September 15, 2013

Repenting of the Darkness

1 Samuel 25:1-38

The LORD struck Nabal and he died.
—1 Samuel 25:38


Sometimes chemical depression or harsh circumstances make it difficult to be happy. There are some things you can’t control.

In this story from the Bible, however, Nabal is willfully unhappy. He has chosen it. It works for him. He is a selfish, mean, small-minded, greed-driven bully. And he likes it that way.

In the culture of that time, David was working the system appropriately. He and his small army were providing a protective buffer between Nabal and any roving gangs of raiders that might be around. Any reasonable person would be grateful.

But Nabal was not a reasonable man. He chose to see David as a threat rather than a gift. Nabal was so mean that even his wife called him a wicked man, and his name, in the original text, means “fool.”

We all have bad days and hard times. But, sad to say, a number of people who call themselves Christian are also like this: abusive to their families, rude to others, mean in their dealings. It works for them, and they like it that way.

If you are that way, repent. Come to God and give it up. Change your ways. When you do, you will be happier, and so will everyone around you!

Father, I often act so foolishly. I need to change, in ways so deep and complicated that I don’t know how to begin. Help me, Lord. Make me kind, generous, and peaceable. Send your Spirit to warm my heart. In Christ, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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