1 Samuel 25:24-35. “Abigail fell at [David’s] feet and said, ‘My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.’… David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands …. I have heard your words and granted your request.’”
Exegesis and Application
David had earlier cared for Nabal’s huge flock of sheep and goats and protected his shepherds while they were shearing in David territory. David is now in Nabal’s neighborhood (Carmel) and wants his people to be reciprocally treated kindly.
Nabal, true to his nature of being “surely and mean,” responded with “contempt,” “Who is this David” …Why should I take my bread and water and meat and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
David response to Nabal’s rude reply was clear, “Put on your swords” boys, we are going to do some killing!
Abigail, the “intelligent and beautiful” wife of Nabal hears of the coming of David and rushes out to meet him, and in the longest speech by a women in the Old Testament, she softens the hard warrior with sweet words. This is a highly courageous thing for a married woman to do to a single man in that culture.
There are several noteworthy points to Abigail’s plea to David (vss. 24-31).
1) Abigail takes the blame for Nabal’s rudeness. Her reasoning is that she knew Nabal’s wicked character and could have predicted and thus prevented him from acting so shamefully and foolishly.
2) Abigail acknowledges David’s right to “avenge” himself against the “offenses” committed against him by her wicked husband.
3) Abigail confirms David’s patience and tells him he still has time to do the right thing.
4). Abigail humbles herself before David, calling him “my lord,” “my master,” and “leader,” and herself “your servant.”
5) Abigail acknowledges David’s commitment to God, thus encouraging his faith in Yahweh’s sovereignty in his life.
David’s response to Abigail (beside eventually marrying her) is to relent and put away his sword and spare Nabal’s life. He leaves it up to God to take revenge, which He does.
Abigail’s response is instructive for the Christian journalist.
1) Be aware of the character flaws and strengths of those around you, even the closest companions.
2) Understand the legitimate human desire for justice and revenge.
3) Be boldly humble and self-effacing in the face of adversity. God will compensate us.
4) Take the initiative to confront interpersonal problems. Abigail “lost no time.”
5) Realize that everything is theological and that people are where they are for a divine purpose.