1 Samuel 25:23-38 (Part 1) – And All We Want to Do Is Dance, Dance, Dance…

Posted: April 5, 2018 in 09-1 Samuel

1 Samuel 25:23-38 (Part 1 of 2)
Abigail Intercedes for Nabal

Awhile back in the 1980’s, there was a song by Don Henley called “All She Wants to Do Is Dance”. It was a searing indictment of Americans on many levels. On one level, the song was about the American drug culture where we Americans spend a ton of money on drugs that is fed and supplied by Central and South American drug lords who maim and kill people without a thought or care so as to keep their firm hold on the vast amounts of drug money flowing. Meanwhile, American illegal drug users only care about getting high and partying. On another level, it is a searing indictment of all Americans. We live in this land of opulence and self-indulgence while around the world there are people starving, corrupt governments oppressing people, revolutions taking place, people dying by the thousands. Ruthless regimes imprison people and make them disappear all to keep their firm hold on power. And, meanwhile, we Americans sit here watching 500 channels on our HD television entertainment systems, complain about the cable and internet when it goes down, complain that our computers are not fast enough, complain when we have to wait for our food at thousands upon thousands of choices of restaurants. We complain about getting fat. We complain about our cars being old. We complain not having the latest, greatest of everything. We are incredibly spoiled as Americans. And all we want to do is dance, dance, dance. Meanwhile, the world is starving around us. The money we spend on entertainment alone is more than the gross national product of some third world countries where people live in poverty in shanty shacks on sides of mountains overlooking overpopulated and underserved large cities around the world. As long as we are entertained, we care nothing about the world beyond our entertainment centers.

The opulent disregard for those in need around the world is what I thought of this morning as I read about Nabal and his unwillingness to share a fraction of his wealth with David and his troops but yet he found time to party and get drunk. Let’s read about this scene now in 1 Samuel 25:23-38:

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests.[a] But I never even saw the young men you sent.

26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The Lord will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the Lord’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life.

29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the Lord has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”

32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”

36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke,[b] and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.

In this passage, we see the continuation of the previous scene where Nabal refused to provide provision to David and his troops. Now, here as this particular passage, we see that Abigail intercedes on Nabal’s behalf and does so successfully. However, when she gets back home, she finds that Nabal has been throwing this lavish party and partying like a king. That was the thing that struck me this morning.

He was partying it up. He was wasting money on things that do not matter – alcohol and partying – while just in the previous scene he refused to help David and his soldiers. What struck me was how much like we Americans Nabal was. We soak up so much of the world’s resources on things that do not matter. There is a world out there that needs our help. There is a world out there that suffers daily the oppression of sadistic governments. We complain about Donald Trump as if he is the devil himself but yet there are nations where freedoms we take for granted are just dreams to the citizens of these nations. There are nations where women walk six miles just to fill jugs of water for their families to survive. There are still nations in this world where people bath and wash their clothes and go to the bathroom in rivers…and all we want to do is dance, dance, dance. We would rather spend our money on $60k vehicles, $500k houses, and live off of 104% of what we make on average. We say we would like to help others in need, even in our own country, but yet we persist in buying cars that are nicer than houses were 50 years ago. But yet we persist in buying houses that are more than we can afford.

There is an old saying that says, “with great wealth comes great responsibility”. By world standards, even us middle class Americans are wealthier than 98% of the rest of the world’s population. We were born in the United States not by some inalienable right. We were born here simply by the grace of God. Just as our salvation is a gift from God through Jesus Christ so is our being born in the wealthiest nation on the planet. Therefore, we should not act as though we earned it. We could easily have been born to parents in some third world country. Just as we Christians should be the most joyous people on the planet because of the fact that we know what we deserve but have been given the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. So too should we be generous people. We should be able to live on less and give more. We should be generous to our Lord first and to others second and to ourselves last. We should care about what is going on with those who are in need here at home and in other nations. We should be using our wealth to make the lives of others better. Jesus was not selfish. He set aside His glory to come to earth to provide us a way to be reconciled with the Father. The dude gave His earthly life as a sacrifice so that we could have our sins paid in full through His action on the cross. Talk about being generous. He is God. He did not have to do that. He could have sat in heaven and said, “I hate it for ya!”. But He did not. Thank you Jesus.

Next time, we get all caught up in our first world problems, let us remember that with the graceful gift of being born in this country, we as Americans and more importantly as American Christians, we have the responsibility to use our wealth to love on the world around in ways that are unexpected and ways that will draw people unto Christ. With great wealth comes great responsibility. Let’s stop just wanting to dance, dance, dance and make a difference in the world around us for Jesus Christ using our wealth to help others in such a way that they wonder why we Christians would do that. We do that to draw people unto Him.

Amen and Amen.

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