Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

One of the hardest lessons you may face in life is learning not to avenge yourself. In two separate instances with two different enemies, David demonstrated the importance of not taking revenge. In the cave at En-gedi, David could have killed Saul and been finished with running from him day and night. Instead, David opted against avenging Saul's evil attempts to destroy him and swore that his hand would never touch Saul.

In another instance in the Old Testament, Abigail intercepted David and persuaded him not to avenge himself upon Nabal. David thanked her for keeping him from shedding blood that day and preventing him from taking revenge with his own hands (1 Samuel 25:33).

How easy it is to take matters into your own hands, even though God has said, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord" (Romans 12:19 KJV). The devil may have sent someone who is encouraging you to take matters into your own hands, but leave your vengeance in God's hands. One day you will look up and the "Sauls" and "Nabals" in your life "will disappear like stones shot from a sling!" (1 Samuel 25:29).

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 In Hebrew texts 24:1-22 is numbered 24:2-23.After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.S Jos 15:62So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look1Sa 26:2 for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.

He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cavePs 57 Title; 142 Title was there, and Saul went in to relieveJdg 3:24 himself. David and his men were far back in the cave.The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke1Sa 25:28-30 of when he saidOr “Today the Lord is saying to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’”2Sa 4:8 Then David crept up unnoticed and cutver 10, 11 off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken1Sa 26:9; 2Sa 24:10 for having cut off a corner of his robe.He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed,S Ge 26:11; S 1Sa 12:3 or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.”With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.S 1Sa 20:41He said to Saul, “Why do you listen1Sa 26:19 when men say, ‘David is bent on harming1Sa 20:1 you’?10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I sparedS ver 4 you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord’s anointed.’11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cutS ver 4 off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guiltyPs 7:3 of wrongdoing1Sa 25:28 or rebellion. I have not wrongedPs 35:7 you, but you are huntingS Ge 31:36; 1Sa 26:20 me down to take my life.S 1Sa 20:112 May the Lord judgeS Ge 16:5; S 1Sa 25:38; S Job 9:15 between you and me. And may the Lord avengeS Nu 31:3 the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.13 As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,Mt 7:20’ so my hand will not touch you.

14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog?S 1Sa 17:43 A flea?1Sa 26:2015 May the Lord be our judgever 12 and decideS Ge 16:5 between us. May he consider my cause and upholdPs 35:1, 23; Isa 49:25 it; may he vindicatePs 26:1; 35:24; 43:1; 50:4; 54:1; 135:14 me by deliveringPs 119:134, 154 me from your hand.”

16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice,1Sa 26:17 David my son?” And he wept aloud.17 “You are more righteous than I,”Ge 38:26 he said. “You have treated me well,Mt 5:44 but I have treated you badly.S Ex 9:2718 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the Lord delivered1Sa 26:23 me into your hands, but you did not kill me.19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord rewardS Ru 2:12; S 2Ch 15:7 you well for the way you treated me today.20 I know that you will surely be kingS 1Sa 20:31 and that the kingdomS 1Sa 13:14 of Israel will be established in your hands.21 Now swearGe 21:23; S 47:31; S 1Sa 18:3; 2Sa 21:1-9 to me by the Lord that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.S 1Sa 20:14-15

22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.1Sa 23:29

David, Nabal and Abigail

25 Now Samuel died,1Sa 28:3 and all Israel assembled and mournedS Lev 10:6; Dt 34:8 for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.S 1Sa 7:17 Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.Hebrew and some Septuagint manuscripts; other Septuagint manuscripts Maon

A certain man in Maon,S Jos 15:55 who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.2Sa 19:32 He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearingS Ge 31:19 in Carmel.His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail.Pr 31:10 She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.S Jos 14:13; S 15:13

While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name.Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good healthPs 122:7; Mt 10:12 to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!1Ch 12:18

“‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreatver 15 them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whateverNe 8:10 you can find for them.’”

When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.

10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “WhoJdg 9:28 is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.11 Why should I take my breadJdg 8:6 and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.13 David said to his menS 1Sa 22:2, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men wentS 1Sa 21:10 up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.S Nu 31:27

14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings,1Sa 13:10 but he hurled insults at them.15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreatver 7 us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.ver 2116 Night and day they were a wallEx 14:22; Job 1:10; Ps 139:5 around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them.17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wickedS Dt 13:13; S 1Sa 20:7 man that no one can talk to him.”

18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahsThat is, probably about 60 pounds or about 27 kilograms of roasted grain,S Lev 23:14; S 1Sa 17:17 a hundred cakes of raisins1Ch 12:40 and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.S Ge 42:26; 2Sa 16:1; Isa 30:619 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead;Ge 32:20 I’ll follow you.” But she did not tellver 36 her husband Nabal.

20 As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them.21 David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing.ver 15 He has paidPs 109:5 me back evilS 1Sa 19:4 for good.22 May God deal with David,Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew with David’s enemies be it ever so severely,S Ru 1:17 if by morning I leave alive one male1Ki 14:10; 21:21; 2Ki 9:8 of all who belong to him!”

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground.S Ge 19:1; S 1Sa 20:4124 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord,2Sa 14:9 and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.25 Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means FoolPr 17:12,Pr 12:16; 14:16; 20:3; Isa 32:5 and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent.26 And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshedver 33 and from avengingHeb 10:30 yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal.ver 34; 2Sa 18:3227 And let this gift,S Ge 33:11 which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.

28 “Please forgivever 24; 2Sa 14:9 your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting2Sa 7:11, 26 dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles,1Sa 18:17 and no wrongdoing1Sa 24:11 will be found in you as long as you live.29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life,S 1Sa 20:1 the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurlJer 10:18; 22:26 away as from the pocket of a sling.1Sa 17:50; 2Sa 4:830 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him rulerS 1Sa 12:12; S 13:14 over Israel,31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, rememberS Ge 40:14 your servant.”2Sa 3:10

32 David said to Abigail, “PraiseS Ge 24:27 be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me.33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshedver 26 this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to NabalS ver 26 would have been left alive by daybreak.”

35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and grantedS Ge 19:21 your request.”

36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in highS Ru 3:7 spirits and very drunk.Pr 20:1; Ecc 10:17; Isa 5:11, 22; 22:13; 28:7; 56:12; Hos 4:11 So she toldver 19 him nothing at all until daybreak.37 Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone.Ex 15:1638 About ten days later, the Lord struckDt 32:35; 1Sa 24:12; 26:10; 2Sa 6:7; 12:15 Nabal and he died.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”

Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife.40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.”

41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”42 Abigail2Sa 2:2; 3:3; 1Ch 3:1 quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife.43 David had also married Ahinoam2Sa 3:2; 1Ch 3:1 of Jezreel, and they both were his wives.1Sa 27:3; 30:5; 2Sa 2:244 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to PaltielHebrew Palti, a variant of Paltiel2Sa 3:15 son of Laish, who was from Gallim.Isa 10:30

David Spares Saul’s Life

24 Verses 24:1-22 are numbered 24:2-23 in Hebrew text.After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi.So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats.

At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!

“Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.

But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe.He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.”So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.

After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way,David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.

Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you?10 This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’11 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.

12 “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you.13 As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you.14 Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea?15 May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”

16 When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry.17 And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil.18 Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it.19 Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today.20 And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule.21 Now swear to me by the Lord that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!”

22 So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went back to their stronghold.

The Death of Samuel

25 Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.

Nabal Angers David

Then David moved down to the wilderness of Maon.As in Greek version (see also 25:2); Hebrew reads Paran.There was a wealthy man from Maon who owned property near the town of Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and it was sheep-shearing time.This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings.

When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep,he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal:“Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own!I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them.Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.”David’s young men gave this message to Nabal in David’s name, and they waited for a reply.

10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters.11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?”

12 So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said.13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment.

14 Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he screamed insults at them.15 These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us.16 In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep.17 You need to know this and figure out what to do, for there is going to be trouble for our master and his whole family. He’s so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!”

18 Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushelHebrew 5 seahs [36.5 liters]. of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.

20 As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her.21 David had just been saying, “A lot of good it did to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness, and nothing he owned was lost or stolen. But he has repaid me evil for good.22 May God strike me and kill meAs in Greek version; Hebrew reads May God strike and kill the enemies of David. if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!”

Abigail Intercedes for Nabal

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.The name Nabal means “fool.” 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,Hebrew his heart failed him. and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone.38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died.

David Marries Abigail

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the Lord, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. Nabal has received the punishment for his sin.” Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife.

40 When the messengers arrived at Carmel, they told Abigail, “David has sent us to take you back to marry him.”

41 She bowed low to the ground and responded, “I, your servant, would be happy to marry David. I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants!”42 Quickly getting ready, she took along five of her servant girls as attendants, mounted her donkey, and went with David’s messengers. And so she became his wife.43 David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, making both of them his wives.44 Saul, meanwhile, had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to a man from Gallim named Palti son of Laish.

24 And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.

Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.

And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the Lord said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily.

And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.

And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.

So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.

David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.

And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt?

10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed.

11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.

12 The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

15 The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.

16 And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.

17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.

18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not.

19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the Lord reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.

20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.

21 Swear now therefore unto me by the Lord, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.

22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

25 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.

And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, 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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words 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?

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.

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.

15 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:

16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.

17 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.

18 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 asses.

19 And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.

20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.

21 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 evil for good.

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.

23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,

24 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.

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, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

26 Now therefore, my lord, 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.

27 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.

28 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.

29 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.

30 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;

31 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.

32 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, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.

34 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.

35 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.

36 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.

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.

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: 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.

40 And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.

41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.

42 And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.

43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.

44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

John 10:22-42

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of DedicationThat is, Hanukkah at Jerusalem. It was winter,23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.Ac 3:11; 5:1224 The JewsS Jn 1:19 who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”Lk 22:67; Jn 16:25, 29

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you,Jn 4:26; 8:58 but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,Jn 5:36; 14:1126 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.Jn 8:4727 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,ver 14 and they follow me.ver 428 I give them eternal life,S Mt 25:46 and they shall never perish;Isa 66:22 no one will snatch them out of my hand.S Jn 6:3929 My Father, who has given them to me,Jn 17:2, 6, 24 is greater than allMany early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all;Jn 14:28 no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.30 I and the Father are one.”Dt 6:4; Jn 17:21-23

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,S Jn 8:5932 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”Lev 24:16; Mt 26:63-66; Jn 5:18

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law,Jn 8:17; 12:34; 15:25; Ro 3:19; 1Co 14:21 ‘I have said you are “gods”’Psalm 82:6?Ps 82:635 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of GodS Heb 4:12 came—and Scripture cannot be set asideS Mt 5:1836 what about the one whom the Father set apartJer 1:5 as his very ownJn 6:69 and sent into the world?S Jn 3:17 Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?Jn 5:17, 1837 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.ver 2538 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”Jn 14:10, 11, 20; 17:2139 Again they tried to seize him,Jn 7:30 but he escaped their grasp.Lk 4:30; Jn 8:59

40 Then Jesus went back across the JordanJn 1:28 to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed,41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign,S Jn 2:11 all that John said about this man was true.”Jn 1:26, 27, 30, 3442 And in that place many believed in Jesus.S Jn 7:31

Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God

22 It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.23 He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade.24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name.26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep.27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else.Other manuscripts read for what my Father has given me is more powerful than anything; still others read for regarding that which my Father has given me, he is greater than all. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.30 The Father and I are one.”

31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”

33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”

34 Jesus replied, “It is written in your own ScripturesGreek your own law. that God said to certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’Ps 82:6.35 And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s message were called ‘gods,’36 why do you call it blasphemy when I say, ‘I am the Son of God’? After all, the Father set me apart and sent me into the world.37 Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work.38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.”

39 Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them.40 He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile.41 And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.”42 And many who were there believed in Jesus.

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

42 And many believed on him there.

Psalm 116:1-19

Psalm 116

I love the Lord,Ps 18:1 for he heard my voice;

he heard my cryS Ps 31:22; S 40:1 for mercy.S Ps 6:9; S 28:2

Because he turned his earS Ps 5:1 to me,

I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of deathS 2Sa 22:6; Ps 18:4-5 entangled me,

the anguish of the grave came over me;

I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the namePs 80:18; 118:5 of the Lord:

Lord, save me!S Ps 80:2

The Lord is gracious and righteous;S Ex 9:27; S 2Ch 12:6; S Ezr 9:15

our God is full of compassion.S Ex 22:27; S Ps 86:15

The Lord protects the unwary;

when I was brought low,S Ps 79:8 he saved me.Ps 18:3; 22:5; 107:13

Return to your rest,Ps 46:10; 62:1; 131:2; Mt 11:29 my soul,

for the Lord has been goodPs 13:6; 106:1; 142:7 to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered meS Ps 86:13 from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before the LordS Ge 5:22; Ps 56:13; 89:15

in the land of the living.S Job 28:13; Ps 27:13; Isa 38:11; Jer 11:19

10 I trusted2Co 4:13* in the Lord when I said,

“I am greatly afflicted”;Ps 9:18; 72:2; S 107:17; 119:67, 71, 75

11 in my alarm I said,

“Everyone is a liar.”Jer 9:3-5; Hos 7:13; Mic 6:12; Ro 3:4

12 What shall I return to the Lord

for all his goodnessPs 103:2; 106:1 to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation

and call on the nameS Ps 105:1 of the Lord.

14 I will fulfill my vowsS Nu 30:2; S Ps 66:13 to the Lord

in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sightPs 72:14 of the Lord

is the death of his faithful servants.S Nu 23:10

16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;Ps 119:125; 143:12

I serve you just as my mother did;S Ps 86:16

you have freed me from my chains.S Job 12:18

17 I will sacrifice a thank offeringS Lev 7:12; S Ezr 1:4 to you

and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will fulfill my vowsver 14; S Lev 22:18 to the Lord

in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courtsPs 92:13; 96:8; 100:4; 135:2 of the house of the Lord

in your midst, Jerusalem.Ps 102:21

Praise the Lord.Hebrew Hallelu Yah

Psalm 116

I love the Lord because he hears my voice

and my prayer for mercy.

Because he bends down to listen,

I will pray as long as I have breath!

Death wrapped its ropes around me;

the terrors of the graveHebrew of Sheol. overtook me.

I saw only trouble and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:

“Please, Lord, save me!”

How kind the Lord is! How good he is!

So merciful, this God of ours!

The Lord protects those of childlike faith;

I was facing death, and he saved me.

Let my soul be at rest again,

for the Lord has been good to me.

He has saved me from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling.

And so I walk in the Lord’s presence

as I live here on earth!

10 I believed in you, so I said,

“I am deeply troubled, Lord.”

11 In my anxiety I cried out to you,

“These people are all liars!”

12 What can I offer the Lord

for all he has done for me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation

and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.

14 I will keep my promises to the Lord

in the presence of all his people.

15 The Lord cares deeply

when his loved ones die.

16 O Lord, I am your servant;

yes, I am your servant, born into your household;

you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving

and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people—

19 in the house of the Lord

in the heart of Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord!

116 I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.

Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.

For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.

I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:

11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.

12 What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?

13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.

14 I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

16 O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people.

19 In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.

Proverbs 15:20-21

20 A wise son brings joy to his father,S Pr 10:1

but a foolish man despises his mother.

21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense,S Pr 2:14

but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course.

20 Sensible children bring joy to their father;

foolish children despise their mother.

21 Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense;

a sensible person stays on the right path.

20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

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