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David's Revenge

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2021 12:01 am

David's Revenge

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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January 16, 2021 12:01 am

David's anger got the better of him when his kindness toward a wealthy shepherd was not returned. Today, R.C. Sproul shows how the Lord used a woman's wisdom to turn away David's wrath.

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Today I'm Renewing Your Mind a foolish husband. A wise wife and disaster averted, study the life of King David in the Old Testament we see an extraordinarily gifted man, musician, soldier friend leader. Whatever David put his hand to he succeeded. But when King Saul was pursuing David in the wilderness. His anger got the better of Anna took a woman's wisdom to turn away his wrath is not rising as we continue now with our study of the life of David. I'm reminded of a comment that was penned by the famous Danish philosopher and gadfly Soren Kierkegaard back in the 19th century.

Kierkegaard had been analyzing the state of European culture and he made this observation. He said let others complain that our age is wicked. My complaint is that it is paltry anyone on the site. It lacks passion not Kierkegaard in complaining about the lack of passion.

The lack of zeal, the lack of existential involvement of people within life and within the church and so he went on to say when I'm depressed by this lack of passion is as inevitably I turned my attention back to the pages of the Old Testament because their men are men and women are women there really said they lie, they steal they cheat they kill, they commit adultery, so I remember being taken aback by that statement. When I first read it because on the surface it sounds as if the philosopher is endorsing that kind of sinful behavior that is manifest on the pages of Old Testament history, but certainly it was not Kierkegaard's intent to praise such sin and vice in the lives of God's people, but he was doing what I think many of us do from time to time and that is he was taking comfort by examining his own soul and seeing the sin that was present in his own soul. It's the tendency there to think that were the worst of all possible sinners and then when we look at these biblical heroes and heroines we see that they were involved in all these ungodly things we we almost have a kind of torturous sense of relief here saying all I am not alone and that is something like David can behave in this manner from time to time. There must be hope for me because after all, David himself experienced redemption. There's a danger here. However, one occasion were warned in the scriptures that those who judge themselves by themselves and judge themselves among themselves are not. Why, and that is to say that we have a tendency to examine our own virtue by comparing ourselves with other people and it's not that hard to find somebody who commits a certain sin that we are free of and so were similar like the Pharisee in the temple. I thank you Lord I'm not like other people and we think that God is going to grade us on the Kurt and that's dangerous, as the Scripture says those who do that sort of thing are not why. So we have to be careful to what degree we take comfort in reading about and observing the sins of the saints. Well, if there's anyone who gives us that kind of consolation. It's David because David seems to manifest almost all of the vices that are common to people and in today's lesson were going to look at one of these dark spots in the life of David going to turn our attention now to the book of first Samuel chapter 25. This is still part of that historical narrative were David has been a fugitive fleeing from the relentless pursuit of Saul who was driven by jealousy and hatred, and with a desire to destroy David this is David not in his best David in some regards at his works. Chapter 25 begins with the mention of the death of Samuel, which had to be a traumatic event in the life of David consider it. Samuel is the one who had anointed David as King. He had been God's spokesman to pronounce the words of promise to David that promise of the kingdom that was to come, but which now seem to David to be not only far-off but virtually an impossibility.

But Samuel was David's spiritual father is spiritual mentor and so often when we lose our fathers in the faith we lose a certain restraint upon us. The man that is exercise the greatest spiritual influence on my life is my mentor, Dr. John Gerstner, who is now about 80 years old. He's gone through a couple of serious heart problems, how to talk to him on one occasion where he talked in great anticipation of walking across the veil of going home, the glory, and so on.

And when he would talk to me like that I would start to tremble. Say what I do without this man. How can I stand up Felix because so many times when I feel weak and when I want to vacillate and I want to compromise. I see the specter of Gerstner standing before me and I say why not as long as he's alive, I don't bear do this or I don't.

There say this that I sometimes wonder if my soul will turn the water if he ever in the problems of God should depart for glory before I do it always open to get there first, so I will have to face that kind of pressure in my life. But Samuel now is dead and is hardly any mention of his demise here, but it's a significant aspect of this and abruptly the text turns its attention away from this notation of Samuel's death and simply says that David arose and went down to the wilderness (I suspect that's what I would do if my mentor died out ahead for the wilderness and try to get things together and then we read this story about a man who was fabulously wealthy.

We read in verse two of chapter 25 this account. Mother was a man in Mayon whose business was in Carmel and the man was very rich.

He had 3000 sheep and a thousand goats and he was steering his sheep in Carmel and the name of the man was Nabel, and the name of his wife Abigail listen to the description of Abigail. She was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance, but the man that is Nabel was harsh and evil in his doings now you see the scenario here this fella Nabel, whose name means foolish is introduced into the narrative and he represents a small episode in the life of David, but I hope that we will see today that this tiny, apparently insignificant episode in the life of David is of tremendous importance for understanding David's character and David's future behavior were told now that this very wealthy man who won't thousands of sheep the me that would've made him a mega millionaire in the ancient world with thousands of goats and thousands of sheep and all that and we see that David now is in the wilderness, still a fugitive hiding from the pursuit of Saul and we here in verse four that Nabel was sharing his sheep and so that David sent 10 young men and they said to the young man got to Carmel go to Nabel and greet him in my name, and thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity, peace be to you. Peace to your house and peace to all that you have. David sends this small delegation of his men to the residence of Nabel on a mission of peace should go to Nabel tell them that were here and tell them that all we want for you and for your house is peace. Many says say to them. I have heard that you have shearers, your shepherds were with us and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them. All the while they were in Carmel, so don't give a good report.

To enable this wealthy man because he's out there at a critical time in his business life. It would be like the farmer who was at harvest time, and in those days there were rustlers there were those who would be always trying to find a way in the scheme together to steal the sheep were the goats of a wealthy person. Raters would come in and they would help themselves to the sheep and so on.

While the people were busy engaged in the process of shearing. David has this motley crew that we've seen already for the 600 men, men who were escaping from debtors prison men who were the robes of the day that you can imagine these men hanging around the shepherds of Nabel. Somebody had to be nervous. Who are these fellows that looks suspicious.

Are they rustlers do they have evil intent and so want and David would not allow his men to fool around with the goods of Nabel and Sunil Davis. As you go until Nabel.

We are here we are here in peace and tell him that my soldiers have been actually protecting your shepherds. We have been, as it were a wall around you to ensure the peacefulness of your harvest of the rule as you've been shearing your sheet. You look and you'll see none of your sheep is missing. None of your goats are missing or lost anything.

Nobody's been hurt. We have been taking care of you out of the goodness of our hearts, but were hungry and you are prosperous and would sure like to bag a meal or two from you and David Davidson. Therefore, my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come in a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants, and to your son David now what is Nabel's reply. How does he respond he gets the message he straightens up and he says instantly to David servants who is David who's the son of Jesse Dermody servants nowadays to break away each one from his master. So I then take my bread and my water and my mate that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men when I don't know where they are from now.

Remember Nabel's name is already been identified as meaning foolish and here he is in a cyst, David David hello David, the son of Jesse whose Jesse R. The guy that you know that's not true there's no way the world that may ball as well-connected as he was in the ancient world had never heard of David and so the gifts this gross insult.

Not only does he refuse the request of David for nourishment and for provisions for his men, but he literally adds insult to injury here by asking questions of this nature. So David's young men turned on their heels. They went back they came and told him all these words. Now I want you to notice David's response. David said I'm so sorry to hear that I was hoping men that I would be able to secure provisions for you from the hospitality and the goodheartedness of Nabel, I'm sorry he's turned us down were just going to have to tighten our belts and trust in the provisions of Providence for our continued nurture and well-being.

Is that what David said that was not David's response.

David is Darius all of a sudden all these previous ejaculations of peace go out the window and David says why every man heard on his sword and so every man girded on his sword and David also girded on his sword and about 400 men went with David in 200. Stay back with the supplies they said if that's the way he's going to play its war and he mobilizes his little army and he has nothing but revenge in his heart, he's not going to go and he's going to attack the shepherds. He's going to attack Nabel and he is going to take for himself what he had asked for. Depending on the grace of Nabel that did not come.

Something happens here.

The changes everything in verse 14 we read one of the young men hold Abigail the wife of NATO and they said to her that David's men were very good to us and we were not hurt. And we didn't miss anything as long as we accompany them when we were in the fields. They were Waldo us both night and day and all the time we were with them keeping the sheep now therefore know and consider what you will do for harm is determined against our master and against all his household, for he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him the messengers of Nabel go to Nabel's wife, and they tell her what happened and they said David's men treated us wonderfully but your husband is a scoundrel, now what are we gonna do. I don't know how many times in the history of the world.

Wives have taken action to protect their husbands from their husbands fall like I know that that is happened in my house and it's worth, I have set myself on a course of action, and my wife is said honey count the 10 thing get over the hump of business is not what you should do and I look at her and I think don't talk to me like Job's wife heaved that one are to be submissive and mind your own business. I'll take psychotic tendencies spared me a lot of embarrassment by standing in my stead and we could look at Abigail's actions here and think what a treacherous wife.

She was that she went around behind her husband's back, but she understood that her husband was acting in an unconscionable way and she was trying to protect the people of the herdsman she was trying to protect her husband, not just protect herself and so we read that Abigail made haste, and took 200 loaves of bread two skins wind five sheep, already dressed five. She is of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins 200 takes a fig and load them on a donkey coming this is one massive feast that she is prepared. All of a sudden she is a catering service for David and for his men.

And so she rides out on a donkey toward David.

She gets the word David is coming with his sword arm to the teeth with 400 men and this woman goes out by herself in the face of this marching army. When you think about that. What a heroic brave act is performed here by Abigail.

When Abigail comes out and when cc David she gets off of her donkey and falls on her face before Dave and we read in verse 24 she fell at his feet and said on me my Lord on me.

Let this iniquity be and please let your maidservant speak in your ears and hear the words of your maidservant, please let not my Lord regard this scoundrel Nabel Perez's name is so was C. Nabel is his name and folly is with him, but I your maidservant did not see the young men of our Lord, whom you sent and then she goes on and begs David to forgive this affront against him was committed by her husband. She says in verse 28. Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant, for the Lord will certainly make for my Lord and enduring house because my Lord fights the battles of the Lord and evil is not found in you throughout your days yet a man has arisen to pursue you and seek your life, that the life of my Lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God in the lives of your enemy. He will sling out from the pocket of the sling as she goes on and makes this prediction know she's not identified as a prophetess, but her insights are like those of a prophetess, and she reminds David of the promise of God of the future and before this entreaty, David melts and David comes to his senses and David says to her.

Blessed is the Lord God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me because you have kept me from coming the bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hey they wakes up because he now sees the hand of Providence and he looks at this woman and he said God has sent you and I praise God for your intervention because you have kept my hands from wickedness you have stopped me from avenging this insult from acting precipitously with violence in order to show Nabel. Abigail goes home finds her husband drunk that night. Nabel has presumably a stroke and within a few days, is dead and Abigail becomes the wife of David. At this point God in his mercy intervenes to spot David from becoming I may ball himself. He arrests in the midst of it was without question an act of mercy from the hand of God, and David admitted as much.

BC David learning important lessons in his wilderness wanderings stay with us here on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul retorted just a moment with a final thought about vengeance. We study David's life we see important themes that run through the entire Bible. Not only do we learn practical lessons about obedience and faith but we also get the privilege of seeing God's plan for the Messiah, playing out that whole Bible perspective is why like to recommend our resource offer today. It's the special edition of doctors, groceries, dusted glory, it's a 57 part study tour that explores the themes and events of the Bible from Genesis all the way to Revelation. In this special edition set provides an extra disc containing the study guides for the series. The request dusted glory. When you go to Renewing Your or when you call us at 800-435-4343 what does the Bible say about revenge is it say about jealousy temptation.

Perhaps you have questions about the doctrine of predestination. Let me encourage you to go to that's her online biblical and theological chat service. Drawing on legionnaire's vast library of resources we are able to answer your theological questions 24 hours a day, Monday through Saturday that web address again is

Now here's RC with a final thought for us. Let me remind you of the sober admonition that we hear in the pages of Scripture from the mouth of God.

When God says vengeance is mine saith the Lord. I will repay God absolutely prohibits us from being self appointed instruments of vengeance. We have an expression in our culture.

Don't get mad, get even.

But what that means to many people is not getting even.

But getting one up. Nobody likes a tie and a person who is motivated by a spirit of vengeance is so clouded by fury and pain and hurt that they are the last people in the world able to execute justice, they will become over harsh over severe in their redress. Now God does not say that there never will be. Vengeance. In fact, just the opposite. He says he will avenge his people who cry under him day and night, and this is a classic example of it.

David sought to avenge himself.

He forgot that vengeance belongs to God until Abigail reminded him and God not only stayed a hand David, but he brought vengeance on the house of Nabel.

If you have feelings for revenge in your heart. Get rid of them give them away wait for God, who has promised to avenge next week we will continue this series on David and we will journey with him through another difficult period in his life that we will also get to see God's perfect solution. We hope you make plans to join us again next Saturday for Renewing Your Mind

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