January 18, 2019

Abigail, part 1

By: Larry Shaffer

Personal note: The next couple of months are very busy for me. I’m not going to be able to post fresh content five days a week. I may occasionally post encore posts from a year or two ago. So today, following the theme of faithful and honorable women in the Bible, this post and the next will be about Abigail. This section of I Samuel tells of the adventures of David when he was being chased by King Saul. David and his faithful men were living in hiding.

Abigail to the Rescue, Part 1 

I Samuel 25, Part 1 

This is truly an amazing chapter. We meet an evil bonehead of a man; a most beautiful and intelligent woman; and David digresses from his noble actions in the last chapter when he spared Saul’s life into childlike behavior. Once again, women rule, men drool.   

Two hot-headed men

There was a wealthy man named Nabal who’s 3000 sheep and 1000 goats wandered in the wilderness in the area where David and his men camped out. Some of Nabal’s men tended to the sheep but apparently not enough to keep all the livestock safe. David and his men took it upon themselves to aid the men, guard the sheep against predators and thieves, all while trusting that the owner would grant them kindness and provisions.

David and his men needed to be industrious in the wilderness in order secure food and provisions to live without resorting to thievery. Now when it was time for Nabel to sheer His sheep, David sent a few of his men to request provisions from the proceeds that Nabel would receive. (The text introduces Nabel and his wife Abigail in this way: “and the woman was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings,” v3). Nabal responded to David’s men saying he didn’t know who David was and he had no intention of giving anything to men he didn’t know. The text indicates that Nabal’s men had told him of the kindness and protection that David had provided them, but Nabal didn’t care. 

He said what??? 

When David heard of Nabal’s response he was infuriated and vowed that he would take full revenge upon Nabal, his household and all his servants.  No one would be left alive. This is the same David that refused to take Saul’s life into his own hand and left revenge to the Lord. The volatility of the humanness of David is always before us. Yet we will later see in this chapter why David is characterized with a heart after God. Nabal and David are on a course of collision. On Monday, we’ll see how God’s uses Abigail to save the day.

Lord, I’m reminded that your love and grace toward us is not dependent upon our perfect, consistent and steady decisions and actions. We are intensely human, as is David. When we stray into jealousy, anger, revenge, evil-intent and foolishness, may we quickly come to our senses and surrender our emotions to you. Amen!