Don’t Waste Your Breath

Michael Beck

“He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife …” (Proverbs 28:25)

Nabal was a character. His wife knew him only too well. Her blunt assessment of him: “… For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him.” (1 Sam. 25:25) What did Nabal’s folly consist in? One of his servants put it this way: “… He is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” (1 Sam. 25:17) In other words, no matter what you say, he thinks he knows better. He can’t listen to any opinion but his own. When it came to David, he already had him pegged. Who was David to Nabal? Just another one of those rebels that liked to break free from his master. (1 Sam. 25:10) There is no talking to a know-it-all.

Have you ever met a Nabal? They still exist. They are the ones who are always right. They of course see and know things better than you do. It is your job to listen. It is their job to instruct. Try and reason with them? They will shout: “Nonsense!” Try and help them see things from your perspective? They will scoff: “What do you know about anything?” A Nabal is not quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. He is so convinced that he operates on a higher level of understanding than those around him that he quickly dismisses anything that has not come to him first. Everybody will just have to learn what he already knows.

The arrogance of a Nabal can provoke anger. Pride triggers pride. David was ready to feed Nabal some humble pie until Abigail stopped him in his tracks with this wise advice: “Regard him not.” Thank God David listened. He backed away and committed Nabal into God’s hands. He did not take personal vengeance. The Lord certainly knows how to humble the proud.

Don’t let Nabals get you all worked up. Don’t give them a piece of your mind. Pay them no mind. “Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial …” (1 Sam. 25:25) Fixing fools is God’s problem. We would be better off leaving the job to Him.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.