WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 1, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T MARRY A FOOL
BY T. O. BANSO
“I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the messengers you sent” (1 Samuel 25:25 New Living Translation).
In life, sometimes a “good” person, for whatever reason, end up in a marriage with someone who makes life miserable for him or her. Hardly would anyone plan to marry a fool; but sometimes, a wise person could end up marrying a fool!
In the Bible, we find the example of Abigail, a good woman, who was married to a bad man. The Bible says of the couple, “This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings” (1 Samuel 25:3 New Living Translation).
Who would have thought that somebody who was a descendant of Caleb, a contemporary of Joshua, a man of faith, a man who walked with God wholly, would turn out to be a crude and mean man?
Who would have thought that Nabal would be a fool? Nabal, a fool, refused to provide food for David and his men. The Bible calls him a scoundrel (1 Samuel 25:17 New King James Version). The King James Version calls him a son of Belial, while the New International Version calls him a wicked man.
In 1 Samuel 25:13, David was in a mood to kill because of the insults by Nabal over his request for provisions for himself and his men in return for protecting his men and their sheep in the past. He was ready with 400 men of war with swords to destroy Nabal and his household.
Verses 10-11 say, “Nabal answered David’s servants, ‘Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?’” (New International Version).
But Abigail, a wise woman, when she heard what Nabal said and David’s reaction, averted the evil that would have come upon Nabal. Without telling her husband, she brought food supplies to David who together with his men was already on their way to Nabal’s house to punish him for paying him back evil for good. Abigail, falling at David’s feet, said she accepted all the blame and begged him to listen to what she had to say.
Abigail said she never saw the young men David sent and pleaded with him not to shed needless blood. “Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.” (1 Samuel 25:25-27 New International Version).
Abigail continued her intercession: “Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant” (verses 28-31 New International Version).
David welcomed her intervention and accepted her intercession. He said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak” (verses 32-34 New International Version).
David collected from her the food supplies she brought and asked her to go in peace. He granted her request and restrained himself from the evil he was going to visit on Nabal and his household. David never knew that Nabal would die about ten days after Abigail had returned home (verse 38). David didn’t need to kill him. He married Abigail thereafter.
The story of Nabal and Abigail is that of a sensible and beautiful woman marrying a fool and a wicked, ill-tempered man. Abigail said, “I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the messengers you sent” (1 Samuel 25:25 New Living Translation). Thank God for a wise woman like Abigail. She was not like her husband. Unfortunately, in some cases, the wife could be just a fool as the husband. She would support the husband’s wrong actions and bring destruction to the entire household instead of averting it. But Abigail wasn’t like that. She was a wise woman.
The Bible doesn’t tell us how it happened that Abigail married a fool. Was she deceived by his wealth or family background? Was it a case of forced marriage or a case of love is blind? Or did Nabal change after the marriage? People do change. We don’t know what happened.
Beware! Don’t marry a fool. The Bible talks a lot about fools or foolish people. Their characteristics are mentioned in the Bible. For example, the fool says in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). A wise person does not only acknowledge that there is God, he/she also obeys Him and submits to His plan for salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Don’t marry someone who has no living relationship with God. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:39 that a Christian must marry in the Lord. In other words, a Christian must marry a fellow Christian. Many who violated this instruction are regretting it today.
Proverbs 14:7 says you should go from the presence of a fool when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. “Stay away from fools, because they can’t teach you anything” (Proverbs 14:7 New Century Version). Don’t marry a fool. The Bible says fools mock at sin (Proverbs 14:9a). In other words, they don’t care if they sin. According to Proverbs 15:20b a foolish man despises his mother. He may likely despise or disrespect his wife, too.
Don’t be a drunkard like Nabal (1 Samuel 25:36-37). “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1 New King James Version). Ephesians 5:18 says you should not get drunk on wine, which leads to reckless indiscretion; but be filled with the Spirit.
Just as the foolish woman pulls down her house with her own hands (Proverbs 14:1b), the foolish man builds his house on the sand, and it doesn’t last long. Jesus said, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matthew 7:26-27 New King James Version).
Don’t marry a fool and don’t be a fool. Build your house – life, family, business, etc., on the rock, not on the sand, by obeying the Word of God. A fool makes fun of the Word of God; he/she has no regard for the Word of God. He/she doesn’t obey it.
Furthermore, fools are easily provoked. “Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger dwells in the heart of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9 Amplified Bible). Uncontrolled anger will destroy your marriage. Job 5:2a says anger kills the fool. Avoid anger. Whoever marries someone who is easily provoked or quick-tempered will face a serious challenge in his/her marriage.
Just as fools are easily angered, fools are quarrelsome. If you marry a quarrelsome person, you won’t enjoy peace. “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3 New International Version). Both men and women could be quarrelsome, nevertheless, the Bible says, “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife” (Proverbs 21:9 New International Version).
Also, a fool is wasteful. “There is desirable treasure, and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders it” (Proverbs 21:20 New King James Version). A woman could be wasteful just as a man could. These are just some of the features of a fool. Don’t be a fool and don’t marry a fool. The signs of trouble in the future are often there before the marriage but many ignore it.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, baptize me with wisdom. Let me not be a fool or live as a fool. Holy Spirit, help me to stay away from fools. Guide me not to marry a fool.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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