Here we go

Wisdom asks us to process the moment before proceeding. Determined intervention is often a necessary part of heading off trouble making peace. As believers, we should see wise intervention as a ministry tool, whereby we allow the Holy Spirit to offer direction. Abigail gives wise counsel to David. 1 Samuel 25:28~Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. (ESV) Abigail appealed to David saying do not be provoked by Nabal, for he is a worthless man and a fool. She strongly suggested it was beneath David’s noble dignity to react to Nabal’s bad behavior. The world loves to provoke Christians offering them an iPhone at the ready moment, go ahead color the world and detract us from God. Abigail explained she’d been unaware of the visit paid by David’s men. However, upon learning, she came to right the wrong, and plead for forgiveness.

1 Samuel 25:30-31~And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause…(ESV) Abigail implies the Lord sent her to him just in time. Nabal the Terrible lived up to his name but there is no reason for David to sully his reputation by mass murder. 

Abigail encouraged David to leave vengeance in the hands of God. Listen to Paul who writes in Romans 12:19~Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. (NLT) With wisdom from God, Abigail did the hard work of making peace. Christ Jesus said in Matthew 5:9 ~God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. (NLT) King David, a man of war, accepts peace. 1 Samuel 25: 32-33~And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! (ESV) When we tune into the Frequency of God: The Lord speaks to the needs of our lives and offers us the way of salvation. Nabal the Terrible, Wisdom’s Cry, and next, Fool’s Fall.

Wisdom’s cry

Enter the voice of reason. 1 Samuel 25:14~But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. (ESV) Have you ever had someone rail at you when you were doing good? As missionaries, we reopened a defunct Bible School. After seeing the response I wanted to divert time away from the principle of an Elementary school to the adult students in Bible College. Sounds great, until other interfered with God’s plan. Has God ever placed you in the middle? Having to connect two different sides so diverse and yet needing a bridge to span the gap. I spoke out of turn and the next day showed up with a towel, hot water, and a bowl for serving and symbolizing my ask of forgiveness. For 45 minutes, I sat with toes in my hands while being railed. God always has a way forward. Thank God that Nabal the Terrible had a wife with a grace-gift.

Wisdom’s Cry and Discernment’s Gift 1 Samuel 25:18-35 Proverbs 8:1~Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? (NIV) Warnings of danger are intended to save us from peril, the warning is an encouragement to take wise action and often escape danger. The Bible’s filled with warnings about the dangers of evil. The life lessons of others offer us instruction. James 1:5~If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV) Wisdom delivers us from evil and guides us into paths of righteousness and life, of healing and wholeness.

Abigail acts shrewdly springing into swift action, determined to save her worthless husband and his household, from the vengeance of David. 1Sam 25:18~Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs (35 quarts) of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. (ESV) Talk about a beast of burden, loaded with groceries for grace. Abigail’s seeking to right a wrong. Proverbs 1:20~Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square. (NIV)

Abigail offers a discerning gift first, having the groceries for grace go first then the humility of wisdom as he calls aloud. By going to meet David, Abigail put herself in a dangerous situation that needed to be defused quickly. Would David listen to reason? 1 Samuel 25:23-24~When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face…On me alone, my lord, be the guilt…(ESV) We’d do well to remember her confession of full responsibility. As she appealed to David to hear her before doing anything vengeful.

A plea for help

David is south of Jerusalem, near Carmel when he comes to Nabal, an evil man, stingy and hard to get along with. In stark contrast, his wife Abigail is noted as wise and beautiful. No doubt Nabal’s wealth helped him in procuring his prize of a wife by being able to handsomely pay her father a hefty price, as was the ancient custom of the day. Listen to how David shares his need in 1 Samuel 25:7-8~I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm…Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore, let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have…(ESV).

So, David comes when the master, Nabal, is serving workers on a feast day. Asking for whatever they may have. Now feasts are celebratory in nature when throwing a party, we often go to excess. Nabal has you anything extra, you could spare. David said, maybe we could have the scrapes, leftovers, or extra. Sheep were sheared in the spring when their wool was thickest from winter growth. Because wool was so valuable, the time of sheep shearing was usually celebrated with feasting and gift giving. All of this was paid for by the owner of the sheep, as a sign of gratitude for the Lord’s blessing. Nabal how blessed are you, could you spare some.

Understand David is a fugitive and the mighty men live off the land. They are dependent on the hospitality and generosity of sympathetic people for their survival. His story is told like the epics of old. 1 Samuel 18:7~ As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” (NIV) 1 Samuel 25:5~(ESV) Notice David sent ten of his young men, not the old seasoned warrior who might’ve been seen as a sign of aggression. This is humility on David’s part, it’s a request.

What do we do when we are asked for help? Do we share sustenance, offer assistance, or do we turn them away, or even act rudely. As in life, in everything, we have a choice. We can respond rightly or wrong. David could have had his men stealthily retrieve rather than nobly asking. Not David, he chooses to behave honestly, offering Nabal respect. Had Nabal been a good man, he would have given to David and the mighty men, the assistance they sought. In fact, verse 16, Nabal was indebted to David because they’d voluntarily protected his flocks from lurking thieves and wild animals.

Instead of appreciating David’s assistance of protection, Nabal insulted David and his men, accusing them of being common criminals. 1 Samuel 25:10-11~“Who is David?… There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters…Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat…and give…(ESV). Thus, he refused to give them anything, not even water, nor bread or meat from the animals he had already slaughtered. David’s men return him empty-handed, bearing worse news. There are two life lessons for us to grab here. First, how are we treating the people who feed into our lives, and second how do we respond when we don’t get the answer we’re looking for. Many of us have desired to respond like David in 1 Samuel 25:13~And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!”…(ESV) Hold on a second.