Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning….
So what made Abigail do what she did? Is your first question, “who is Abigail?” Abigail, implies the Father’s joy, was a wife to Nabal. She was intelligent, beautiful, friendly, open, approachable, sensible, loving, generous, humble, courteous and on and on.
Let us talk about Nabal, her husband, for a few minutes. He was very wealthy; he had thousands of goats and sheep and lots of servants/shepherds. He also had vast land needed to tend the animals. He was bad-tempered, unfriendly and shrewd in his business dealings. I assume he was also egoistic and oppressive. Much was not said about his role as a husband however I feel confident to say he was bossy, self-centered, demanded and commanded respect, bombastic, domineering and on and on. Between his name implies folly.
I bet Abigail, oftentimes, would have wondered, “What am I doing in this man’s house? Why did my father marry me off to this man? How could I manage to live peaceably with this man who unfortunately happens to be my husband? Why is this man never rational? What does he gain in drinking wine every now and again? Why does he mete out harsh labour to his servants? Why is he so disrespectful? Why? Why? Why?“
Question to you, dear reader, what sorts of thoughts would you have if you found yourself in this situation?
Abigail had a window of opportunity…
There was an ocassion when David’s men guarded Nabal’s shepherds from being robbed by the Philistines. At that time, the Philistines robbed the threshing floors. David was not yet a king then; he and his troop lived in caves and hideous places in an attempt to hide from Saul. David’s troop also had the choice to attack these shepherds and kill the animals for food. A while after this, David sent ‘SOS – we need food’ message to Nabal. David mentioned the good deed he had done for his shepherds; David asked him to return the good favour. Nabal, in his pomposity, refused to help and replied David rudely. “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse (David’s father)? There are many servants now a days that break away from their master?” I think that is demeaning. Nabal, of course, knew who David was but he could not be bothered. When David heard this reply, he prepared to attack. David was sure to win the battle.
What happened next? One of the servants reported to Abigail, she knew too well the capabilities of David’s men. Without the consent of her husband, she packed food items and rushed to go meet David. She humbled herself before David and requested that her husband be pardoned. “Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent“. She took the blame of the ill-treatment of David’s messengers and also put her life on the line. David’s heart melted, granted her the request and turned from attacking Nabal. Abigail returned home to meet a drunk husband.
Hmmm, I picture this situation. It is quite easy to feel that boost of anger rising on the inside and I could justify myself that it is absolutely permissible to have such a feeling. Really? Could I? Is it permissible?
If you had that window of opportunity, what action would you have taken? Why would a woman who I believe was not particularly enjoying the best time in a marriage plead for her foolish, unloving husband?
Ref: 1 Samuel 25, Prov 23:12-13