Aug 16, 2023 | Wednesday Prayer Service

FBCL | I Samuel | Reverence for God’s Name and Vengeance is His

I Samuel Chapter 22

Looking for another sermon?

Play Audio

On Screen Transcript

All right. Well, tonight we’re going to go back to first and second Samuel once again by way of Romans 12. If you’ll turn there with me to the 12th chapter of Romans. Many things we saw in Romans in our series In My Men’s Class. We have been in chapter 12 going into 13 for quite some time. We’re taking each of these commands.

There are 42 commands. The latter part of Romans, and we’ve been going through them. Last time we were together on Wednesday night, we used the last verse. Romans 12, verse 21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” We looked into an episode in the life of King David that is a watershed moment. He had more than one moment like this in his life or even a later one.

But this was really the moment when Saul is confronted with the fact that David is not his enemy and he comes to himself. And it’s because David returned good for the evil of Saul’s pursuit and persecution, for Saul’s attempt to kill David. David had the opportunity to kill Saul, and he did not. We saw the way that the Lord used that to touch Saul’s heart, and in a very real way to save David’s life for the moment.

Because Saul, at some 3000 men and David had somewhere between 400 and 600 hundred. And they were hemmed in in that little valley. We saw in En Gedi. And so it is a beautiful story, that beautifully illustrates this spiritual principle that is so practical for us all. So we go through the world. We’re going to run into folk that are treating us with ill intent, sending evil our way.

And this is a principle that God honors of Christians in faith, trusting him and returning good for that evil, prayerfully. And  leaning on the Lord’s use of that good  to have an impact. Now, just above this verse, verse 21, there is another passage really, that much of this applies to King David’s life. As we’ll see. It says in verse 18.

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” You see the way that here, this whole concept of vengeance belonging to the Lord. This is really difficult for folk to accept, and for people to really believe.

One of the things that is a human tendency, especially when we’re lost, that if we see an injustice, we want to see something happen right away. If it’s done to us or to our loved ones, or, God forbid, to our children, we want to see swift justice. What we have to remember, though, it’s hard to remember, is the truth that we see in the Book of Job.

We have to remember that God does not have the horizons that we have. We have two horizons more than that, actually. But two, that I’m thinking of, that God does not have. Time and death. When we see injustice or we experience evil our direction, we want to see something done about it. We want to see it righted. Time is important.

We want to see timely or swift justice and certainly want to see it either before our death or before the perpetrators death, especially if it regards harming, as I said, a child or something long that some type of terrible crime. But we often lose sight of the truth, and it is a scriptural truth that God does not share these horizons at all.

Time is no problem for God. God sees the present, the future, the past perfectly. To God, the future is as the present to God. It isn’t something that He’s wondering about or trying to guess based on human activity. God, is God and God knows the future. And He’s not meeting in some type of crisis session. And so when we are disturbed and want something to happen timely and want it to happen before their death or our death, we don’t see it happening.

What often happens, the human tendency is often to get angry at God. To get mad at him. Job, you see, was in that dark valley. He lost sight of that. Eventually by the end of the book, he repents. But what we see is that book and other passages are given for our instruction so that if we ever enter that dark valley, we can put our faith in God.

That in His time and by way of eternity, he’s going to right whatever this is. But He sees. He knows that we’re in his hand, that nothing can get to us. Unless it goes through his hand. And so King David was about to learn that lesson. In the very next chapter after the one that we considered with Saul and David stopped at the cave near En Gedi. This principle that we see,

Vengeance is mine God said, I will repay, is something we see borne out in the story of a very wicked man named Nabal. Nabal’s name is simple, In Hebrew, it means fool. This is the word that occurs, and specifically in two of the Psalms, it occurs more places than that, but two of them are especially dedicated to this backdrop or this background.

To glance at these before we look at the passage in first Samuel, I want you to see it because there’s something else that’s of interest, probably to our consideration just for the Psalms, at least that I find interesting anyway. Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 are the two Psalms that I mentioned we’ll begin in 14. And I want to show you that both of these Psalms, they are not word for word, but they’re very close and the older of the two, I believe, is the 14th. The latter of the two, I believe, is 53.

Psalm 14 to the chief musician, Psalm of David. Psalm 14:1. “The fool hath said in his heart,” this is the word Nabal. The fool hath said in his heart. Now, you’ll notice probably in your Bible that “there is” is in italics. “There is”, is not there. In other words, it’s giving the sense of it to add, “There is” is in italics, but the text literally says The fool has said in his heart, No God.

This isn’t an expression. Technically, it’s not an expression that God doesn’t exist. Rather, no God for me. None for me, please. Almost as though someone offered you a piece of cake or pie. And you said, No thank you. No God for me. We see. It goes on to say they are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none that doeth good.


Now notice this in verse 2. “The LORD looked down from heaven.” Do you see how that’s in all capital letters? That’s God’s holy name. First 42 of the psalms, the book one of the psalms, are some of the oldest of the psalms, and when it comes to this, there are some written at a later time. We’ve seen some written earlier. Psalms of Moses, Psalm 91 preface the psalm of Moses, some of them later written by priests.

But here we see this is very old and these songs and 1 through 42, many of them written by David and by way of audience, the audience was a holy setting and a holy audience, only those in covenant with God. The Jews are very careful, as David was very careful with the use of the covenant use of God’s name. So only with the Holy audience, often this would be God alone or the audience listening, and all of them were in covenant with God.

Would He use the name of God. I want you to notice that the partner to this Psalm doesn’t use the divine name. Rather, it uses the Hebrew word Elohim. The word God. This is what they would do when the same psalm sometimes would be used. And there were those listening that were not in covenant. And perhaps God fearers listening in the outer court and the priest would be singing as a hymn.

This particular psalm, they would sing the later one in the open court, where in a more holy setting, a more limited setting, they would sing the one with the name. So look at 53 and notice the difference between these two. You’ll see it’s exactly as I’ve just mentioned. So notice 53:1 begins the same way “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven

Do you see the striking difference here? So this is the same text. Although there are some things that are slightly different between the two Psalms, not much, but we see here the primary difference is the use of God’s name and the very careful use of God’s name.

Say, what can I get from that tonight Dr Kilpatrick? Simply put, Reverence. Reverence for the name of God is one of the most practical things you can get. Period. God deserves our reverence. You know, we’re taught that in what I like to call Christianity 101. But we miss it, I think, because we go too quickly. Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

The Lord Jesus Christ knew how to say the name of God. He knew exactly what it was. As a matter of fact, his name includes one of the four letters of God’s name. If he was going to use it there, you might expect him to use it. But what he’s teaching his disciples, is reverence. And so what we see is, as a practical lesson between the 14th Psalm and the 53rd is the very great care that they took with the name of God.

Now, to our text. Let’s go over to first Samuel. And as I said, the next chapter illustrates, that passage, Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord that he gave through Moses and the Book of Deuteronomy. Now the story of Nabal is really here, but it’s in many ways more the story of Abigail than it is of Nathan.

Nathan, that’s kind of the sorry and sad part of the text. Abigail is the bright spot, and God actually uses Abigail to teach this to David. Amen. Ladies? Well, I gave you a great spot there. Hold on. God used Abigail to teach David. Amen ladies?  There we go. All right, so and so part of the point here at the first of the story, she’s married to Nabal.

Eventually she’ll be married to David. But gentlemen, listen to your wives. Amen ladies? Nabal should have listened to Abigail. David does. And she’s a wise woman. And so; beautiful text. There are some principles here. Nabel will be called in the text, both by his own men and by his own wife.

A son of Belial. This is a way to say son of the devil. Now, these are the people that knew him best. And his own men will dub Nabal, whose name means fool, a son of the devil. And his own wife will echo this when she hears from them what he did. That put all of their lives at Hazard.

She’ll use the same phrase when she speaks to David, and she’ll call her own husband in that setting. I know that sounds harsh, but all of their lives have been put in jeopardy because of the foolish move that he made. We study this account and there are many principles, but one of them that I want to highlight here along side of giving place to God’s wrath, vengeance is mine.

I will repay this truth that we see in Romans 12. There’s another parallel thing that I want us to see here practically, and that is, this chapter describes a sin unto death. This is often confused by Christians. Christians sometimes confuse the so called unforgivable sin with a sin unto death. And they are two different things. Two different things.

The unforgivable sin is found when Christ was doing miracles and the leaders of the Jews began to say that He was casting out demons by the prince of demons. And in doing this, they were taking the work of the Holy Spirit and ascribing it to the devil. That is what Christ described as unforgivable for this reason. The only way anyone can be saved, the only way anyone can be saved is by the work of the precious Holy Spirit of God.


And when offense is given to the only one who is an active agent who can convert your soul, you’ve got a real problem. And that’s what we see them doing in Christ ministry. So I just let Christ speak for himself because he knows. And the good thing is that if you’re, if you love the Lord Jesus Christ, you are following Lord Jesus Christ, you want to do his will.

You’ve not sinned that sin. Say amen. All right. This was something that was specific about what they were doing that was so incredibly evil. They were injuring their own souls, ignorant of it. And so Christ called them on it and told them what they’d just done. They were committing a blasphemy against the one person that could convert their soul.

Now, that is not a sin unto death. That’s what Christ called the unforgivable sin, because then that leaves them no one to convert their soul. Now, when it comes to the sin of death, it is a sin that’s committed that ends in God’s judgment, often immediate judgment yielding physical death. Most of the time in the Scripture

this does not mean that the individual that sinned such a sin was damned eternally, although with Nabal, I have no hope for him because of his life. Beyond this. There are those times, though, when believers sin a sin under death. This is found in Scripture as we’ll see, perhaps Akin, we don’t know. But Ananias and Sapphira. Certainly the sons of Aaron would fall into this category of those that sinned a sin unto death, but I believe they will be in heaven.

And so this is what we’re talking about. I’ll be more specific as we go along. So these are the truths that are very practical truths to gather from this chapter, that vengeance is to be left to God, and that sometimes there is a sin unto death. And Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he mentions this in Chapter 11, near the instructions for the supper.

But he says, For this cause, many of you are sick and some sleep. He’s saying there that some had given offense and God had taken them home. So that is in this same category, though it’s not the same apples and apples with Nabel, because Nabel was one of these that wasn’t interested in spiritual things, wasn’t interested in God

and there is no evidence that he was really a believer, saved. So I have no real hope for his soul. If I run into him in heaven, I’ll be shocked. Now, first Samuel, 25, verse one. “And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.”

Now, we anticipated this verse because we are studying together, if Jesus tarries, first and second, Samuel and I told you right off the bat when we started studying the book that Samuel did not write all the first and second Samuel and this is known. Well known. Because here he dies in chapter 25. So he didn’t write second Samuel that’s pretty obvious, but we’re told; we’re told by, I believe Ezra, who gives us first and second Chronicles and first Chronicles 29:29 Ezra  reports that these two books were written by the hands of Samuel, followed by Gadd and then followed by Nathan.

So that first and second Samuel are two books written by three hands, three Prophets of God. And so it would be here where we would pick up, likely with the hand of Gadd, who was a contemporary of Samuel. He lived in the same time period.  He’s called Gadd the Seer and first Samuel 9:9 tells us that in the lifespan of Samuel he watched the designation change from Seer to Prophet, and he tells us in first Samuel 9:9 that those that today he says they call, Navi prophet.

They used to call Cosey Seer. And so Samuel lived during the time of the interchange of these two words hence, Gadd is called Gadd the Seer. And it makes me wonder if he might not have been a little older than Samuel himself, which means he’s very old as he writes and finishes this book. But his hand will be followed, as I said, by Nathan’s and Nathan will continue into the first, into the first and second kings, which will be concluded by the hand of the Prophet Jeremiah much later.

Now, all right, so give me a little bit of background here. We’ve looked at the Psalms. Told you men to listen to your wives. The older I get, my hen scratching gets a little harder to read. I have to slow down. All right, So chapter 25, let’s continue.  It says in verse 2,  “And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great,”

to say that that gives you a little sense. Nabel is fantastically wealthy. When I say that, he’s got thousands and thousands and thousands of animals. So he’s a very wealthy man. “and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.


And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. 5 And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:” Mark. In my name, you’re going to see that all that they do is in David’s name over and over and over.

There are spiritual principles here that relate to all that we do. It’s to be in Jesus’ name and there are similar principles here with regard to this in the New Testament now, verse 6. “And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.

7 And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.”

Now, everything about this, David is approaching this with humility. He’s done a great service because he hears the man is shearing his sheep and that’s the time that the bandits, the robbers, you know, if he’s going to get hit, that’s the time. Because, you know, he’ll do all the work for them and they’ll take the wool and go sell it.

And so and eat whatever’s left. The point is, it’s hard I guess to dress the sheep, you know, because they’re already sheared. And so this is a moment that he is vulnerable. David realizing that he sends his men to guard Nabel’s flocks. So Nable should be not only interested in giving them something to sustain these young men and David, but everyone had begun to hear and understand that David would be the next king and that Samuel had anointed him.

And so Nabels neglect to do anything David’s way isn’t just a minor slight because it was the anointing oil of the Lord and the Prophet of the Lord Samuel that it anointed David. And so the slight to David is in every way also slight to God’s anointed. So that’s toward God. Now, we see then, that David even shows humility.

He said to your son, David. So he’s approaching him as a subordinate to a father figure, as a younger man, to an older man, and he’s showing humility. So there isn’t a threat here. But this man, Nabel, owes David’s men something because they have helped guard his sheep. We see in verse 9. “And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David,”

You see it again? In my name, David said, in the name of David “and ceased. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?”

Oops. It doesn’t say that. I’m saying that. Bad idea. David is a man of war at this time in his life. He’s right on the edge. He’s a man on the run. And the men that he has with him are serious and deadly and dangerous men. He has just denied David’s men their wages. Bad idea when he was a target.

And they could have hit him and just taken it. And now he’s insulted them. And he’s insulted David’s name and David’s father’s name. And by way of all of this, David’s God. And David’s not a happy camper. Verse 12. So David’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings. 13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.

Oops. Nabel was looking at ten, but those ten were there in David’s name. David’s about to show up with 400 with blood in his eye. Nabel has really messed up, verse 14. “But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.

Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” 

So here’s what his own servant said about him. Son of the devil. “Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.  And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you.

But she told not her husband Nabal. And it was so, as she rode on the donkey, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.  Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me “ mark it “evil for good.

You remember where we were last week. Now King David had overcome evil with good so that Saul had paid him evil and David had returned good for evil and won over the King. Here we see the reverse. And David has been doing all of these good things for Nabal, and Nabal rewards him evil for good. David is thinking that it’s his turn and he’s about to learn a principle that’s very important in life.

That’s a principle of faith. And it is not easy, at all; to have faith in that regard for this. But notice verse 22, “So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.” He’s going to kill every single man, every single boy, he’s going to kill them all. verse 23.

“And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,  And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.” All of those men that belong to Nabal.

Now owe their lives to this lady. And ladies, God gives you beauty for a good reason. I’m sure that probably helped David listen, say Amen. Because he’s looking and she’s, she’s a beautiful woman. See, he didn’t expect; he thought probably he might need some, some resistance, but he didn’t expect this at all. We see the way that it says in verse 25, “Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name,”

In other words, Fool is his name “and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.  Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD” Notice all caps. She’s calling on the name “as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.  And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.  I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.  Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;  That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.”

woo, what an incredible speech. And frankly, what a prophetic speech. Whether this was what she gleaned from what Samuel had done and said and what had gone out trickled out, that he would be the next king, or whether this was given her by God.

The text doesn’t make that fully clear. But what she says about the future is exactly so. And so we see David’s response. Verse 32 “And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:” First of all, we see David recognizes that her journey to him was of God, that God had sent Abigail, and he recognizes that. He has changed in the moment as sharply and quickly as Saul’s heart and mind had changed in the previous chapter.

He was a man angry, bent on violence, and now all of a sudden, like cold water, his wrath has been totally cooled as he’s listened to her speech. “And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 33 And blessed be thy advice,” Now I just need to stop there and

say amen, ladies?  Did you catch that? Blessed be thy advice. That is a spiritual ministry. If you’re prayed up, know there is a spiritual principle. Let the older ladies teach the younger ladies. But this needs to be by way of biblical truth and careful prayer.  We see here she’s giving advice to the future king, and he recognizes that it’s from the Lord

And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.  For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

In other words, he’d kill all the males. “So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.

And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.” The Proverbs says a lot about such a state.

It says “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Let me define his name for you, Nabel means not wise. We see it being lived out here. In verse 37, But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And it came to pass about ten days after,

that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.” Who is writing this? Gadd the Seer. And he knew, and we see by the hand of the Seer. The text tells us here clearly it was God, who struck Nabal down because of what He has done unjustly to David. And so, David learns a principle here. From a godly wise woman. Give place to wrath.

Vengeance is mine. God said. I will repay. And we see it in this chapter. Nabal had returned evil for good. David almost got even in the sense of returning evil for evil. But his wrath was pacified and cooled.  And the council that came to him was good. And it was from the Lord. To give way to wrath. It’s not something that we like to read, that God expense his wrath.

But you see, Nabal, this had been his life. The Bible describes the way that sometimes people cross over that line. Sometimes this is a matter of a life of sin and a moment when they’re past any other help. We see this, for instance, with the sons of Eli at a time before David. Wicked, wicked, wicked, so long warned by their father, but not stopped as he should have.

And it literally says in that chapter, for God would slay them. That’s not something that you read many times in Scripture. Most of the time we love to read the passages about the love of God, the beauty of the Lord, the glory of God. But our God is the God of grace and mercy. And He’s also a God of judgment and wrath.

And in this account, we see him judge between two parties while David stayed his hand. God pass judgment, and Nabal dies. We see in verse 39, “And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil:” You see that? He had shown good to Nabal.

Nabal had returned evil for good. And David, loaded up to spend some evil on Nabal’s head and God stopped him. The judgment of man doesn’t measure up to a righteous standard. David would have killed every single male person in that entire household. All of those servants that had gotten along with his men. And that would have been wrong.

There would have been innocent blood on David’s hands. But he was stopped. Amen? “for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.” We see the way that Abigail becomes David’s wife. And so much of this chapter really has to do with Abigail.

We see in verse 32, David acknowledged that the Lord sent her to Him to give that godly counsel. You see in verse 33 that it kept me from avenging with my own hand he says. In verse 38, The Lord smote, Nabal that he died. All of these things are clear. We see a man who sinned a sin unto death.

We see a principle to give place to the wrath of God, just as we see in Romans 12 and verse 19, God being quoted there by the Apostle Paul from the book of Deuteronomy, Vengeance is mine, I will repay.

Play Video

Scripture (KJV)

Romans 12:21

1 Samuel 25:32-39

1 Samuel 24:1-22

Romans 12:18-19

Psalms 14:1-2

Psalms 53:1-2

1 Samuel 25:1-31