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What to Feed an Angry Man, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
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June 17, 2022 7:05 am

What to Feed an Angry Man, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 17, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today, a message on controlling anger. You may have a great measure of patience today, but it makes no difference in tomorrow when the attack comes again. Which, by the way, tells me that you may win a battle yesterday, but it has no kind of credit on today. God doesn't give you patience on credit.

Every day is a new day. Chuck Swindoll often reminds us that the Bible never flatters its heroes, and that's certainly true as we look at 1 Samuel chapter 25. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck describes a tense moment when David was at odds with Nabal. In fact, his anger turned to rage, and he desperately wanted to take revenge into his own hands. It was the wise and generous woman named Abigail who deescalated a dangerous moment.

We'll begin today with some helpful highlights from yesterday's program. Chuck titled his message, What to Feed an Angry Man. David has just come out of a cave in chapter 22 called the Cave of Adullam. He has trained 600 men to be guerrilla fighters, but David was behind the scenes fighting the wild tribes in the wilderness of Paran. He protected these shepherds from the attack of wild tribes, and it was a common custom at the time that the sheep were sheared. The owner of the sheep would pull out a portion of the money, the profit that he made, and he would give it to the one who had protected his shepherds during the long period of time in which the shepherds were in the field, needing protection. The situation with the sheep has to do with the fact that now they have come to sheep-shearing time. See verse 4? David heard in the wilderness that Nabal, that's the boss, was shearing his sheep. So it's payday. It stands to reason that after David has done a faithful job that his men be provided with a remuneration for doing their work.

The problem is Nabal is a stingy man, and he won't pay up. In case you wonder if David's men were really doing a job, look at verse 15. This is a report that ultimately came back to the wife of this foolish man.

We'll get to it a little later, but I want you to see right now. The men were very good to us. The men is a reference to David's men in the field. They were good to us. We were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, so they weren't thieves. They didn't take what wasn't theirs while we were in the fields. They were a wall to us by night and by day. So they were faithful men.

They had set up a regular regiment so they would be on the job morning, noon, night, 24 hours a day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. That's quite a report. Now let's notice how this thing began to unfold. There are some natural conflicts. The first conflict is implied in verse 3. It's a husband-wife conflict. The man's name was Nabal, his wife's name was Abigail.

They are different in temperament, they are different in style of life, they are different in behavior, they are different in attitude, they are different in philosophy. Two more different people ever got married. Now listen, in those days they didn't choose their husbands and wives.

Mom and dad did the choosing. Sometime it worked out beautifully as in the case of Isaac's wife, Rebekah, but sometime it backfired, humanly speaking. And Nabal and Abigail were declared husband and wife. You better believe there were conflicts. Now what I want you to hear tonight is what the passage says, not what you want to hear or what I want to tell you. I want you to notice how this woman handled that conflict with a belligerent, stubborn, hard, deceptive, dishonest husband because she was in a dilemma at a very unique moment in her life and she could have gone one way or another.

It's interesting how she chose to go. Now the next conflict is the employer-employee. Beginning at verse 5, when it was sheep-shearing time, David sent ten young men. David said to the young men, go up to Carmel, visit Nabal and greet him in my name. Thus you shall say, have a long life. Peace be to you, peace be to your house, peace be to all that you have.

A very gracious greeting from this guy out in the field. So they were told what to say. Verse 7, now I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us. We have not insulted them, nor have they missed anything all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men.

They'll tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David. It's interesting David didn't go. He didn't intimidate, he didn't pull rank, he didn't presume on Nabal, he just sent ten men and said, gather up what he brings, maybe it'll be a load of lambs, maybe it'll be money, whatever, we'll take what he sends.

Now look at the conflict. Verse 9, when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David's name. Then they waited at their handout. They waited for the money.

They didn't get any. Nabal answered David's servants and said, who is David? Who is the son of Jesse?

Isn't that a marvelous response? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. Bunch of hippies out there in the field. I don't know who David is.

I don't know who the son of Jesse is. You guys get out of my life. Verse 11, shall I take my bread? That's a rather interesting colloquialism. My water, my meat that I've slaughtered for my shearers, guess where his eyes were? My, my, my, my, mine, and give it to the men whose origin I do not know?

Oh, sounds like your boss, doesn't it? Verse 12, David's young men retraced their way and went back and they came and told him according to all these words. Now here's where it happens.

Hold on to your seats. This is the same guy who months before did not retaliate and fight back in Saul's case and kill him. This is the model of patience, which by the way, tells me that you may win a battle yesterday, but it has no kind of credit on today. You may have a great measure of patience today, but it makes no difference on tomorrow when the attack comes again. God doesn't give you patience on credit.

Every day is a new day. And maybe they hit David at a hard time. When men are hungry, they're easily angered.

You know, it's a tough situation. Everybody's hungry, kind of angry, and the least thing throws us, you know, the fuse runs all the way down. So David's out in the field, he's got the fire going, the sheesh kabobs are ready, ready to stick them on the onions and the garlic and the green peppers and mutton, all that stuff, or maybe a leg of lamb, that'll do. You know, nothing like eating lamb with your hands out in the field.

He was all ready to eat that, and the guy showed up and they didn't have anything with them. Verse 13, very interesting response. Verse 12, David's young men retraced their way, went back and came and told them according to all these words. David said to his men, each of you gird on his sword. Now you don't put on a sword to have a discussion.

I want to point that out right away. Each man girded on his sword. David also girded on his sword. And about 400 men went up behind David while 200 stayed with the baggage. 400 men, I think that'll probably handle Nabal, don't you think? We have a saying in our home that when you overdo something, it's like killing a roach with a shotgun. You kill a roach, you blow the wall out.

There's no need to take 400 men to kill Nabal. Alan Redpath writes a neat book on the life of David, which he calls The Making of the Man of God. He says, David, David, what's wrong with you? Why, one of the most wonderful things we learned about you recently is your patience with Saul.

You learn to wait on the Lord and refuse to lift your hand to touch the Lord's anointed, although he had been your enemy for so many years. But look at you, David. Your self-restraint has gone to pieces and a few insulting words from a fool has made you see red. What's the matter, David?

Answer, I'm justified in doing this. There's no reason why Nabal should treat me as he has. He has repaid all my kindnesses with insults.

I'll show him he can't trifle with me. It's one thing to take from Saul, who is my superior at this point, but this sort of man, this high-handed individual has to be taught a lesson. Now, I'm sure you've never had feelings like that as we read it from David, but more realistically, I know you have.

You didn't gird on a sword, maybe in your mind. You set up your plans and you're waiting for your moment and you're seething, sort of anger on the back burner, just waiting. David said, it's not fair. I have every right to at least a supper out of the weeks of work I've given to this man. Let's go.

He whistled and went after it. Now, there's a third conflict right now between anger and murder. He lost the battle, by the way, so far. Now, if I could for a moment ask you not to look any further in the passage and just look up, put yourself in the sandals of Abigail, okay? This is your chance.

Maybe I shouldn't put it quite like that, but you'd like to get rid of your man, now is your chance. You know, let's face it, she's lived with this guy and he's a fink and David, she gets word from the servants a little later, David's going to come and finish him off. She could say something spiritual like, oh my, let's pray. This thundering hoof beats are coming down the hill and she's in there praying, Lord, take him swiftly or whatever. It's her chance. I mean, he's set up. He put himself in this own, in this shape. It's time he learned a lesson. See, that's the way a carnal wife thinks.

That's the way a carnal husband thinks or a carnal employee thinks. It's my chance. Oh, now's my chance. He's vulnerable. Now's the chance. Look at what happens.

He's a marvelous woman. Wow. So he's got 400 guys coming down the hill, verse 13, verse 14. One of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master and he scorned them. We read the next two verses.

Look at 17. Now therefore, know and consider what you should do. For evil is plotted against our master and against all his household. He is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him.

What do you think they'd like for her to do? Now's your chance, kiddo. David's coming. Let's hide. Don't tell anybody.

Just let it happen. By the way, it's interesting that they came to the wife and not the husband. See, he wasn't open.

He wasn't approachable. It's another neat thing about a wise woman. She sees her husband for what he is. She knows he isn't perfect. And she's open to those areas where he is blinded to those things in his life. She doesn't agree that they're right. She knows that they're weaknesses. But she's not defensive about them. That's part of the reason God gave that woman to that man if you look at it from a divine perspective.

And there is no better way to look at life. In the weak moment, Abigail did not fight. She protected. Look at 18. Man, what a gal. Hang on, ladies.

Look at this. Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves of bread. 200 loaves of bread? Two jugs of wine, five sheep already prepared, five measures of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisin, 200 cakes of figs and loaded them on the donkeys. Wow. We do good in our family to get six Big Macs in a hurry. Can you believe that? Unbelievable gal. Whip up the sheep, put them on the donkeys, bring it in.

It's the first catering service you'll ever read about in a book. There they are on the donkeys. Get them out of here. What a woman. Can you imagine her kitchen?

Good night. Probably the kids had to do the dishes too if I figure that thing right. She said to the young man, go on before me.

I'm coming after you. And she didn't tell her husband Nabal. What? What? What did it say?

She did not tell her husband Nabal. Is that submissive? Wow.

That bother you? I was with couples at Mount Hermon in a couple's conference and I had a fellow ask me, Chuck, doesn't submission mean that the wife should stay silent? Wife was standing there watching.

I said, man, absolutely not. He says, I'll see you later, Chuck. We talked for a while about his concept of submission. Some of the very best counsel a man can get comes from his woman, his wife, who knows him better than anybody else on earth. The finest kind of constructive help and direction and even exhortation comes from the wife or the husband of the mate.

It's a built-in perfect setup. She knows how to do it, she knows when to do it, and she does it with the right intention. Now, if you will forgive me of something that sounds terribly heretical, there are times when the wife needs to act in favor of her husband and not say a word to him.

Here's a case in point. For her to have approached her obstinate, foolish husband, who was already bound and determined to stand up like a dummy in front of 401 horsemen coming down the hill would have been instant suicide. He'll never let her take off and do this. She did it in his behalf. Now, I'm not saying she acted in secret against him. I'm saying she acted without his knowledge in his favor. She ran interference for him. She saved his life.

That's a remarkable gal. Just picture this. David coming down the hill. Only thing louder than the horse's hoof is his stomach rolling down the hills, stomach growling, hungry.

I want to emphasize that again. Verse 20 came about as she was riding on her donkey coming down by the hidden part of the mountain. Behold, David and his men were coming down toward her, so she met them.

Boy, what a drama. Here she is, crock pot in her hand, waiting for him, bringing gifts. Verse 23, Abigail saw David.

She hurried and dismounted from her donkey, fell on her face before David and bowed herself to the ground. What a woman. Boy, she had thought through what she was going to do and what she was going to say. That's wisdom. She knew exactly her approach.

It wasn't a hit it from the hip. It was a thought through plan. Somewhere between the kitchen and the encounter, she planned out what she was going to say and do.

So she fell down before David. Three things stand out in this account of her. Number one, her tact. Number two, her faith. Number three, her loyalty.

I note each one as we kind of unroll it here. She fell on her face to the ground. Look at her tact. She says, calls herself your maid servant six times and calls David my lord eight times.

Look at the tact. Oh, on me alone, verse 24, on me alone my lord be the blame. Please let your maid servant speak to you and listen to the words of your maid servant. Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal. For as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and Folly is with him. Boy, she knew her man, but she hadn't run from their marriage.

Note that. She knew him fully and she said, Folly is his name, but I, your maid servant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. When you sent those ten men and they had that interaction with my husband, I wasn't there to give another kind of input, but I'm here now as an advocate. I'd like to stand as a mediator between this man and all of your men who have been unjustly treated.

26. My lord, as the lord lives and as your soul lives since the lord has restrained you from shedding blood and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now let this, now then let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord be as Nabal. Now let this gift, and she points to all of these things she has brought on the backs of these donkeys, let this gift which your maid servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who accompany my lord. Please forgive the transgression of your maid servant for the lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house because my lord is fighting the battles of the lord and evil shall not be found in all your days.

She had faith. She says, David, I'm looking at the next king. Don't mark your record with a murder. You're bigger than that, David. You have been wrong, but murder isn't the answer. Wait, wait, David, take what I provided and turn around and go back.

27. Verse 30, it shall come about when the lord shall do for my lord, that's David, shall do for you, David, according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and shall appoint you ruler over Israel, there's her faith, that this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. You'll have a bad conscience, David. You'll have to live with that track record. You don't need that.

When the lord shall deal well with my lord, then remember your maidservant. Oh, what a statement. What a plea. This is a good point to pause and bring out something that maybe is just a sidelight issue, but it stood out in my mind. When you're faced with critical decisions, sometime you've got to do something very creative.

And there's not a handbook that tells you what to do when those times happen. Paul's life hung in the balance. Depending on how short David's fuse was, it would be how long Nabal would live, she saw that. She decided it will take a lot of food and a pleading comment from me to turn that man's heart.

And I'm sure along the way she prayed. There's much more about Abigail's courage we need to hear. And please stay with us because we've set aside several minutes to hear a closing comment from Chuck Swindoll coming up in just a moment. This is Insight for Living.

To learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insightworld.org. Chuck titled today's message, What to Feed an Angry Man. And whether you're living with someone who's prone to lash out in anger, or if you struggle with controlling your own outbursts of anger, there's something for everyone to learn in this teaching series on David. Along those lines, you might want to purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on David. It's called David, a man of passion and destiny. At Insight for Living, we take delight in helping listeners and readers learn how to apply the truth of God's word to every aspect of their lives. In this biographical study, Chuck's practical insights help readers to think biblically, no matter what issues they face, no matter how bad they've blown it. David's life, as you'll recall, was rife with struggle and some major blunders along the way.

You can discover what made him stray in his journey of faith and how he returned to live a life in harmony with God when you purchase a copy of David, a man of passion and destiny. It's available at insight.org slash offer. Or call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Here's Chuck. Thanks, Bill. Across Great Britain and beyond, he was affectionately known as the Prince of Preachers. Revered by a generation who looked to him for spiritual direction, Charles Haddon Spurgeon made his mark. When the accolades poured in and people were making a big fuss over his life and his success, Spurgeon deflected the attention and pointed to the gospel. He clarified it this way.

It's not me doing the work. It's not me who defends the gospel. No, he said, the gospel is like a caged lion. And now I quote directly from one of his sermons, Spurgeon declared, a great many learned men are defending the gospel. Yet I always noticed that the gospel itself is not being preached. The best apology for the gospel is to let the gospel out of the cage.

I love that. Spurgeon added, let the lion out and see who will dare to approach him. Preach Jesus Christ and him crucified.

The lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all his adversaries. My friend, since 1979, Insight for Living Ministries has followed the same model. We've released the lion from its cage over these years and we have stepped out of the way year after year, broadcast after broadcast, so the Spirit of God can do his work through the gospel, but never alone. Our ministry is a together ministry. God has used men and women just like you to come alongside us with financial support. Without you, we couldn't have continued. So as we conclude another year of partnership together, please be generous as you give to Insight for Living Ministries. Our deadline, remember, is June the 30th. Together, let's preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with abandon.

And then let's all step out of the way and allow the lion of the tribe of Judah to do his great work. Thanks, Chuck. And we invite you to give generously toward this worthy cause.

Here's how to respond. Just give us a call. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. That's 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at insight.org slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer inviting you to join us when Chuck Swindoll continues his biography of David, a man of passion and destiny.

That's Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, what to feed an angry man, was copyrighted in 1978, 1988, 1997, and 2009. And the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 01:33:46 / 2023-04-04 01:43:27 / 10

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