Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Old Testament Story of ROMANCE


Saturday is Valentine’s Day, so what could be more fitting that a story of romance from the pages of the Old Testament? In 1 Samuel 25 we are introduced to a man named Nabal. He was very rich but he was one bad character. He was harsh and evil in his doings. He was selfish, worthless and unteachable. He was also a drunk and it is safe to say that he was an unbeliever. His name literally means “fool” and in Psalm 14:1, the Bible says that a fool (literally = “Nabal”) has said in his heart there is no God.

The only thing Nabal had going for him was his wife. Her name was Abigail and she is described as being very intelligent and very beautiful in appearance. Now you might ask how an intelligent and beautiful woman like Abigail married such a jerk like Nabal. I’m not too surprised. I have seen many intelligent and beautiful young girls marry guys who were nothing short of losers. But in Abigail’s condition, her marriage was probably arranged by her parents and she most likely had no say in her life’s partner.

As the story unfolds, God has promised to take the Kingdom from Saul and give it to another and Samuel, before his death, had anointed David as the next king over Israel. Saul, fuelled by jealousy, sets out to kill his successor, David. To escape the wrath of Saul, David flees with 600 men. For a time, David is staying near Carmel where Nabal has his livestock business. David and his men are good neighbors and often help to defend the shepherds and sheep of Nabal against enemies and wild animals. David and his men are running out of provisions so he sends ten of his men to ask Nabal for provisions since they are protecting his property. Nabal not only rejects the request but he insults David and his father, Jesse, in so doing. This angers David and he readies 400 of his men for battle with the intent to kill all the males in Nabal’s house, young and old.

Abigail hears how David and his men have been mistreated by Nabal, and takes matters into her own hands. Without her husband’s knowledge, Abigail loads up provisions and sets out to meet David. Abigail pleads with David to accept the provisions and not harm her husband. Though admitting that her husband is a fool, Abigail also takes blame upon herself for her husband’s actions. She appeals to David not to go through with the actions of vengeance and she offers David the provisions she has brought and asks for his forgiveness. She acknowledges that God is going to make a dynasty through David and reminds David that the Lord would be the one to take vengeance for him. She then reminds David that God would keep his promise to him to make him king and that the Lord would not deal kindly with David if he follows through with this act of vengeance. David listens to Abigail and relents on his plan to kill Nabal.

Abigail returns to find Nabal in a drunken feast and waits until morning to tell him of the tragedy caused by his hands that she had averted. The rest of the story is a quite the story of romance. God smites Nabal and he dies. David, after hearing of Nabal’s death, sends for Abigail and proposes marriage to her and Abigail accepts the proposal and becomes David’s wife. Just another amazing story of romance from within the Old Testament.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now that is my kind of woman!

danny2 said...

From He is Not Silent:

Every single text of Scripture points to Jesus Christ. He is Lord of all, and therefore He is the Lord of the Scriptures too. From Moses to the prophets, He is the focus of every single word of the Bible. Every verse of Scripture finds its fulfillment in Him, and every story in the Bible ends with Him. That is what our people need to understand--that the Bible is not just a compendium of good short stories, but a grand, life-encompassing metanarrative of God's work of redemption in the world.

Every time we preach a text of Scripture, we are accountable to that text. We must read and explain accurately to our people what that text means and how it applies to their lives. Yet we have another task as well, for we must take that particular text and place it within the larger story of Scripture.--p 96

Anonymous said...

i guess i'm dense, but why is this romantic? wasn't david already married?

Pastor Scott said...

Hi Anonymous...this is the story of how David came to marry Abigail after her husband died. There was no improper activities in the story at all. But there is a lot about Abigail, besides her looks, that made her attractive so that when she became available, David chose her to be his wife.

danny2 said...

no improper activities in this story at all?

verse 43 says that David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel as his wife.

so it polygamy ok?

these are the holes you dig for yourself when Christ is not the central point to the Bible story.

Pastor Scott said...

Oh Danny2, I am so glad to see how often you look at my blog but you are greatly reading into my comments. My comment about "no improper activities" was in reference to the question of David and Abigail and her being married prior to David. David and Abigail's relationship prior to her husband's death in no way appears to me to be improper.

danny2 said...

but anonymous didn't ask if abigail was already married, anonymous asked if david was already married. he was (1 sam 18) and he did after abigail (1 samuel 25:43). now perhaps you could argue that michal didn't count because she had been taken away (25:44, i don't think that's valid by the way, since 2samuel 3:14 shows david wanted her back), but that still leaves you that within your narrative, David was married to two women. anonymous didn't ask about any fornication between david and abigail before they married, you read that into their question.

for verse 43 says, and they BOTH became his wife.

i see a smart and beautiful woman stuck with a dolt of a husband. the husband dies and before he is cold, she marries david, a man that is already married to someone else and virtually immediately marries another woman too.

but in this text, we see an anointed king who has a problem with marital fidelity yet the grace of God is still upon his life. we see, that for the sake of the kingly bloodline (which will come through another "wife" whom he obtained through immorality), God does not wipe david out for this sin. instead, we're reminded that david was a man after God's own heart, not by his skill or his position, but by the spirit of repentance that God granted him.

yes, david sinned greatly. but Christ saves even more greatly!

now that's a beautiful story!

Pastor Scott said...

You are right, Danny. I did misread Anonymous' question. Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

well i didnt mean to get everybody all stirred up, but i just don't see the romance and it's really not a very amazing story. david was an adulterer/murderer, and his family was a mess.

Pastor Scott said...

No problem, Anonymous. I think we are going to have agree to disagree on this one.

Anonymous said...

Romance,....hmmmm, well this isn't an imaginative narrative of imaginary characters involved in an event of legend, and chivalric love and adventure in some remote time or place, and it is not an extravagant account of something that lacks basis in fact, BUT it may qualify as romance as an emotional attraction or aura belonging to an especially heroic era, adventure or activity.

Regarding the story itself I don't see romance in the sense of a traditional "love story" with regard to the marriage the way God intended, but the fact that this historical account is contained within God's Word makes it part of the greatest Valentine of all, signed "With ALL MY LOVE" - GOD.

Anonymous Also

JW said...

If you look at the story (Nabal/Abigail) as written, "romance" on the human level may be difficult to discern. David was by no means an example to us on fidelity, monogamy, or loyalty. His abandonment of Michal and her subsequent anger/revenge towards him were not shinning examples of Davids romantic life.
On a greater level, which is beyond human understanding, the romance of God for his people (us) with all their warts, sins and disgust is the romantic story projected here. (Allegorally) Who better than David, a man after God's own heart, to demonstrate God's love for "us". Who, by the way, have the same sins as David if we truly search our hearts.
Maybe Joseph's "love" of Mary, which prevented him from retaliating against her when he learned that she was pregnant, is a more human "romance" example. But by far, the love of God for us is the greater romance. I'm sure blessed that He loves me!