The Bundle of Life and the Sling
1 Samuel 25:29
Yet a man is risen to pursue you, and to seek your soul…

The appeal of Abigail had all the more persuasiveness that she avowed her sympathy with David's cause, and her faith in the Divine purpose to make him king. Such a conviction was by this time widely diffused in the land among those who feared Jehovah and honoured the prophet Samuel. We have seen that it was confessed by Saul himself, and by Jonathan it was cherished with generous pleasure. But Nabal would not have it mentioned in his presence. In his eyes David was a mere runaway servant of the king who had turned freebooter. His wife showed the vigour of her mind, the clearness of her judgment, and the strength of her faith in not fearing the displeasure of Nabal or the wrath of King Saul, but declaring her confident belief that the Lord would raise David to be ruler over Israel. On this ground she entreated him not to burden his conscience or sully his name with a hasty deed of blood. What a power of figurative expression those Eastern believers had; and not least those devout women whose spirits were stirred by urgent occasions to ardent utterance - Deborah in her triumph, Hannah in her song, Abigail in her appeal!

I. THE FIGURE OF SAFETY. A soul bound up in the bundle of life with Jehovah. What could a Nabal's churlishness, or even a Saul's pursuit, avail against a man whose life God guarded by night and day? If we use Abigail's phrase we extend its meaning. The question with her was of David's preservation to fill the throne of Israel; but it is not for us under the New Testament to set our hearts on earthly rank. Our treasure is in heaven. Our inheritance is reserved for us till our Lord's return. Our days are few and uncertain. But we have an eternal life, freely given to us in Christ Jesus; and the bundle of life means for us the unity of all the living ones in Christ, the totality of the life which "is hid with Christ in God." They who are bound up therein have been taken out of the bundles of sin and death, extricated from what is evil and therefore doomed to destruction, and have been by the power of the Holy Ghost joined to Christ and the Church. Happy day that sees this done! Strong security that follows! Who is he that can harm us if we are Christ's, bound up in the bundle of life with God our Saviour?

II. THE FIGURE OF REJECTION. Abigail made no further reference to Nabal. He was her husband, and in no case could he be formidable to David. All she asked was that the son of Jesse would magnanimously overlook his churlishness. But the whole country rang with reports of the angry pursuit of David by the king', and Abigail predicted that his enemies would have discomfiture and rejection from the Lord his God. With rare felicity of allusion she spoke of their souls as flung away, as a stone is cast "out of the middle of a sling." The very mention of the weapon with which David had gained his first great success must have stirred his faith and courage. The figure, as the history shows, was remarkably appropriate to the career of David's chief enemy, Saul. "As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so is he that giveth honour to a fool" (Proverbs 26:8). Now honour had been given to Saul. He was anointed and exalted to the throne, and yet was at heart unwise and disobedient. So was the stone laid in the pan of a sling. After a while we see the stone whirled round in the sling, i.e. we see Saul troubled and tossed - wayward, disturbed, passionate, insanely jealous. The end was now drawing near, and the stone was about to be east out of the sling in despair and death on Mount Gilboa. On vers. 32, 33 Dr. South has left us a sermon entitled, 'Prevention of sin an invaluable blessing.' In the "application" of it the preacher shows that a much higher satisfaction is to be found from a conquered than from a conquering passion. "Revenge is certainly the most luxurious morsel that the devil can put into a sinner's mouth. But do we think that David could have found half the pleasure in the execution of his revenge that he expresses here upon the disappointment of it? Possibly it might have pleased him in the present heat and hurry of his rage, but must have displeased him infinitely more in the cool, sedate reflections of his mind." Another point which South enforces is that the temper with which we receive providential prevention of sin is a criterion of the gracious or ungracious condition of our hearts. "Whosoever has anything of David's piety will be perpetually plying the throne of grace with such like acknowledgments as - Blessed be that Providence which delivered me from such a lewd company or such a vicious acquaintance! And blessed be that God who cast stops and hindrances in my way when I was attempting the commission of such and such a sin; who took me out of such a course of life, such a place, or such an employment, which was a continual snare and temptation to me! And blessed be such a preacher and such a friend whom God made use of to speak a word in season to my wicked heart, and so turned me out of the paths of death and destruction, and saved me in spite of the world, the devil, and myself!" - F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

WEB: Though men may rise up to pursue you, and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. He will sling out the souls of your enemies, as from the hollow of a sling.

The Bundle of Life
Top of Page
Top of Page