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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 3

 Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Samuel 25-27


I Samuel 25:17

Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.


One of Nabal’s young men is speaking to Abigail, Nabal’s wife. This young man makes an astute observation. He characterizes Nabal as being a “son of Belial” meaning he is the son of the Devil. As such, the young man states clearly, …that a man cannot speak to him. There are many such today, just as there will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.


For a moment, Peter was like this. In Matthew 16 Jesus plainly tells His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem, suffer many things, be killed, and be raised back to life. Peter took Him and rebuked Him. Imagine that, rebuking the Lord! It happens every day, people are all too quick to blame the Lord, thereby rebuking Him, for things that they believe He did not do, allowed others to do, or things He did that they don’t understand. It is as if they know more than the Lord Jesus Christ that made all things and without Him was not anything made that was made (John 1:3). Peter did not believe the Lord’s message, so he rebuked Jesus. To which Jesus said to him, …Get thee behind me, Satan;… (Matthew 16:23) Jesus implied that at that moment Peter was being more influenced by Satan, who is Belial, than Himself.


One of the traits of a person who falls into this trap is that they cannot be reasoned with. Peter couldn’t. Remember later, it was Peter who denied the Lord, even though he said he never would (Matthew 26). Nabal couldn’t. When any person comes to the place where no one can even speak to them, they have made up their mind and usually they have become their own authority only doing that which they think is right in their own eyes. 


But make sure to understand the problem. The problem was not that Nabal had a firmly held belief. It was that no one could even speak to him. In this case he was wrong as proved by God’s harsh dealing with him. There are many with strongly held beliefs that even though they are challenged they never change. For example, a preacher must believe the Bible is true without any admixture of error. Anyone who would like to challenge their position is free to do so.  Hopefully they will listen, try to lay out their position, point out their study that led to their position, use some Bible verses to prove what they believe, and, yet, will not change their mind. But will try at every opportunity to sway others to their conviction about God’s Holy Word being perfect. There is a time and place to discuss things, issues, and strongly held beliefs, and in that endeavor each party can keep hospitality, common decency, and mutual respect in view. For individuals may differ, but they can differ without disparaging one another.


Many want no rational discussions to take place. No study of the subject matter at hand. They simply want and even demand total acceptance of their position just because they hold it. Nabal was like this. Peter was like this. Sad to say, on occasion, I’ve been like this. Probably everyone has. But praise the Lord, like Peter, we can learn, grow, and continue on for the Lord! Amen and amen.


Dr. William T. Howe

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