As we read through the Bible together this year, one of the things that is reinforced for us is that the God’s Word is loaded with lessons for life. I was reflecting on the reading for today (Tuesday, April 3 – I Samuel 25-27) and particularly on the example of David, Nabal, and Abigail in I Samuel 25. Let me summarize the story and lessons:
Nabal is the husband of Abigail. He is described in I Samuel 25 as “very wealthy.” He was also “surly and mean” and a “fool.” David’s men have provided protection for Nabal and his flocks. David’s men asked Nabal to give them some provisions – and he refused. He did so impolitely and insulted David’s servants, and in turn, David. “David’s men turned around and went back.”
When the men gave David their report, he was angry. David and his men strapped on their swords and prepared to go and wipe out Nabal and everyone with him. David said, “May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him.”
Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “an intelligent and beautiful woman,” sprang into action. She prepares the gift Nabal should have given: 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs and went out to meet David as he advanced. When she saw David, she got off her donkey, bowed to the ground, and graciously appealed to David to reconsider. She affirmed that her husband was a fool and Nabal means “fool.” She presented the gift and asked David to keep from bloodshed and avenging himself with his own hands. She told David, “My Lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of endless bloodshed or having avenged himself.”
David’s response to Abigail is a beautiful one. “Praise be the the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.”
To make a long story short: David accepted her gift. Abigail went back to Nabal who was partying and too drunk to speak to at that time. The next day she told him what she did, his heart failed and he died. Abigail became David’s wife.
What are the lessons?
*The height of arrogance. Nabal was all wrapped up in himself and felt invincible. Arrogance ALWAYS gets us in trouble.
*The power of graciousness. Abigail displays her wisdom in her gracious approach to David. Her presentation is very convincing and David sees that she is looking out for his best interests.
*The depth of humility. How often are we set on a course of action and someone corrects us or shows us a better way and our response is: “God has sent you to me today.” Normally, at least our initial reaction is to push back and resist. David humbly responds to Abigail’s appeal. We can all work on learning to accept those messages from others in a humble way.
As you read God’s Word daily – don’t just check off the day’s reading as complete. Drill down, pull out the lessons, make the applications, and allow God to speak to your heart.