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God’s Providence Restrains Us

Scripture: 1 Samuel 25:32-44

I. You should respond to God’s restraining providence with worship.

A. David planned in vs. 22 to kill Nabal and all of his servants because of Nabal’s lack of gratitude for David and his men protecting Nabal’s sheep. But then Nabal’s wise wife Abigail stops David while he is on the warpath. She stops David with a large gift of food for all of his men and with some wise words for David (vs. 24-31). Because Abigail was the instrument of God’s restraining providence in David’s life, David spared Nabal’s family and servants.

B. Three times in vs. 32-33 David says the word blessed which means praise. David first praises God for His restraining providence in vs. 32. God’s providence sent Abigail to David to restrain him from murder. David then worships God for preventing him from committing this sin. And then David praises Abigail twice in vs. 33. So, David praised both God and Abigail. Since it was God who sent Abigail to David, David was truly worshiping God in all of these words of praise.

II. You should respond to God’s restraining providence by not running through God’s roadblocks.

A. Abigail was a roadblock for David at this time. David realized he had run into a roadblock in vs. 34: “For as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Abigail restrained David from doing evil. See also verse 39.

B. Abigail would become David’s third wife (vs. 40-44). What does the Bible say about kings taking multiple wives? Deuteronomy 17:17: “And (the king) shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away.” David ran right through this roadblock in the Bible about taking a third wife. And later in 2 Samuel, David would take the beautiful Bathsheba to be his wife. David was in the habit of taking wives, so disaster came for his family and his kingdom.

III. You should respond to God’s restraining providence by trusting that God will repay.

A. David needed to be restrained because he wanted revenge against Nabal. But it was quick and easy for God to give David justice regarding Nabal. God took care of Nabal. God repaid Nabal for his sin (vs. 37-38). David did not need to take revenge. We should trust God also for justice. At the very beginning of the story of 1 Samuel we read Samuel’s mother Hannah say these words in 1 Sam. 2:5: “Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.” God has a way of reversing people’s fortunes.

Worship Jesus for how He restrains us from evil and defeats sin. Trust Him at all times.

The book of 1 Samuel
Commentaries on Samuel by Dale Ralph Davis, Robert Bergen and Tim Chester

Sermon Discussion Questions

1) Are you as much aware of the Lord restraining you from sin as you are of times when He is prompting you to action?

2) Can you think of incidents in your life when God’s providential intervention has saved you from doing some wrong? Do such interventions often become a part of your thankful worship?

3) Can you see how the fact that God’s kingdom was not even safe in the hands of the Lord’s godly servants shows us our need for Jesus to be our king?