76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 15 - King David’s forbearance.
July 28th, 1958
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
The sermons I am delivering to you about David, the king, are important in showing readers that warfare and swordsmanship are not everything that characterizes the greatest of the Hebrew kings, but that there was a facet to his behavior which reveals his human love, which is seen in his kindness, his sympathy and his forbearance.
For it, as we turn to those days when David was forced to flee from the wrath of Saul, and lived as an outlaw in the desert country with a band of several hundred men. We see that David was able to maintain himself only through rapidity of action, either to escape or attack, and to obtain food in many cases by a sort of tribute arranged between David and the sheep raisers of the region, whereby the outlaws would not make raids and kill the animals or the shepherds.
Now the Scriptures relate how on one occasion David learned that Nabal, a rich sheep raiser of Maon, with whom David had an understanding, killed some of his sheep as food for the shearers, and to obtain a profit in the sale of the wool. So David dispatched some of his men to obtain food. But Nabal refused, for he had heard that Saul was not far away from Carmel, where his cattle were grazing, and thought that if Saul heard he was providing food to the fugitives, Saul in his wrath might march against him and his possessions.
David, of course, had to depend on these arrangements for food, and if he allowed Nabal to break it, he and his men could not maintain themselves; and so, regardless of Saul and his troops, David marched rapidly against Nabal.
And David said unto his men: “Gird ye on every man his sword.” (1 Samuel 25: 13) And they girded on every man his sword, and David also girded on his sword, and there went up against Nabal about four hundred men.
But one of the young men in Carmel told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying:
Behold David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master Nabal, and he flew upon them. But the men had been good to us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we anything, as long as we went with them, and when we were in the fields, they were a wall of protection unto us by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master Nabal and his house… .(1 Samuel 25: 14 - 17)
Then Abigail, without consulting Nabal, who was inebriated, made ready a considerable amount of provisions, laden on donkeys, and brought them forth to intercept David before he reached Nabal’s house. And when she did, she fell before David on her face and presented the laden provisions to him, imploring that he seek not vengeance.
And she said:
Upon me, my lord, be the iniquity… and hear thou the words of thy handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, pay any attention to Nabal, who is base as his name indicates… . But mine is the iniquity, for I saw not the young man whom thou didst send… . See thou, the Lord hast withholden thee from the guilt of blood-letting and taking vengeance with thine own hand… Now, therefore, forgive the trespass of thy handmaid, for the Lord will surely make thee an established house, nor shall evil be found in thee… . And when the Lord has dealt with thee, bloodshed against Nabal and his house shall not be accounted against thee…
And David made answer:
Blessed by the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me; and blessed by thy discretion, and blessed be thou that hast kept me this day from bloodshed, and from exacting vengeance by mine own hand.… Go up in peace to thy house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice and have accepted thy person. (1 Samuel 25: 24 - 35)
And David spared Nabal and his house, for though he was very angry, yet he was not deaf to a plea of mercy, because it was made by one who took upon herself the mistake of her husband and showed him a depth of nobility of heart and courage which struck a chord in, and was appreciated by, his own goodness of heart, for had there not been a nobility of soul in David, her pleas would have passed over him in vain. And he also took her coming as a sign from the Father that he should not wreak vengeance with his own hand upon Nabal; and he withheld his sword, for he was mindful of what he considered the Will of God. For because of her nobility of soul he knew that God had sent her, for he knew that such nobility of soul could come only from the Father. For David had that understanding of heart which revealed unto him that the Father was goodness, and that love, and kindness and mercy, generosity, and everything that was noble, was He; and that they came unto man by Him.
And while Nabal was not punished by God, yet his actions towards David and others helped, as they always do, to create conditions evil to him, for soul condition in man attracts spirits of a similar soul condition; and the evil in Nabal’s soul drew to him wicked spirits who helped to weave conditions of evil for him. And he feared what both David and Saul might do, and also what might befall him from his own servants who might tremble lest his doings cause their death at the hands of either of these warriors. And in ten days, Nabal succumbed, for his fear produced, at his age, a heart attack. And David thought this was punishment from God, and he was happy that he had stayed his hand.
And David also thought this was a sign from God that he take this noble widow to be his wife, which he did. Abigail was pleased, inasmuch as she could see the generosity of David’s heart, and loved him for it. Now Abigail brought with her wealth and property, and helped to give David new prestige in Judea. And his act of forbearance developed conditions favorable to him, and the Father was pleased with David’s soul.
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens