1 Samuel 25; 1 Samuel 26; Luke 12:32-59

1 Samuel died, and all the Israelites came together and mourned for him. Then they buried him at his home in Ramah. After this, David went to the wilderness of Paran. 2 There was a man of the clan of Caleb named Nabal, who was from the town of Maon, and who owned land near the town of Carmel. He was a very rich man, the owner of three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. His wife Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, but he was a mean, bad-tempered man. Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel, 4 and David, who was in the wilderness, heard about it, 5 so he sent ten young men with orders to go to Carmel, find Nabal, and give him his greetings. 6 He instructed them to say to Nabal: "David sends you greetings, my friend, with his best wishes for you, your family, and all that is yours. 7 He heard that you were shearing your sheep, and he wants you to know that your shepherds have been with us and we did not harm them. Nothing that belonged to them was stolen all the time they were at Carmel. 8 Just ask them, and they will tell you. We have come on a feast day, and David asks you to receive us kindly. Please give what you can to us your servants and to your dear friend David." 9 David's men delivered this message to Nabal in David's name. Then they waited there, 10 and Nabal finally answered, "David? Who is he? I've never heard of him! The country is full of runaway slaves nowadays! 11 I'm not going to take my bread and water, and the animals I have butchered for my sheepshearers, and give them to people who come from I don't know where!" 12 David's men went back to him and told him what Nabal had said. 13 "Buckle on your swords!" he ordered, and they all did. David also buckled on his sword and left with about four hundred of his men, leaving two hundred behind with the supplies. 14 One of Nabal's servants said to Nabal's wife Abigail, "Have you heard? David sent some messengers from the wilderness with greetings for our master, but he insulted them. 15 Yet they were very good to us; they never bothered us, and all the time we were with them in the fields, nothing that belonged to us was stolen. 16 They protected us day and night the whole time we were with them looking after our flocks. 17 Please think this over and decide what to do. This could be disastrous for our master and all his family. He is so mean that he won't listen to anybody!" 18 Abigail quickly gathered two hundred loaves of bread, two leather bags full of wine, five roasted sheep, two bushels of roasted grain, a hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dried figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to the servants, "You go on ahead and I will follow you." But she said nothing to her husband. 20 She was riding her donkey around a bend on a hillside when suddenly she met David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had been thinking, "Why did I ever protect that fellow's property out here in the wilderness? Not a thing that belonged to him was stolen, and this is how he pays me back for the help I gave him! 22 May God strike me dead if I don't kill every last one of those men before morning!" 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted and threw herself on the ground 24 at David's feet, and said to him, "Please, sir, listen to me! Let me take the blame. 25 Please, don't pay any attention to Nabal, that good-for-nothing! He is exactly what his name means - a fool! I wasn't there when your servants arrived, sir. 26 It is the Lord who has kept you from taking revenge and killing your enemies. And now I swear to you by the living Lord that your enemies and all who want to harm you will be punished like Nabal. 27 Please, sir, accept this present I have brought you, and give it to your men. 28 Please forgive me, sir, for any wrong I have done. The Lord will make you king, and your descendants also, because you are fighting his battles; and you will not do anything evil as long as you live. 29 If anyone should attack you and try to kill you, the Lord your God will keep you safe, as someone guards a precious treasure. As for your enemies, however, he will throw them away, as someone hurls stones with a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done all the good things he has promised you and has made you king of Israel, 31 then you will not have to feel regret or remorse, sir, for having killed without cause or for having taken your own revenge. And when the Lord has blessed you, sir, please do not forget me." 32 David said to her, "Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me! 33 Thank God for your good sense and for what you have done today in keeping me from the crime of murder and from taking my own revenge. 34 The Lord has kept me from harming you. But I swear by the living God of Israel that if you had not hurried to meet me, all of Nabal's men would have been dead by morning!" 35 Then David accepted what she had brought him and said to her, "Go back home and don't worry. I will do what you want." 36 Abigail went back to Nabal, who was at home having a feast fit for a king. He was drunk and in a good mood, so she did not tell him anything until the next morning. 37 Then, after he had sobered up, she told him everything. He suffered a stroke and was completely paralyzed. 38 Some ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal had died, he said, "Praise the Lord! He has taken revenge on Nabal for insulting me and has kept me his servant from doing wrong. The Lord has punished Nabal for his evil." Then David sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail. 40 His servants went to her at Carmel and said to her, "David sent us to take you to him to be his wife." 41 Abigail bowed down to the ground and said, "I am his servant, ready to wash the feet of his servants." 42 She rose quickly and mounted her donkey. Accompanied by her five maids, she went with David's servants and became his wife. 43 David had married Ahinoam from Jezreel, and now Abigail also became his wife. 44 Meanwhile, Saul had given his daughter Michal, who had been David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from the town of Gallim.
1 Some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah and told him that David was hiding on Mount Hachilah at the edge of the Judean wilderness. 2 Saul went at once with three thousand of the best soldiers in Israel to the wilderness of Ziph to look for David, 3 and camped by the road on Mount Hachilah. David was still in the wilderness, and when he learned that Saul had come to look for him, 4 he sent spies and found out that Saul was indeed there. 5 He went at once and located the exact place where Saul and Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, slept. Saul slept inside the camp, and his men camped around him. 6 Then David asked Ahimelech the Hittite, and Abishai the brother of Joab (their mother was Zeruiah), "Which of you two will go to Saul's camp with me?" "I will," Abishai answered. 7 So that night David and Abishai entered Saul's camp and found Saul sleeping in the center of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the troops were sleeping around him. 8 Abishai said to David, "God has put your enemy in your power tonight. Now let me plunge his own spear through him and pin him to the ground with just one blow - I won't have to strike twice!" 9 But David said, "You must not harm him! The Lord will certainly punish whoever harms his chosen king. 10 By the living Lord," David continued, "I know that the Lord himself will kill Saul, either when his time comes to die a natural death or when he dies in battle. 11 The Lord forbid that I should try to harm the one whom the Lord has made king! Let's take his spear and his water jar, and go." 12 So David took the spear and the water jar from right beside Saul's head, and he and Abishai left. No one saw it or knew what had happened or even woke up - they were all sound asleep, because the Lord had sent a heavy sleep on them all. 13 Then David crossed over to the other side of the valley to the top of the hill, a safe distance away, 14 and shouted to Saul's troops and to Abner, "Abner! Can you hear me?" "Who is that shouting and waking up the king?" Abner asked. 15 David answered, "Abner, aren't you the greatest man in Israel? So why aren't you protecting your master, the king? Just now someone entered the camp to kill your master. 16 You failed in your duty, Abner! I swear by the living Lord that all of you deserve to die, because you have not protected your master, whom the Lord made king. Look! Where is the king's spear? Where is the water jar that was right by his head?" 17 Saul recognized David's voice and asked, "David, is that you, my son?" "Yes, Your Majesty," David answered. 18 And he added, "Why, sir, are you still pursuing me, your servant? What have I done? What crime have I committed? 19 Your Majesty, listen to what I have to say. If it is the Lord who has turned you against me, an offering to him will make him change his mind; but if some people have done it, may the Lord's curse fall on them. For they have driven me out from the Lord's land to a country where I can only worship foreign gods. 20 Don't let me be killed on foreign soil, away from the Lord. Why should the king of Israel come to kill a flea like me? Why should he hunt me down like a wild bird?" 21 Saul answered, "I have done wrong. Come back, David, my son! I will never harm you again, because you have spared my life tonight. I have been a fool! I have done a terrible thing!" 22 David replied, "Here is your spear, Your Majesty. Let one of your men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards those who are faithful and righteous. Today he put you in my power, but I did not harm you, whom the Lord made king. 24 Just as I have spared your life today, may the Lord do the same to me and free me from all troubles!" 25 Saul said to David, "God bless you, my son! You will succeed in everything you do!" So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. 33 Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourselves purses that don't wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. 34 For your heart will always be where your riches are. 35 "Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36 like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37 How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38 How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later! 39 And you can be sure that if the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, he would not let the thief break into his house. 40 And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him." 41 Peter said, "Lord, does this parable apply to us, or do you mean it for everyone?" 42 The Lord answered, "Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master will put in charge, to run the household and give the other servants their share of the food at the proper time. 43 How happy that servant is if his master finds him doing this when he comes home! 44 Indeed, I tell you, the master will put that servant in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself that his master is taking a long time to come back and if he begins to beat the other servants, both the men and the women, and eats and drinks and gets drunk, 46 then the master will come back one day when the servant does not expect him and at a time he does not know. The master will cut him in pieces and make him share the fate of the disobedient. 47 "The servant who knows what his master wants him to do, but does not get himself ready and do it, will be punished with a heavy whipping. 48 But the servant who does not know what his master wants, and yet does something for which he deserves a whipping, will be punished with a light whipping. Much is required from the person to whom much is given; much more is required from the person to whom much more is given. 49 "I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to receive, and how distressed I am until it is over! 51 Do you suppose that I came to bring peace to the world? No, not peace, but division. 52 From now on a family of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 Fathers will be against their sons, and sons against their fathers; mothers will be against their daughters, and daughters against their mothers; mothers-in-law will be against their daughters-in-law, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law." 54 Jesus said also to the people, "When you see a cloud coming up in the west, at once you say that it is going to rain - and it does. 55 And when you feel the south wind blowing, you say that it is going to get hot - and it does. 56 Hypocrites! You can look at the earth and the sky and predict the weather; why, then, don't you know the meaning of this present time? 57 "Why do you not judge for yourselves the right thing to do? 58 If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, do your best to settle the dispute before you get to court. If you don't, you will be dragged before the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail. 59 There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine."
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