1 Samuel 25 recounts the story of Nabal, Abigail, and David. This story happened after Samuel died, and before David was crowned King. I couldn’t help but practically weep over the grace that Abigail walked in as I read this story today, and how it propelled her to protect the destiny of the King David of Israel, and the entire nation of Israel’s destiny. Hold on to your seats for this one!
Nabal was a rich businessman with three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. Super rich. He is also immediately described as being harsh and evil. While he was shearing his sheep in Carmel, David was in the wilderness and heard about Nabal shearing his sheep. He told his men to go up to Nabal and give him a peaceful greeting and tell him that his men have been near by him and haven’t messed with him, stolen anything, or insulted him in anyway. David told them to tell him basically that they were in good spirits and kind of wanted to party and feast with him, and did he want to do it. I mean, after all, he was a very wealthy man. At this point, David probably thought that Nabal knew who David was!? (David was the best friend of King’s Saul’s son Jonathan, and worked for King Saul.) Maybe that’s why David thought he would give it a shot.
It was actually an honor that he was requesting to feast with Nabal. However, when David’s men came to Nabal with the request, Nabal sneered at him and basically assumed that David’s men were just off doing their own thing apart from their master David. It seems like he accuses them of goofing off on their own. Then, he goes on to imply that David means nothing to him, and he wasn’t going to be generous to a stranger.
David was very angry, so he took up his sword and about four hundred of his men, and went towards Nabal’s place, ready to probably just attack Nabal’s house and/or take some stuff that they needed.
And then comes Abigail, Nabal’s wife. She quickly has her servants get a bunch of food and wine and carry it out to them on donkeys. She didn’t even tell her husband Nabal what she was doing. David was armed and pretty pissed when she met him on the path in the hidden part of the mountain.
Can you imagine being Abigail? Meeting a pretty angry warrior of a man with four hundred men ready to attack your household, and running out to meet him before he makes it to you. Talk about a fearless woman of grace wisdom! She was certainly protecting her entire household from bloodshed, (no doubt there were entire families that were servants in her household), and covering her foolish husband’s butt.
She kneels before David and says that he shouldn’t blame Nabal, but her! She tells David not to pay attention to her foolish husband’s unkind and haughty words. She tells him that the gift that she is giving is him is because he is fighting the battles of the Lord. She knew this! She obviously was very aware of what calling and anointing was upon David. She even blessed him with an amazing statement.
28”Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil will not be found in you all your days. 29“Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundleof the living with the LORD your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30“And when the LORD does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler overIsrael, 31this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord,both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the LORD deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”
Abigail knew he was going to be ruler over Israel. How did she know? Maybe this was just an insight from the Lord. Maybe she was prophetic?! She also gave David a bit of a correction by saying that David was not going to avenge himself, and therefore the Lord’s protection would be upon him.
David wasn’t really in the right frame of mind either. There is no mention of David being told by God that he should go and attack Nabal. So, essentially Abigail was also protecting David’s calling and anointing, even before he was crowned King. I mean, Abigail pronounces this great blessing upon him. It’s like she see in the spirit what is to come. She moves so swiftly without a moment’s hesitation. God used her to protect the destiny of the King of Israel, thus protecting the destiny of the people of Israel.
Who knows what would have happened if she had just been sitting at her house, being super annoyed by her husband’s foolishness and evil ways and became bitter and consumed by greed. Many a wealthy woman has allowed wealth to corrupt her spiritual senses. Not Abigail. She was in the middle of a probably very bad marriage, with a man who was only out for himself and not serving the Lord. Who knows if Nabal had always been like this. He could have once been a devout man of God who allowed the wealth to corrupt him. She was not corrupted! She didn’t allow the wealth to corrupt her. She doesn’t appear to be in any bitterness, though she does state that Nabal is evil. Another option for her would have been to just run when she heard the news about David and his men coming for her house with the sword. Then, her evil husband would have died, and she would have been rid of him that way! But nope! Sh protected everyone!
I want to walk in this kind of grace. Grace in the midst of other people’s stupidity and foolishness. Covering others, when they don’t deserve it. Protecting the destiny of others, even when my own reputation is possibly at risk. Honoring others that I am in relationship with, even when they are selfish and mean.
The Holy Spirit must instruct us on how to honor others and operate in grace, when it’s so very difficult. This powerful story is so relevant to me as a woman who wants to be used by God in whatever way He desires. You never know when God is wanting to use you in the midst of other people’s foolishness. Get bitter, or get better!
More to come on the rest of Abigail’s story. It turns out better than she could have possibly imagined!