Fool

Scripture Reading — 1 Samuel 25:1-34

“Pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name – his name means Fool. . . .” — 1 Samuel 25:25

David and his fighting men had been living in the wilderness for a while. They had been watching over the countryside and protecting farmers and shepherds from thieves and raiders. A servant recalled, “These men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us. . . .”

But Nabal took no notice of David’s protection, and he had no interest in hospitality. He only wanted to go about business as usual: what was good for him alone. When David asked for some food and supplies, Nabal did not even offer a simple thank-you to David. In the culture of that day, this kind of response was an insult. It was unforgivable. Nabal had to be taught a lesson, and David was willing to teach it.

Nabal’s wife, Abigail, had more sense. She knew that Nabal’s foolish ways were about to cost him his life. So she worked quickly to go and bring gifts of food to David and his men on the road.

Abigail’s wise actions restored humanity to David. She reminded him of who he was and what the Lord had called him to be. There was no reason for him to be a fool like Nabal, and David thanked her for keeping him from taking vengeance into his own hands.

Prayer

Lord, it’s easy for us to act foolishly when we are angry. Help us to listen to wisdom, and help us honor you in all we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.