What is true greatness? Can you think of five people in your life that you would consider truly great? What criteria are at work in your decision? Are these people wealthy, successful in business, honorable in reputation, easy to talk to? Does the Bible give us criteria to answer this question?
Throughout 1 Samuel true greatness and folly are starkly contrasted. This week at Redeemer, we observe the lives of David, the Fool, and Abigail, from 1 Samuel 25 (devotional guide available here). We are introduced to a man named Nabal who displays characteristics of greatness. He is a very rich man who is married to a beautiful, intelligent woman named Abigail. Surely this must count for something?
However, we will begin to see where the biblical definition of true greatness and the worldly one diverge. The author of Proverbs tells us that it is “better (to be a) poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1).
We will see a stark contrast from Nabal’s reaction to David’s request for help and Abigail’s. One is self-absorbed and stingy, while the other is willing to risk life and limb out of a fear and reverence for Yahweh. What makes a person wise or foolish? How would the five people that you named categorize you? Would they describe you as a person who trusts in Jesus for all that you have? What is the result of Nabal’s foolishness?
May God place us and keep us on the right path.