vv 30-31 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance.
This is a long reading today, but I really hope you will take time to read right through the chapter and catch a glimpse of how David nearly fell into the trap of seeking vengeance for himself.
Nabal was a rich man, but graceless and rude. David and his men had helped protect Nabal’s possessions and then asked him for some food in return. Nabal’s churlish response provoked David who set out on the warpath for revenge. Nabal’s attractive and thoughtful wife Abigail saved the day by sending provisions for David and his men, pleading for David to back off seeking revenge. She realised, quite rightly, that David would have such a vengeful act on his conscience if he went through with it. David came to his senses so his reply to Abigail was ‘“Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. ‘ (vv 32-33)
The tale has a touching end too, David invited Abigail to be his wife. Clearly she impressed him with her good sense and generosity!
But how close David was to being unmerciful and taking matters into his own hands! And for sure it would have been on his conscience for a long time.
Trying to get your own back will always leave a stain on your conscience.