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Thursday, January 15, 2004

Abigail was the wife of a wealthy, surly, mean, and stupid man - Nabal, the fool. I am sure he was proud of his trophy wife - Abigail is described as intelligent and beautiful.

Enter David.

He had been up in the desert, and with his men he had watched over Nabal's flock and shepherds, so that nothing bad had happened to them. Now it was sheep shearing season, a festive time, and David thought it would be a good time to remind Nabal of what he had done for him. So he sent some of his warriors to Nabal. "Long life and good health to you, Nabal! If you ask your workers, they will tell you how we took care of them and yours. Now, as you are having all kinds of good things prepared already, would you please share some of them with us?" Nabal responded with his usual graciousness, "Who is this David? And why should I give any of my hard-earned goods to you guys - how do I even know who you are? You could just be run-away servants out for an easy buck." And they returned to David empty handed.

David was livid. And vowed to take the life of every last male in Nabal's camp. He and his men strapped on their swords, and headed towards Carmel.

Meanwhile back in Carmel....

One of the shepherds runs to Abigail. "You have GOT to do something. There was this man, David, who watched over us while we were up in the desert. He sent some of his men down, and instead of rewarding him for his behavior towards us, your husband hurled insults at him. And you know how Nabal is, when he gets like this, no one can talk to him. "

What is Abigail going to do? If she went to some of our churches for advice today, the counsel would be "Submit. If he makes a bad decision, you have to just live with it. You can give him your imput, but in the end, it is his decision."

But Abigail doesn't even think. She knows her husband well. And she knows that offending an important man is not good policy. No, she doesn't know that that man is already heading down the mountain and that her life may be in danger. But she knows what Nabal did was a capitally bad idea.

So she doesn't lose any time. She gathers up all the meat, bread, and wine she can get her hands on, loads the mass-quantities of food onto donkeys, and heads on up towards David's camp. Half way up, she runs into David, and falls down. "I am so sorry. My husband is Nabal, the fool, and folly goes with him. I did not see your men, or this would not have happened. I know you are a man of God, and God has great plans for you. Let no wrongdoing be found in you. He is holding you in his hand, and your enemies will be overthrown, though they are pursuing you now. And when you are the leader of Israel, and all that God has planned for you has come to pass, you will not want needless bloodshed on your hands. " She is intelligent indeed.

David sees and hears this beautiful woman, and is moved by her. "Bless your good judgment - and thank you for saving me from shedding innocent blood and getting my revenge. Go home in peace. "

Abigail returns home empty-handed by light-hearted. She doesn't even attempt to talk to Nabal that day, because he is so drunk he doesn't know up from down. The next day, when she tells him what happened and how close he came to losing his life, he has a stroke - from anger at her going against his wishes or fear of what could have happened, who knows. And ten days later, the Lord strikes Nabal, and he dies.

When David hears that, he remembers the beautiful, bright woman who was Nabal's wife. And He knows the treasure he has found, and he asks her to be his wife.

I love the story of Abigail.

posted by Birgit
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