A foolish man’s wife thwarts a future king



There are some pretty remarkable women in the Bible, but none more courageous than Abigail, who took it upon herself to call David on the carpet when he was about to take the lives of some innocent people. The story took place during David’s “Robin Hood” phase, when he was not yet king, but was enjoying military success against the enemies of Israel.  This was much to the chagrin of Saul, the current king, who, out of jealousy over David’s growing appeal among the people, was seeking to kill him. So you had David and his warriors, as heroes among the people, fighting the enemies of Israel while living as outlaws in their own country.

At the time of this story, David and his men were hiding out on property that belonging to a wealthy but foolish man named Nabal. It was sheep-shearing time, a time when workers in the fields were particularly vulnerable to attacks from enemies and common thieves. David took it upon himself to form a wall of protection for Nabal’s workers while hoping to be reciprocated for his kindness by sharing in the festivities that commonly followed the shearing time where food and wine flowed in abundance. But when Nabal refused with unusual churlishness to share anything with David and his men, David, angered at this return of evil for good, gathered his men and prepared to wreak vengeance upon the foolish Nabal, vowing that by the next morning there would be no one left standing in Nabal’s household who “pisseth again the wall.” (This is when you have to love the King James Bible because none of the modern translations capture David’s real attitude like this!)

When Nabal’s wife, Abigail, heard that David was intent upon their destruction, she hastily prepared a generous present of bread, wine and sheep, clusters of raisins and cakes of figs, and — without telling her husband — she mounted her donkey and went to meet David on his way to revenge.

When Abigail met David, she bowed before him and accepted full responsibility for her foolish husband. She asked him to accept her gifts for him and his warriors since she had not heard of his request until now, and then she prophesied concerning David’s future kingship, and warned him that he would not want to have innocent blood on his hands. In doing so, she was calling him to take a higher road — one that better suited his calling and his destiny than the one he was on. It was a risky confrontation, but God was with her, and fortunately, David responded favorably to the wisdom of her words.

I’ve always thought it noteworthy that, though Abigail’s activity in circumventing the authority of her husband would have been at least at bit suspect in many Christian books on marriage, God didn’t seem to think she was out of line at all. In fact, as the story goes, Nabal’s heart failed him as soon as he heard how close he had come to having his whole household wiped out, and ten days later he died. When David heard of Nabal’s death, he sent for Abigail and took her to be his wife. It’s a clear example of the fact that vengeance belongs to the Lord, and we had best leave it alone. God has His own way of exercising justice and His own time for it.

It’s also a clear indication that spiritual gifts know no gender. If God can’t find someone to do His will, He will turn to someone else. In this case, it was Nabal’s wife who was available to God and who chose to do the right thing at the cost of, quite possibly, her life.

In conclusion:
Deliver the message.
Call each other to the high road.
Don’t try to repay for evil done.
If God wants something done, do it.
Use the spiritual gifts God has entrusted to you regardless of your place, power, position or gender.

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4 Responses to A foolish man’s wife thwarts a future king

  1. Mark Seguin says:

    Felt a need to add an Amen to this, I firmly believe great truth: “…spiritual gifts know no gender. ” 🙂

  2. This is one of those great stories that you almost forget about over time. Then boom, there it is again. Great lessons in it!

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Almost forgot to welcome the new Gideon 300 Catch member: Gerrit Freshwater, NewSouthWales, Australia… and God’s sped & blessings to you & yours… 🙂

  4. Pingback: Pope Right: Hell Not Forever, Incompatible with a Loving God – BaedonWebz

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