Abigail which means father’s joy was the wife to Nabal
Abigail’s story can be found in 1 Samuel 25: 2- 44
Abigail, an intelligent and beautiful woman, was married to Nabal. Nabal was quite a wealthy man back then and even now, He had 1000 goats and 3000 sheep. He had servants that looked after his herd of animals. He had a prosperous season, as its was sheep-shearing time. ( Ithink sheep shearing is like the harvest time for shepherds. They get all the wool from the sheep without killing the sheep and they sell off the wool haverted or sheared. Apparently I discovered that it is unhealthy for the sheep not to have their wool shredded at least once a year.) Back to Nabal. He would have wool from 3000 sheep. That is a lot of wool, it was a time of abundance for Nabal and was making a feast for his servants
David, who a few years ago was the celebrated warrior by the whole of Israel when through his faith in God, defeated Goliath with 5 stones and a sling was now on the run. David was running for his life as king Saul was jealous of David and wanted to kill him. David had 600 hundred with him as they roamed the wilderness. David sends word to Nabal, to partake of the feasting. It was then the drama began
Nabal was very rude and sent insults to David. He said who was David? Everyone must have known the boy turned warrior who killed goliath. Nabal was well aware of who David was but he was unwilling to share his good fortune with David. The middle easten culture takes hospitality as a very important part of their culture, so if Nabal’s claim of not knowing who David was, then his culture of hospitality should have prevailed upon him to accommodate David’s request.
Nabal as greedy men are, when asked for anything, thinking that, by abusing the poor, to excuse themselves from relieving the poor among them.
A servant approached Abigail. Abigail though the madam of the house was approachable. She was wise to listen to a servant’s advice. Her quick action was going to save her family. The servant attested to David’s character. David and his 600 men could have taken liberties of Nabal’s flock in the fields but they restrained from this even though they were in hardship themselves.
It was only fitting that Nabal was hospitable to them
Abigail ! Master of conflict resolution!. She appeals to David and reminds him of who he was. She acknowledges what the Lord has said concerning Him. She points his attention to the future to the purpose of his life and not to act rashly and take vengeance with his hands. When she likens the lives of David’s enemies to the stone and string it points to the notable victory of David (when he slayed goliath). That his success has been God and he should not rely on himself to avenge himself but to leave it to God.
Abigail’s words and actions brought reason to David and he turned back from the bloody action of killing all the male in Nabal house. Abigail’s action of humility by giving David honour and respect. Abigail’s words referred to David’s past victories and the prophecies concerning his life. Abigail acts of generosity to provide sustenance from the festivities of sheep shearing.
David’s act to wipe all the males in Nabal’s family was quite heavy. For a man who walked with God. This decision was taken by David without direction from God. Was David weary of his situation, he could not live peaceably and profitabile because king Saul was after his life. Though living in the wilderness, David had 600 men compared to many servants that Nabal had looking over his herd of animals. If David and his men wanted to take the herd through theft, they could have easily done so. This shows in his difficult circumstances, David still upheld his walk with God. But the insult of Nabal and the reaction of David makes it apparent that when we see good in ourselves, it is the presence of God. David was going to kill every male in Nabal’s family.
However we see David’s humility as he accepts Abigail’s correction, resolution and he refocuses on his own future.
Abigail tells Nabal all that had happened the next day and Nabal became like a stone and passed away 10 days after.
What relief David felt that God vindicated him and he had listened to Abigail and not carried out revenge by himself.
David asks Abigail to marry him. Abigail, a wise woman who did not judge David by his present circumstance but who saw David as the king God had called him. No surprises there for David to want to have Abigail in his household. Someone who could hold him accountable and focused.
None of the 600 hundred men with David cautioned him when we wanted to kill all the male in the Nabal household. No wonder he would desire Abigail for a wife.
Abigail humbly accepted.
When Abigail accepted David, David was not yet reigning as a king in Isreal but was living like a fugitive moving from place to place to hide from king Saul. Abigail was trading the position of the mistress of a wealthy estate to live in the bushes with David because she believed in who he would become.
Abigail was indeed a wise, intelligent and beautiful woman who has taught us many lessons today. My highlights from this story are;
Abigail’s conflict resolution tactics. We would benefit from this type of conflict resolution in our homes, offices, and nations.