Be On Guard! (Anger Part 2)

Text: 1 Samuel 25

Two powerful emotions seep through the narrative of 1 Samuel 25. The first is a lightly veiled hint at grief. Surely David was struck with grief when he learned of Samuel’s passing (cf. v.1). Samuel was the one who had introduced David to his “royal” future, and now he was gone.

In addition, there is an expression of intense anger in verses 20-22. David had asked a wealthy landowner for food to feed his troops. After all, David and his men had protected Nabal’s flocks from predators while they were grazing in the wilderness. But Nabal harshly rejected the request, making David feel unappreciated and abused (cf. 1 Samuel 25:21-22).

The story has a commendable ending, but not without the heroic intervention of Nabal’s wife, Abigail. She spoke into David’s life in such a way that his anger was replaced with a calming realization of who he really was. And from Abigail’s words we can learn an important truth about dealing with rejection and hostility in our own lives. That is, ANGER WILL SUBSIDE THE MORE WE REALIZE OUR SPIRITUAL IDENTITY. Three things about our spiritual identity are illustrated in our text.

First, we are the unique possession of God. In verse 26 Abigail reminded David that “the Lord had kept” him from bloodshed and unrighteous vengeance. She was telling Israel’s future king that he belonged to God, and as a result the Father was intervening to protect him. The Apostle Paul says much the same thing about you. He writes, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)

Second, we are servants of God with a unique destiny. That is what Abigail was intending to communicate to David in verse 28. She reminded him that he would have a lasting dynasty as Israel’s next king. Therefore, he was to fight “the Lord’s battles” instead of petty grudges against a foolish man like Nabal (v. 28). In a similar way the Apostle Peter refers to Christians as a holy nation, a chosen people, and a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Those are noble terms, but they remind us that we are servants who exist to declare the praises of Jesus.

Third, we are a people protected by God. Abigail used vivid terminology to remind David that his life was like precious gems “bound securely in the bundle of the living” (v. 29). It was an image of valuable items tucked into a small pouch and carried secretly inside the owner’s gown to keep the items secure. The Apostle Peter says something similar about believers when he says that we are protected by God’s power until the day of our ultimate salvation (cf. 1 Peter 1:5).

Yes, anger is a powerful emotion. It can destroy us if we are not careful. 
Counter the anger that creeps into your thinking by rehearsing daily who you really are in Jesus Christ.

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