Tuesday, 20th April 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Samuel was an important person for the Israelites, he was a Prophet, a Priest and a Judge. Through Samuel, God again and again reminded the Israelites that if they wanted a king they needed to pay the price. When the Israelites finally saw their mistakes, Samuel passed away.
Section One V1-11 Nabal’s Flesh Desires
Nabal was from the house of Caleb, he was strong and capable, but at the same time he was harsh and evil. He would say whatever he wanted to say and expressed himself freely without thinking of others. When David’s servants came to Nabal, he said, “Who is David and who is the son of Jesse?” Nabal knew who David was, he also knew Saul was chasing after David.
Nabal did not see what David had done in the past, and he also did not see how David humbled himself to come to him. A lot of time we do not see the changes of people around us, we judge others base on what they have done, and we don’t trust them. Nabal did not trust David and he did not trust Samuel, who anointed David to be the king. Nabal lived in his own lustful desires, when he was not happy, he would not care about others. He could not see what David did for the Israelites in the past, he only thought David brought all the disasters to himself and he did not honour David.
Section V12-17 David’s Flesh Desires
Saul and Jonathan were the only ones with sword in their army, they also had their own armour bearers, but David and all his followers had sword. All this time, David was preparing himself, he was also preparing those following him. He told everyone to bring their sword with him. Nabal did not kill David’s servant, he looked down on David, and therefore David brought 400 people with sword to come to Nabal.
David was furious, he was also acting in his flesh. A lot of time we are like this, when the negative emotions come to us, we would take up our sword and fight back without thinking. When we are not humbled, we will easily act out of our flesh. Do not see ourselves more than we should and do not let our flesh take over our emotions. The words form the servants of David made him furious.
Section Three: V18-44 Abigail’s Noble Characters
Abagail had totally opposite characters from Nabal. She said to David, “Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.” (v.29) She knew what David did to Goliath and she reminded David that God was protecting him all along.
Our words are very powerful, so do not let our words come out easily, because they can be of great influence. When we think everything is impossible, we will easily say the words of discouragement, on the other hand, our words can also save life. Abigail’s wisdom saved her family. Even through her husband died, but her whole family was able to live after she talked wisely to David. If David only wanted to kill Nabal then why would he bring 400 people with swords?
When Abigail went back home, Nabal was holding a feast, so she didn’t say anything because she honoured her husband and she did not want to put Nabal to shame in front of his guests. Both Nabal and David were leaders, but they acted in their flesh desires. We should be careful not to be overwhelmed by the negative emotions within us but learn from Abigail who humbled herself.
Prayer and Pursuit
Lord, we have the flesh desires of Nabal and David, one word may influence us and temp us. Help us to be like Abigail, and surround us with people like Abigail, who will help us not to shed the blood of the innocent. Lord we are weak, we sin against You and we sin against others. We use our emotions to control others, we let our mouth say undesirable words. Help us Lord, to speak the words of encouragement, help us to be still, in everything, pray, make petition and wait upon You. Today is a new day, bless us with the noble characters of Abigail. We will not boast about our own strength, only to lift up the cross and to lift up Jesus in our lives. Amen.
V1 神所拣选的以色列先知、大祭司、士师、神的仆人撒母耳死了，以色列所有人都为他哀哭。当时他们的王是扫罗，但人们很爱戴撒母耳。扫罗一直很看重自己的地位和人的看法，而撒母耳听神的话，愿意放下自己的名分，为扫罗祷告，所以即使撒母耳离开了，以色列众人仍然愿意尊荣他，为他聚集“哀哭” – 这里的“哀哭”是人为了国家失去一个很重要的人物的那种强烈悲伤哭泣。当我们愿意为了神放下在世上我们想拥有或保护的东西，似乎什么都没有，反而什么都有了。撒母耳当初曾经警告以色列人关于立王的不好后果，但以色列人不听，他们凭着自己的眼见来批评论断年纪老迈的撒母耳，选择高大威猛的扫罗。我们是否也常常是凭着自己的肉眼、凭我们的感觉来做决定？
V2-3 我们人是如何对待突发的事情？拿八的故事可以给我们很多启示。“大富户” – 说明拿八是在当地一个重要的领袖，属于犹大支派。但是他“刚愎凶恶”，我行我素，凭着自己的情绪说话行事，完全不顾及他人的感受。
V10 拿八并非不知道大卫是谁，从他的话可以推断出他不仅知道大卫的父亲是不看重自己小儿子的耶西，也知道大卫在躲避主人扫罗的追杀。他以过去的眼光瞧不起这个时期的大卫，没有看到大卫一直到在保护看顾他自己的仆人和羊群。 很多时候，当我们情绪不好，我们就会将过去一些不好的经历拿出来去论断周围对我们很好的人，不愿意承认别人的改变。这正如拿八知道撒母耳已经膏立大卫，但他不愿意承认大卫，也不感恩大卫对他的帮助，凭着自己的血气不去尊荣大卫，所以他对大卫的仆人说了侮辱大卫的话。
箴言25:15说，“恒 常 忍 耐 可 以 劝 动 君 王 ； 柔 和 的 舌 头 能 折 断 骨 头 。” 古语说，一言兴邦，一言废邦。 我们的话语很重要，虽然有时我们里面有负面情绪如洪水涌流，但不要让我们的舌头说负面的话。反过来，话语说得合宜可以救人。大卫当初带了四百人肯定不是想只杀死拿八一个人，亚比该就凭借智慧的话语从大卫手下救了他的丈夫一家。
箴言31章也讲到什么是才德的妇人 – 亚比该是智慧的妇人，愿意等候最佳时刻跟丈夫说明情况。她尊荣自己的丈夫，不会在众人面前羞辱他，而是帮助他能够提升。我们都是耶稣的新妇，我们是否愿意做才德的妇人？ 神对我们是有旨意的，我们有从他而来的能力。当我们从神那里听到任务时，我们要专心领受。
拿八的血气，大卫的血气 – 两个都是领袖，都走在血气中。从他们身上看见人的软弱。我们要小心我们里面的血气和负面，学习亚比该谦卑自己，走在神的计划里。