for as his name is

Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 25.

Fool. The man's name was fool. We aren't really sure if David's time in the desert of Paran is associated with his mourning for Samuel, but we know that while he was there he acted in the best interest of Nabal. His men guarded the assets of this wealthy man out of a desire to simply be neighborly. Remember, David is not hiding out because he is a thief or brigand. His heart was for the people of Israel.

What happened is difficult for us to understand in some ways. The ancient Hebrew perspective on hospitality was so different from our modern view that we struggle to grasp the escalation that happens. David was distantly related to this man, and had used his own men to safeguard Nabal's holdings in an area with a history of Philistine attacks, but Nabal is foolish.

What, exactly, makes Nabal foolish? Is it that he rebuffed David? Is it that he rejected their kinship? Is it that he implied that David and his men were unworthy of his hospitality? Look at the wording of the passage again. The author goes to great lengths to describe the incredible wealth of this man. Generosity on this scale would have meant nothing to him. He wouldn't have missed a few loaves of bread or some meat. In fact, Abigail takes a large portion to David and his men that Nabal never even notices.

No. The foolishness of Nabal becomes obvious in his response to David's men. How many times does the man use first person pronouns? Look at verse 11, "Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?" The man is completely self-absorbed. He is greedy. He is selfish. He is foolish.