King Saul Turns on David
READ 18:6-9, 12
What causes King Saul to turn on David?
READ 1 Samuel 18:1-5
How is it possible that two men, Saul and Jonathan, could respond so differently to the loss of the throne?
How is it possible that one man, David, could respond with the same loving attitude toward two men, Saul and Jonathan, who treated him so differently?
But from that time on, King Saul tries to have David killed; and eventually to hunt down and kill David himself. David flees to the Judean wilderness along the border of the Dead Sea, where he gains the leadership of a group of outlaws. Things escalate to the point that Saul gathers 3,000 men to hunt David and his outlaw band in the desert. As luck may have it, Saul finds a large cave in which to spend the night - the same cave that David and his men use for their headquarters.
READ 1 Samuel 24:3-4
Why did David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe?
READ 1 Samuel 24:12
How does David really feel?
David and Abigail on the Road to Carmel
David escapes to the desert with his band. While there, they protect the flocks of a wealthy man named Nabal from other outlaws and Bedouin tribesmen, in return for a future payment of food and some sheepskins for clothing. But when David’s servants went to collect the payment at the end of the season, Nabal said “Who is David and who is the son of Jesse? …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?”
READ 1 Samuel 25:12-13
Why is David’s response to Nabal’s fraud and personal slight different from his response to Saul’s murder attempt and banishment of David?
What is David’s intent for Nabal and his household?
Why is being mistreated the most important condition of mortality?
Nabal’s wife, Abigail, finds out about what Nabal had done to David. Fearing that he would march on their home in the hill country of Carmel, she prepares all that is owed, and MORE, has it loaded on donkeys, and secretly rides out to head off David and his army of 400 angry men.
READ 1 Samuel 25:25
Who is Abigail?
READ 1 Samuel 25:23-24, 28
What did Abigail do for Nabal?
READ 1 Samuel 25:32-33
What did Abigail do for David?
Who is the real “sinner” in this story?
Who committed the greater sin?
The Atonement of Christ
When Christ stands before the Father (and comes to us) to atone for the sins of another and seek our forgiveness, does He say “forgive them for they know not what they do” or does he say “forgive the trespass of thy servant?”
Neither Abigail nor Christ actually committed the sin, but their willingness to assume another’s sins illustrates who forgiveness is for; so who is forgiveness for?
Why must the victim forgive a legitimate offense?
Why does Christ/Abigail not haul the sinner forward and make them beg the victim for forgiveness (“say you’re sorry, and MEAN it this time!”)?
Should it matter to the victim if the sinner is really repentant or not?
It is as if, in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord’s agony came in waves - a first wave for the sins that we commit against the Lord, each other and ourselves, with all of the regrets, shame and guilt that come with realizing truly what we have done - standing in the light of day with a full realization of all our guilt. But then it is as if a second wave would follow and mirror the first, and in the second wave He suffered the pains endured by the victims of the acts committed by those in the first wave - now it was anger, bitterness, loss and resentment.
Why might the second wave (the victim’s hurt) be harder to suffer than the sins of the first wave (the sinner)?
Why are we required to lay down any burden we may be carrying - including forgiving those that unjustly sin against us?