had done their job so well. And Nabal knew this. This was customary in those days, and the honorable thing to do. This is not like someone showing up to your house and painting it without asking you, and then them expecting payment. No. Nabal needed David’s protection. Nabal received David’s protection. So now, David is requesting payment. And notice as well, David’s men say, “Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants, and to your son David.” He is leaving the price up to Nabal. “Whatever you think is fair, Nabal.” But Nabal’s response is reminiscent of narrator’s description—harsh and badly behaved. He insults David, his own kin. He belittles David. And then he says, “Shall I take my bread, and my water and my meat that have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” We are witnessing the foolishness and greed of Nabal. He is described by his possessions because his possessions are what define him. His possessions are what consume his heart. And he is unwilling to recognize the LORD’s blessing brought upon him by David and others. Me me me, my my my. And here is David, who has the power and strength and opportunity to annihilate this fool named Nabal. You see, what we have here is a do-over, a retest. This event is God’s way of letting David correct the mistakes he made on a previous test; David is getting to retake his test. God is aligning the circumstances in such a way to see if David has progressed, has learned anything from his previous experience with Saul. You can see the similarities can’t you? We have a wealthy man who has benefitted from the service of David, who is described as a son to Nabal. And Nabal disrespects him, rejects him. Does that sound familiar? Saul was a man of wealth who benefitted from David’s services, and also thought of him, for a time, like a son. In chapter 24, Saul had 3000 men. In chapter 25, Nabal has 3000 sheep. In chapter 24 David has opportunity to overwhelm vulnerable Saul who was not able to protect himself. In chapter 25, David has opportunity to overwhelm Nabal who was not able to offer protection to his shepherds. Did you know that as God grows you in sanctification, that when he tests you, if you fail the test, sometimes God will give you another opportunity to correct your mistakes. So how will David respond this time to someone who insults and belittles him?

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