We now have the account of Samuel's death. Notwithstanding all Israel's failure to realize his high ideals, it was impossible that they should not recognize his greatness, and it is easy to believe that their mourning for him was the evidence of genuine sorrow.
The story of Nabal, as here written, is intensely interesting. He was of a type which continues to this time. The whole fact is most forcibly expressed in the word "churlish." David's approach to him was characterized by fine courtesy, which was responded to, not only by refusal to grant the request, but by uncalled-for and unwarranted aspersions.
In the story Abigail stands out as a woman of fine tone and temper, and of keen insight. It is perfectly evident that her principal concern was for David. To save him from a bloody deed was her first intention. In this she was successful, and David recognized the h e service she had rendered him.
The chapter ends with the story of his marriage to Abigail, while already he had taken Ahinoam to wife. While it is perfectly true that we have no right to measure David by the standards of our own time, it is equally clear that at this point we have evidence of a weakness which presently was to lead him into the most terrible sin of his life and cause him the greatest difficulty and the acutest suffering.
the Second Week after Epiphany