When you read the account of Nabal and his dealings with David and his men in 1 Samuel chapter 25 the first reaction is liable to be along the lines of – “I am glad that I am not like him.” But I find that when I think those kind of thoughts alarm bells should be ringing – Hypocrisy Warning! As a descendant of Caleb, Nabal had a great spiritual heritage but it did not do him any good in the end. It has often been said that God has no grandchildren and Nabal is a case in point. I suspect that Nabal’s surliness was, at least in part, due to him thinking he was superior because he was a descendant of Caleb and not mere coincidence. If you come from a situation where you have a good spiritual heritage it is easy to become arrogant and complacent. You are in danger of becoming an old and cracked wineskin. Back in Genesis Jacob had prophesied about the tribe of Judah, that the “sceptre will not depart from Judah.” Nabal, no doubt, assumed that this referred to his family when it in fact referred to David and his line, and ultimately Jesus. Hence his attitude to David, even if he had heard that Samuel had anointed David he did not recognise the anointing. When you look at the history of the church and revivals the harshest critics have come from within. Many English Christians dismissed the 1904-5 Welsh revival as “Welsh emotionalism.” I have to admit that at times I have been very sniffy about some of the newer expressions of Christianity and styles of worship. It does not take very long for what was the cutting edge of the Lord’s work to become the ‘stick-in-the-muds’ in the next generation or move of God. Now you might not be from some great Christian church or movement and have found yourself on the receiving end of other’s disapproval. It is quite likely that David expected better treatment from Nabal because he was a descendant of Caleb, but I hope your reaction to that was less extreme than David had his men. But beware lest one day you find yourself dismissing others in the same way. Having said that, there a lot of false teachings and practices out there to be sniffy about and we need to be careful. Nabal made a serious mistake and he paid the price and it would have been worse had not his wife Abigail not placated David and his men.
David Rose, 2018.