Read – 1 Samuel 25
Focus on verse 37-3
Intelligence is not synonymous with wisdom. I have met people who I suspect are highly intelligent when it comes to matters of academia, but who lack wisdom in the way they apply their intelligence. In other words, it is possible for a person to understand the intricacies of astro-physics, yet not have the wisdom to avoid the perils of alcohol addiction. Most atheists that I have met seem to be highly intelligent people, and yet they refuse to accept the reality of God because it is one of the few things they are unable to cognitively understand.
“The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God’”. (Psalm 14:1)
In today’s reading David encounters a man named Nabal who apparently had
enough intelligence to accumulate an impressive amount of wealth, but not enough wisdom to treat David’s men with honor. If it had not been for the wise intervention of Nabal’s wife Abigail, Nabal and every male in his household would have been dead by morning at the hands of David and his mercenaries.
Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. (v. 18-19)
When Abigail tells Nabal what she has done the next morning, he has a huge coronary malfunction and/or stroke that puts him in a coma for ten days, after which, he dies. As a result of Abigail’s wisdom, David is spared the guilt of taking vengeance into his own hands, and Nabal loses everything, including his life and his wife to David.
Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died. (v. 37-38)
Nabal made a huge mistake by treating David’s men with contempt after they had protected Nabal’s flocks and herdsmen in the fields. It was not that he lacked intelligence, he just lacked common sense. In my experience, I have found that the most intelligent people I have met typically have the most difficulty with matters of faith. I suspect it is because they have learned to rely on their ability to understand things, therefore, when they encounter some of the things of God that are beyond human comprehension, they choose to reject the entire notion of God rather than to accept that there might be things they cannot understand. This is a huge mistake, because in the end it will cost them everything if they continue in their rejection.