David showed kindness to the shepherds of Nabal and expected kindness in return. Instead, Nabal “was harsh and badly behaved” (1Samuel 25:3). He was stingy, rude, and insulting to David. Nabal, whose name means fool, was one. David decided a proper response would be to kill Nabal and every last man who belonged to him.
God’s law of retribution was well known, “If there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exodus 21:23-25). An eye for an eye is just, it is due punishment, giving an offender what they deserve, but not more. When Jesus said, “Instead, turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:38-39), it was not because “an eye for an eye” was unjust or cruel. Jesus was teaching mercy, forgiving and forgoing a due punishment. David, angered and offended, was rashly ready to exceed just an eye.
A man after God’s own heart must understand justice and mercy and David was due a lesson. God sent Abigail to instruct, “Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live” (1Samuel 25:28). David got distracted and Abigail refocused him. Forgo the fools like Nabal so you can fight the real battles, the battles of God.
Yahweh, “I Am That I Am,” the First and the Last, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the End, God Almighty, King of kings and Lord of lords. Your Name declares Your glory. May we declare Your Name. God is good. God is just. God is love.
God, I am known as a Christian, a follower of Jesus. I wear Your Name. Because of this, my actions give Your Name meaning in a world that does not know You. I pray, God, that my actions are true to Your Name, that I fight Your battles, that I love the way You love, that I show mercy and kindness, that I stand for righteousness and justice.