Jan. 22. Samuel’s Death; David and Abigail

I Sam. 25:1-44; Ps. 54:1-7

After many years as a prophet and servant of God, Samuel died. He had been given to the Lord by his mother before his birth and remained faithful to his ministry throughout his life. David moved from En Gedi to the Wilderness of Paran, also known as Maon.

Nabal was a very wealthy man with vast herds of sheep and goats. His shepherds had coexisted peacefully with David and had received his protection for a period of time. David sent ten of his men to request provisions for his army, but they were harshly refused.

In his anger, David gathered four hundred of his men, leaving two hundred others with the supplies and set out to destroy Nabal and his men. One of Nabal’s servants went to Nabal’s wife, Abigail with the report of his evil deed and the plot of David.

Sometimes it takes the actions of a good wife to rescue her husband from his misdeeds. Abigail realized that David was a good man and that the Lord had appointed him to be “ruler over Israel.” Because of her wisdom and kindness, David relented from his mission of revenge. After Abigail had told Nabal of David’s plans and his rescue, he suffered a medical catastrophe and died ten days later.

Saul had taken his daughter, David’s wife, Michal and given her to another man. David soon married Abigail. It is likely that he came into possession of Nabal’s property after marrying her. In an era when men were married to multiple wives, he also married Ahinoam.

During David’s exile from Israel, he spent much time in the Wilderness of Ziph. The Ziphites, loyal to Saul reported David’s location which added to his anxieties. Those periods of uncertainty led him to pen another Psalm of supplication to God.

As with other psalms the poet began with a prayer for deliverance from the oppressors who sought his life. He recognized God as his strong deliverer. His oppressors had failed to call upon God, but He was with those who would aid David. He ended the psalm with praise to God for His deliverance.