May your discernment be blessed, and may you be blessed. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. (1 Samuel 25:33)
For some of us, decisions are agonizing as we weigh out the pros and cons and look at things from a multitude of angles. For some of us, decision making is simple as clarity and direction come easily and the right path is a no-brainer. Many decisions lie somewhere in between as we seek God, seek counsel, seek our own priorities, and seek the best outcome.
In Chapter 25, we observe a lot of decisions and consequences:
+ David (and his men) humbly asks for a “gift” from a neighboring rich man
– Nabal (the foolish rich man) showing no generosity, insults David (and his men), and selfishly celebrates Nabal’s great wealth with an over-the-top party
– David hastily vows to kill Nabal and all the men in his household
+ A discerning servant informs Nabal’s wife (Abigail) of the disastrous encounter between Nabal and David’s men, graciously informs her of the service they received by David’s men, and warning of something bad that will happen
+ Abigail makes the wise choices to quickly intervene with David, humbly take on the blame for any misunderstanding, provide an appropriate gift after a terrible insult, and appeal to God’s command to not seek our own vengeance (Lev 19:18)
+ David showing contrition for the rebuke, accepts the gift, and leaves in peace
+ Abigail waiting until Nabal was in his right mind (not drunk) to speak with him
+ David’s praise of God’s intervention (Abigail’s speech – one of the longest recorded in the Bible of humility and praise to God).
+ David asks Abigail to be his wife (after God used her to rebuke him)
+ Abigail’s humble acceptance and quick response to the proposal (even in David’s current distress running from Saul, she trusted in God’s provision for him and for her as his wife)
There are a few more in this chapter but note that the “+” decisions involve humility and seeking God’s will. The two “-” decisions are different in that one was a selfish, hasty, arrogant choice after a lifetime of foolishness, and the other was a selfish, hasty, arrogant choice where God graciously gave David a chance to correct himself (25:32-34). We should always humbly seek God’s will in our decisions, because we have a gracious Father who helps us when we might go astray. Thank God He loves us and protects us (1 Cor. 10:13), especially when we don’t do the things, we know we should.