How to Calm an Angry

Person I Samuel 25:13-38

David’s pride had been deflated by a brash man named Nabal. “Who is David?” How does David respond?  “And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff. “ David is out for vengeance!

Nothing can be more dangerous than a wounded animal.  Once they are hurt, they will attack to protect themselves from being hurt again.  Human beings are no different.  When they have been hurt, embarrassed, unnecessarily attached or stabbed in the back; their minds quickly go into a psycho mode. They must get even.

The only thing standing between a furious David and the mocking Nabal, was a woman, Nabal’s wife, Abigail. By digging into this passage of scripture,  God reveals to us the tools we need to face the enraged person that maybe charging toward us. Their mind maybe set on destruction, but God wants to calm the fury in their heart.

The Bible tells us that Abigail had no idea what had conspired between David and Nabal, until a young man told her what had transpired. “David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed (criticized strongly) on them. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant ( hung out) with them, when we were in the fields: They were a wall unto us both by night and day, (they protected us night and day), all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he (David) is such a son of Belial (lawlessness-nothing holding his anger back), that a man cannot speak to him.”

Abigail’s first step is to meet David’s need. “Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.”.  Before she could even reach David, she sent men ahead of her to provide an abundance of the food for David and his men. When a person is angry ,usually their two greatest needs is to have someone genuinely care about their feelings and to be willing to listen to them.  Upon receiving this gift David speaks, “, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow (Nabal) hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: (I protected his men and his sheep)  and he hath requited me evil for good.” David then expresses his intent to kill every one of Nabal’s men before the next morning.“

The next step in calming an angry person is to approach humbly. “And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, …and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: ”.  Even though Abigail had done nothing, she is willing to shoulder all the blame in order to stop David from seeking vengeance on Nabal and his men.

Many times, when someone is angry, we become self-defensive and argumentative.  These reactions tend to build walls between people rather than calm the rage. It is very important that you understand that we are not to sacrifice Biblical standards to keep peace, but we are to approach people with hearts willing to forgive and restore fellowship, if possible.

The final step is to use Biblical Wisdom. This requires prayer and a desire to obey God in and through your confrontation. Listen to Abigail’s honest and godly advice to David. “ Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: “.    She asked David to consider the source , Nabal was what his name said he was, a wicked and belligerent man. God would take care of Nabal.  Then she draws David’s attention to who he was about to hurt,  “but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.”. She knew nothing of David’s care for Nabal’s men. And Nabal’s men had been friends to David.  Abigail wanted David to think about how the innocent would be affected.  Then she brings David to her strongest argument, “Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, … when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself:”. Abigail wisely reminds David that God had promised he would be king of all Israel. Did he really want the guilt of innocent blood on his hands, over food?

Not all confrontations can end in peace. Not all godly advice is taken to heart. But,”if it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”( Romans 12:18) David recognized Abigail as what she was, a person sent by God to throw up a road block in his path. “And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.”

And what happened to Nabal?  “And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.  But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.” God took care of Nabal.

And what about Abigail? “And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife… And Abigail hasted, …and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.”

Now think of the people who might be a Nabal in your life and ask yourself a question. Who effects your life more , your adversary or your Savior?  Look past you enemy, place your vengeance in God’s hand and step ahead, keeping your eyes of Jesus.