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From Eternity Past

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    Remorse and Fear Take Nabal's Life

    When Abigail returned home she found Nabal and his guests in drunken revelry. Not until the next morning did she relate to her husband what had occurred in her interview with David. When he realized how near his folly had brought him to sudden death, he seemed smitten with paralysis. He was filled with horror and sank down in helpless insensibility. After ten days he died. In the midst of his making merry, God had said to him, as to the rich man of the parable, “This night thy soul shall be required of thee.” Luke 12:20.EP 485.3

    David afterward married Abigail. He was already the husband of one wife, but the custom of the nations of his time had perverted his judgment. The bitter result of marrying many wives was sorely felt throughout all the life of David.EP 486.1

    Again the Ziphites, hoping to secure the favor of the king, informed him of David's hiding place. Once more Saul summoned his men of arms and led them in pursuit of David. But friendly spies brought tidings to the son of Jesse; and with a few of his men, David started out to learn the location of his enemy.EP 486.2

    It was night when they came upon the tents of the king and his attendants, and saw, unobserved, the camp quiet in slumber. In answer to David's question, “Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp?” Abishai promptly responded, “I will go down with thee.”EP 486.3

    Hidden by the shadows of the hills, David and his attendant entered the encampment. They came upon Saul sleeping, his spear stuck in the ground and a cruse of water at his head. Beside him lay Abner, his chief commander, and all around them were the soldiers, locked in slumber. Abishai raised his spear. “God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.” He waited for permission, but there fell upon his ear the whispered words: “Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless? ... As the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite; ... or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord's anointed; but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go... . And no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: ... because a deep sleep from the Lord was fallen upon them.”EP 486.4

    When David was at a safe distance from the camp, he cried with a loud voice to Abner, “Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the Lord liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the Lord's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster. And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?”EP 487.1

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