"But in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife told him these things, his heart died within him and he became paralyzed, helpless as a stone. And about ten days after that, the Lord smote Nabal and he died."
I Samuel 25: 37-38, Amplified Bible
"Whose Will These Things Be?"
"Sin is nothing else than not to render to God His due."
Are there times in my life when covetousness has eroded my relationship with my heavenly Father?
In what way has the desire for more unsettled my life?
"Covetousness is dry drunkenness."
"Charity gives itself rich; covetousness hoards itself poor."
The party was a faint history. The effects of strong drink had worn off. Now the chickens were coming home to roost.
It was time for Abigail and Nabal to have a little talk. And wouldn't you have liked to be a fly on the wall, listening in on this conversation? At some point, Nabal obviously got the idea of what had happened. And while the Bible doesn't lay out all the details for us, I believe that when Nabal found out how Abigail went around his back and intervened on behalf of David, his fury had no bounds. In fact, it may well have been out-of-control rage that led Nabal to have, as some versions of the Bible translate, a massive stroke. Whether it was unharnessed anger or some other problem, Nabal had such a medical event it left him lifeless, or as the Bible says, "Like a stone." And then in I Samuel 25: 38, we are told that ten days later, "God smote Nabal and he died."
In Hebrew, the word "negash" is the word "smote." Interestingly "negash" means to knock or come knocking.
This reminds me again of a passage in Luke 12. We are told that Jesus was speaking "primarily" with His disciples. A crowd began to gather, listening to Jesus. Someone from the crowd asked Jesus to enter into a personal family matter, dealing with the division of the family's inheritance. Jesus' response was to encourage His listeners to "keep free from all covetousness and the greedy longing to have more" (Luke 12: 15).
Then Jesus told a parable about a very rich man whose land was extremely fertile and yielded plentifully.
This wealthy fellow debated with himself, "What should I do?" Evidently, he had so much, there was absolutely no room to store his bounty. But after a few moments of thought, he came up with a plan. He'd build more storehouses and this time, what he built would be even larger. Then with a show of total arrogance, this farmer said, "I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many good things laid up, enough for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself, merrily." (Luke 12: 19) Amplified Bible
I want to interrupt this story to point out that Jesus could have inserted Nabal's name in it for he, too, was a man of great wealth who had reaped a huge bounty from his flocks and herds. But, there's also the fact that Nabal had benefitted from the kindness of David who protected him from the thieves that prowled around Carmel. Instead, of sharing his feast with David, Nabal greedily kept everything to himself as he also "merrily" celebrated the success of his own hand. It seems Jesus was well aware of the Nabals in this world who could have shared their plenty but instead chose to build bigger and bigger barns to store up their loot, their heaps of grain or loads of wool or vaults of gold.
After instructing His listeners regarding hoarding up "stuff" in a gluttonous manner, Jesus said this about the greedy farmer, "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night the messengers of God will demand your soul of you; and all the things that you have prepared, whose will they be?'" (Luke 12: 20). Amplified Bible
If you'll recall, when the Bible first described Nabal, and when Abigail was telling David what her husband was like, amazingly, the word "fool" popped up, which we found out meant, "someone who gives no regard to God."
The fact is that the story of Nabal comes full circle. He was a greedy, rich man who lived his life with absolutely no concern for God. And at the zenith of his celebrating what he thought he had wrought with his own hands, God came "knocking." God required an accounting and Nabal was found wanting.
As I read this story, as well as the accompanying parable Jesus shared in Luke 12, I thought it would be wise for me to read Luke 12: 20 everyday, if necessary, to keep in the forefront of my thoughts that the same question will be asked by God of Dorothy one day, "All the things that you have prepared, whose will they be?" It's a sobering question for any of us to hear and at the root of this question is the problem of sin, that toxin that destroys our love for the spiritual and dims our vision of our heavenly Father. And then the day arrives when God comes knocking, and like Nabal, we find out too late we have squandered the time and talents we've been gifted with. We hoarded our God-given resources and in the end, for what?
"Sin is essentially a departure from God."
"O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire You with our whole heart, so that desiring You, we may seek and find You; and so finding You, may love You; and so loving You, may hate those sins which separate us from You, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.