Abigail Saves the Day
April 11 - Nº 101 1 Samuel 25
David and his men changed locations again. For a while they settled in an area where an extremely wealthy man named Nabal lived. He owned a lot of property along with thousands of goats and sheep. Nabal was known to be a short-tempered and abusive man. (Nabal means fool, and his name fit him well.) His wife Abigail was a beautiful woman who was intelligent and kind. Having David’s army around was a great advantage to Nabal—since foreign raiders were afraid of them. David’s men were kind to Nabal’s shepherds and protected them. So when it was time for the annual sheep-shearing festival, David sent ten young men to Nabal with this message: “Peace and good health to you. David has sent us to ask for a favor. Because of all that we have done for you while we have been here, and since we haven’t been invited to the big feast, could you please send some food and provisions for us?” Nabal pretended not to know who David was. “Tell him to go back to wherever he came from. I’m not going to take bread and meat and water away from my own servants and give it to strangers,” he snorted. When David’s men reported Nabal’s response, David was infuriated. He told his men to strap on their swords. He took 400 of them with him and left 200 to guard their supplies. One of Nabal’s servants heard that David was about to attack and ran to Abigail. He told her how helpful David and his men had been and how rudely Nabal had just treated them. “Night and day they were a wall of protection around us while we were herding our sheep,” he said. “But now, because Nabal is such a wicked man, we are all going to die! Is there anything you can do?” Without talking to her husband, Abigail quickly gathered supplies for David’s men. She took 200 hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready to eat, lots of grain, raisins, and figs and loaded them onto donkeys and rode toward David and his men. The two groups met in a mountain ravine. Abigail jumped off her donkey and ran to David. She knelt with her face to the ground and said, “I’m so sorry! I would have treated your men well if I had known they were coming. Please forgive my wicked, foolish husband and accept these gifts. You don’t need to kill all of us. Let God take care of you. One day He will give you a great dynasty. Then you will always have a clear conscience knowing that you were able to refrain from needless bloodshed today.” David replied, “I intended to kill every man in your camp, but God sent you to stop me. Your wisdom has saved many lives.” When Abigail returned to the house, she found Nabal feasting like a king. She didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until the next morning. When she did, he had a heart attack. He stayed in a coma for ten days before God allowed him to die. David was relieved that God had been the One to punish Nabal for the evil he had done. He was so impressed with Abigail that he asked her to marry him. She didn’t hesitate to accept his offer.
Looking back over the past 24 hours, would you want God to treat you the way you treated others? Who were you most like in this story: Nabal—who was foolish and mean; David—who was reckless in seeking revenge; Abigail—who was wise and gentle? How we deal with others definitely affects the way God deals with us.