This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Wise and Courageous Words

Wise and Courageous Words


According to the Mayo Clinic, impulsive anger disorder is a pattern of behavior marked by “repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.” Its symptoms include rage, irritability, racing thoughts, and threats. What separates impulsive anger disorder from regular anger? Probably the frequency with which one experiences it and the context in which that anger is expressed.

David was understandably angry at being rebuffed after asking wealthy Nabal to share something with him during the sheep shearing festival. He and his men had provided a barrier that protected Nabal’s goods and servants from marauding Philistines (vv. 7–8). But Nabal also accused David of being little more than a runaway slave. Perhaps it was the insult, or maybe it was sparked by grief over the death of Samuel. Whatever the reason, David’s anger spiraled into a grim determination to answer with force (vv. 13, 21–22).

If it had not been for the quick thinking and wise words of Abigail, the result would have been disastrous for Nabal’s entire household and perhaps for David’s reputation as well. Not only did Abigail show herself to be a wise woman but a courageous one as well. She risked her life to protect her household and to remind David of God’s promises (vv. 28–31). Nabal was stricken when he heard what had happened, perhaps by a stroke or a heart attack. But verse 38 indicates that he died by the Lord’s hand. Abigail is the hero of this story. God used her to advise David and keep him from acting rashly. Anger is not always sinful, but when we act upon it without thinking, it often leads to sin.

>> Do you often react in anger? Ephesians 4:26–27 warns, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Pray with Us

In your life, what may cause you to be angry and act on it rashly? Be encouraged by the lesson of today’s devotional. God is faithful and He will take you through. Thank Him in prayer today!

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month