A couple of years ago I was privileged to take a class in seminary called Church Revitalization. It was an interesting class designed to equip young pastors in the process of resurrecting dead or dying churches. The class was equipped with a guest lecturer. His name was Charles Roesel. Dr. Roesel was a small-framed man around the age of 70 but abounding with energy. Dr. Roesel lectured non-stop all day for 4 days. He drank coffee like a diesel truck and he swore by, as he called it, “high test” coffee. Dr. Roesel was a very successful and wise pastor, seeing his church grow from 200 attenders to 5000. He littered his lecture time with quotables, but one statement has stuck with me. He was talking about church conflict, family conflict, and the general struggle of dealing with people when he said this, “Remember! Hurting people hurt people!” His statement was profound, honest, true, and liberating.
As I continue in my study of David, I move on to 1 Samuel 25. In chapter 24 David spared the life of Saul his adversary, revealing that he trusted God with his future and timing. Interestingly, chapter 25 begins with this phrase, “Now Samuel died”. Samuel was an important guy in the life of David. Samuel had anointed David king, guaranteeing God’s hand in making David king. Samuel had been a voice of reason for Saul and a tower of hope for David. As David wandered about hiding from Saul, Samuel was a symbol for David of God’s plan for him. But, now Samuel was dead!
I imagine David grieving over Samuel, the man who believed in him, loved him, and encouraged him. After the grieving process, David traveled down to another portion of Israel, where he meets a jerk. The jerk’s name is Nabal, which literally means “fool”. David follows the custom of the time and asks Nabal to provide a meal for his men. David and his men had protected Nabal and his people from bandits. Nabal, the fool, essentially gives David the “California Howdy” saying, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse?” David is infuriated and he is hurting. Have you ever been there? A bad day and someone cuts you off in traffic… A family fight and someone gets in your business… Isn’t it funny how life builds on you and all of a sudden a fool is present to pour it on.
David, in rage, rides out with 600 men to cut down Nabal the fool, but not just Nabal, his entire community and family. David, in his pain and hurt, is about to hurt a foolish man… and his innocent family. Fortunately, God is gracious and sends a person into David’s blazing path. The woman’s name is Abigail. Abigail is the wife of Nabal. She knows that her husband is a fool and she knows that David is a bad dude. She meets David as he approaches her community, acknowledges her husband as a fool, feeds David and his men, and asks for David to be gracious to her community. Abigail’s honest conversation with David frees him from his hurt precipitated rage. He quickly acknowledges that his plans were wrong and that his actions against the community would have been sin. He says to Abigail, “Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you who have kept me from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand.”
It is often in our hurt that was make bad decisions. We choose to withhold forgiveness; for fear that the perpetrator will hurt us again. We choose to slander because we have been slandered. We choose to take out a bad day at work on our children. We may not know that we are in this vicious cycle, but more times than not we are. Sometimes, we are David, the angry. Sometimes, we are Nabal, the fool. And sometimes, we are Abigail, the peacekeeper. But, the only relevant question in this moment, is who we will be today, which is rooted in who we trust with our hurt.
Are you trusting Christ with your hurt?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Hear more on David at CALG Downtown this Sunday at 10 am. CALG Downtown is located at 336 Gunter Ave Guntersville, AL 35976.
 John 16:33