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! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”
And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife. 1 Samuel 25:32-42
I’m so fortunate to have my wife as a source of checks and balances. There are so many times where she injects sanity into my life. I sometimes become so focused on accomplishing one thing that I nearly bowl over other aspects of our lives. Thank the Lord she’s there to say things like ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ or ‘Have you thought about this?’ These words tend to get me thinking with a broader scope, illuminating the big picture. Once I’m pulled back from the precipice and consider more than what I was focused on, things usually go quite a bit smoother.
There’s something similar going on despite the relationship between David and Abigail being very fresh and new. Abigail spoke to David in much the same manner as my wife speaks to me. Granted, I don’t surround myself with men armed with sharp, pointy objects, but the effect on David is the same. To David’s credit, he listened to Abigail describe the result of his pursuit of Nabal in a very realistic way. In short, it wouldn’t go well for David. It would seem she brought his heart rate and breathing frequency down, pulling him back into reality.
It’s pretty obvious Nabal is living up to his name: fool. Unlike David, he doesn’t listen to his servants as they explain the importance of what David and his men had done. In the end, after Abigail related to Nabal just how close he came to being dealt with in a rather terminal way by David, Nabal ended up dead and David married Abigail.
As I go through life with my lovely wife, I don’t see her not filling this role for me. There are times, when I’m not with my wife, I start this sprint towards the edge again, and somehow, I’m able to elicit a shadow of her wisdom by asking myself the questions I know she’d ask, and stop short of making big mistakes. In these cases, I feel as if I’d prefer to be an ‘Abigail’ than a ‘David’ in how I consider my actions. I would like the privilege of influencing others if it would save them future pain and problems. If this parallels your reaction, join with me in prayer, surrendering my pride to Jesus and praying for his hand to guide me in influencing others.
By Rich Obrecht