The following warnings have been found on consumer products:
“Remove child before folding.” (baby stroller)
“Does not supply oxygen.” (dust mask)
“Never operate your speakerphone while driving.” (hands-free cell phone product called the “Drive ’n’ Talk”)
“This product moves when used.” (scooter)
An appropriate warning label that Nabal could have worn would have been: “Expect folly from a fool” (see 1 Sam. 25). He certainly was irrational as he addressed David. On the run from Saul, David had provided security detail for the sheep of a wealthy man named Nabal. When David learned that Nabal was shearing those sheep and celebrating with a feast, he sent ten of his men to politely ask for food as remuneration for these duties (vv. 4–8).
Nabal’s response to David’s request was beyond rude. He said, “Who is this David? . . . Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat . . . , and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (vv. 10–11). He broke the hospitality code of the day by not inviting David to the feast, disrespected him by calling out insults, and essentially stole from him by not paying him for his work.
The truth is, we all have a little bit of Nabal in us. We act foolishly at times. The only cure for this is to acknowledge our sin to God. He will step in to forgive us, instruct us, and give us His wisdom.
I’m selfish sometimes, Lord. I get more concerned with what I need than what others need. Give me a heart of integrity and compassion.
God’s wisdom overshadows our self-centeredness.
The Hebrew word nabal means confusion and foolishness. It describes a person who is mischievous and reckless and who lacks wisdom, discipline, and accountability. We see all of those characteristics in Nabal. His name carries with it a warning—seek wisdom, for it will always lead to a better way!