January 21, 2019

Abigail, part 2

By: Larry Shaffer

Abigail To the Rescue! Part 2

I Samuel 25, continued 

Here’s the scene – a rich sheep herder named Nabel disrespected David and David and his men are on their way to wipe out this man, his family and all his servants. Filled with anger and vengeance, David is heading straight into some good ole’ fashion sinful disobedience.  

Even though David is wrong, Nabel brought this upon himself.  Nabal is simply a selfish, foolish and ignorant man. However, there is one rational and thoughtful person in this story. Thank God for Abigail, Nabal’s wife. She is the superstar of this story; intelligent, resourceful, honorable, persuasive and “beautiful in appearance.” Pretty much the total package. How did a smuck like Nabal land such a beautiful and intelligent woman.  

We have two boneheaded men on a collision course toward destruction, so God sent a woman!  

A funny thing happened on the way to Nabal’s house. The servants hear that David and his men are on their way to seek vengeance. They knew that Nabal was a “worthless man that no one can speak to….” so they went to Abigail. Abigail immediately acted without informing or including her husband. (I hear that wives do that on occasion :).  

Abigail and her workers gathered provisions and set out to meet David. When she came upon him, he was still fuming with anger. She dismounted and bowed before him. Fortunately, in this case, David was a sucker for a pretty face. Her beauty may have caused David to pause but it was her words that changed everything.  

Abigail spoke and her wisdom, eloquence and persuasion were brilliant on every level.  First, she surprised David by taking full responsibility. “On me alone, my lord, be the blame…please do not pay attention to the worthless man, Nabal…but I, your maidservant, did not see the men you sent,” v24,25.  

When one takes full responsibility for a situation, it has a way of melting the anger and tension. She took David’s attention off Nabal and onto herself. David’s rage began to diminish. Then she made an assumptive statement that must have been like a wake-up call to David. She said to him, since the Lord has restrained you from shedding blood and from avenging yourself by your own hand.  She knew the biblical principle that David had adhered to when Saul was before him in the cave. In that scenario, David did not take revenge. She simply reminded him of what he knew and appealed to his conscience that he must be congruent with this biblical law again in this case with her and Nabal.  

Then with no hesitation, she asked for forgiveness. Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant, for the Lord will certainly make for my lord (David) an enduring house and evil will not be found in you all your days, v28. David’s heart is melting! She is conveying to David her full responsibility and doing it because it benefits David….it keeps him from falling into evil.  

Verse 32 says Then David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.”   

So how does it all end? Ten days later God strikes Nabal dead and David marries Abigail…and they live happily ever after…well, not exactly. Nabal did die and David did eventually marry Abigail. But, happily ever after???  Abigail is solid as a rock. David, on the hand, is a volatile mess. See I and II Samuel for the full story.

Nevertheless, there is much we can learn from Abigail. Lord, this is a story of a true woman of excellence. May we apply these principles of positive influence that she models. May we be peace-makers, influencing and counseling others to avoid sin and bad decisions. As Your servants, may we allow Your Word to increase our wisdom and apply discernment and humility to our daily interactions with other; all for Your glory.  Amen!