I know that in the world today, we can ask God about when justice will be served and when will God give us what is due. Well do I have a story for you, and it is about David and Nabal. Let’s check it out.
To give you context for the story, at this time David is in the wilderness of Judah hiding from King Saul. While he is there, he is scrounging for supplies, whether that be food, water, weapons, or money. So David seems to be coming up with ideas about how to help people around him so that he can get what he needs. This leads David to send some of his men to protect the flocks of a rich man named Nabal. After this he sends his men to Nabal essentially asking for some kind of reward for this deed.
Now I have heard that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us and we have not insulted them, nor have they missed anything all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will 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.’ ” When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David’s name; then they waited. But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men whose origin I do not know?”1 Samuel 25:7-11 NASB1995
In return for the service that David provided for him, Nabal rejected David and his messengers. Nabal sees David as a rouge servant, not knowing that David did nothing wrong and it is in fact Saul who is in the wrong. This causes offense to David, and he decides to come against Nabal with his four hundred men.
David said to his men, “Each of you gird on his sword.” So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed with the baggage.1 Samuel 25:13 NASB1995
Now while David was getting ready to confront Nabal, the news of this had reached his wife Abigail.
But 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. Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, while we were in the fields. They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep.1 Samuel 25:14-16 NASB1995
When Abigail gets this news she acts in wisdom and brings a gift of food and wine to David. She gave David two hundred loaves of bread, two jugs of wine, five already prepared sheep, five measures of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. So David and his men recieved this blessing from Abigail. This was enough for David, and he returned back to his camp instead of attacking Nabal. After this Abigail went back to Nabal.
Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she did not tell him anything at all until the morning light. But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became as a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife.1 Samuel 25:36-39 NASB1995
At the end of this story we see that David got what he was owed, and Nabal was struck dead by the Lord. Justice was served, but the most important part about this story is what David said. He said that the Lord had kept him from evil. If David had tried to get justice for himself, it would have been wrong. Thankfully, Abigail appeased David’s wrath. But the lesson here is that God will bring about justice. He is judge and you are not and to act as judge is to try to take the position of God. We must always remember to let God judge.
Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’Deuteronomy 32:35 NASB1995