Nabal hated everything. Nothing was good enough. He wanted more money, stuff, power, and friends. He was selfish, bitter, and very angry. He was also an extremely good businessman, who was amazing at what he did, and everyone loved him to his face.
Then he died.
I wonder if he was so bitter because his mom named him Nabal?
Nabal was a guy in a small story in 1 Samuel 25. He plays opposite of David, and is really just a footnote in the whole story. He definitely isn’t the main character, David is. Nabal’s wife Abigail plays a much larger part that Nabal himself does. But he is fascinating just the same. The Bible describes him as very, very rich. He is the wealthiest guy in the whole area. His wife is beautiful and smart. He owns lots of land, and tons of stuff. He’s got it all.
Only, his name means “fool”, and he lives up to his name. David sends some men to ask him for help. David and his crew of soldiers have been unofficially guarding Nabal’s shepherds and sheep for him for a while, and David asks for some help in the way of food. Nabal has it, and could have been an amazing part of God’s story in David’s life. Unfortunately, Nabal has lived a life where he can’t see past himself and his own wants, and he tells David to get lost.
So, David decides to kill him and all of his men. He’s on his way to do it, when Nabal’s wife Abigail comes out to meet him with the food David asked for. She averts her husband’s destruction, and goes back home. Nabal is having a huge party, and is drunk. The next day, when she tells him what she did, he gets so mad that he “becomes likes stone”. He is so mad, he has a stroke. Nabal dies a few days later.
Abigail marries David.
Nabal lies in the dirt, cold.
Wow. That’s a tough story. How often do we make the small decisions Nabal made, to be selfish, to worry about ourselves, our own stuff, what we want, and ignore what God is doing in front of us? How many times has your or my selfishness caused us to miss an opportunity to be a part of God’s bigger story? Nabal could have been a hero to David. Instead, he died.
What decisions will you or I make today to step into God’s plans and let go of what we want instead? It’s definitely better than the alternative.