Lord, still my spirit and focus my attention, I am ready to hear your voice through your Word.
Read 1 SAMUEL 25:23-44
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 25 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. 26 And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. 27 And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.
28 “Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. 30 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, 31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”
32 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”
35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”
36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. 37 Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”
Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. 40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.”
41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. 43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. 44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel[a] son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
- 1 Samuel 25:44 Hebrew Palti, a variant of Paltiel
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAs you read the stories of God’s work in and through David’s life, what lessons can you apply to your own journey?
David has succumbed to a full-blown temper tantrum and sworn to commit mass murder (v 22). The man who had been able to honor Saul in all his dangerously evil deformity looks upon Nabal as a blight to be obliterated. He is in danger of behaving in a Saul- like manner, wiping out threats to his status.
Abigail literally stops David in his tracks, kneeling in his path, staking her life on preventing a catastrophic error (v 23). She re- minds him who he is, someone formed by God’s purposes at work in him: ‘bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord’ (v 29). If he allows himself to be conditioned by the fool Nabal, he will lose himself. No doubt Abigail chose the sling metaphor mindful of its resonance for David (v 29). Nabal is no Goliath, but in many ways this moment is just as crucial. Will David be a king after God’s heart, or a prideful, violent, self-serving ruler in the mold of Saul? His wise choice sets his course.
And you? Who will you be when confronted by mean, rude fools along your way? Could this story be your Abigail, reminding you who God has made you to be?
You are loved. You are precious, chosen and esteemed by the only One whose estimation ultimately matters. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp the truth of who God says you are.
Loving Father, today my thoughts go to peacemakers, who, as Jesus said, are blessed as they do your will. Use them as they seek reconciliation, in large or small situations.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.