1 Samuel 25:4-8
Verse 6 Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!
As we mentioned yesterday David and his men had returned to the wilderness area they had been in when God had been hiding them from Saul and his men. Though it wasn’t mentioned in the narrative of them being there the first time, David and his men had decided to protect the shepherds that were watching their flocks in the desert region. This may have been because David knew what it was like to guard sheep day after day, or maybe it had to do with his compassionate heart to those who were susceptible to the dangers of being in the wilderness area, no matter the reasoning David ordered his men to be the guards for these shepherds.
It was common practice in those days to be compensated for guarding the workers of another person and this seems to be David’s purpose in sending some of his men to greet Nabal and bring request for compensation. David’s message wasn’t demanding of a payment for services rendered but does hint at how kindly they were to Nabal’s shepherds. They hadn’t stolen from them or roughed them up.
Since shepherds weren’t looked at as those of high standing they were often the victims of robbery or wild animals, but not on David’s watch. He knew the danger Nabal’s men were susceptible to and having nothing better to do while running from the king, David and his men make it their responsibility to tend to the men tending the sheep and goats.
We know from yesterday’s reading that there were a lot of sheep and goats to tend to, a thousand goats and three thousand sheep to be exact. 4000 animals would have required quite a few keepers and so David’s 600 men would have helped greatly in helping the men. With their safety being tended to by David’s men, the shepherds could spend all their time and energy on the watching of the animals.
David’s message to Nabal is not one of arrogance or even demanding, he gave his men a kindly greeting and then a humble request of what the man could find for them. Now remember that Nabal was wealthy, he would have had plenty to give supplies to the kind young man guarding his men. But remember this man was a fool.
Making It Personal
How should you respond to someone’s kindness that wasn’t requested? Is that your natural response? Do you offer kindness to others who didn’t ask for your help?
Making It Personal Kids
Has anyone ever done something nice for you that you didn’t ask for? How did you treat them in return? Do you do nice things for others even if they haven’t asked?
Father, thank You for opportunities to help others without being asked to. Show us how to live out love for others without having to be asked for assistance. Help us love as You do. In Jesus’ name, amen.