And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which has kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. — 1 Samuel 25:32-33
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you knew you had been wronged? After my husband and I were first married, we moved back to a town where he had gone to college. There we attempted to find work. We were both teachers by trade and work was extremely scarce. The first job I landed was a sales position in a dress shop in a mall. It was the only steady income we had, and it was very important to our survival. My plan was to work there only until my teaching license could be approved.
I started working at the shop in August, and by the beginning of November, my teaching approval was just around the corner. One day, I mentioned to the store manager that I was hoping to have the approval by the end of the year. Within twenty-four hours, I was terminated from my position! I was so frustrated! This was our only guaranteed income, and now it was gone.
My first instinct was to overreact and to march down to that dress shop and give the manager a piece of my mind. How could she just terminate me! However, it was a Wednesday night so there was a prayer meeting in our little branch church. Before prayer meeting, we had Sunday school round table. The lesson that night was on giving thanks in all things. I have to admit I was not feeling very thankful. In fact, I was feeling decidedly indignant. That night I really prayed and asked God to help me be thankful, even though I could not understand why I had lost my job.
The very next day, an opportunity came up for a better position, closer to my field of study, and paying $3.00 more per hour. If I had not been fired from the dress shop, I would not have even been looking for this opportunity. God had a plan!
No doubt, we will all face situations at some time where we feel we have been wronged. Our first impulse may be to retaliate or at least hope the other party gets what they deserve. God would have us turn these types of situations over to Him. We cannot see the whole picture, and even if we could, we might not understand all the implications. By asking the Lord to help us feel a spirit of thanksgiving, and by leaving the situation in His hands, we can rest assured that God’s will for our lives can be worked out in a perfect manner.
At the beginning of this chapter, it is noted that Samuel died. David did not go to the funeral, though Samuel had been a great mentor to him. It is possible that David realized Saul’s spies would be at the funeral and it was not a safe place for him to be. Instead, David retreated to the wilderness.
Nabal’s name means “a fool.” The word churlish in verse 3 means “hard to deal with.” The phrase “son of Belial” (verse 17) was used to refer to someone considered to be a wicked, worthless man.
David’s irritation at Nabal was not unfounded. First, the social etiquette of the day required that travelers were to be fed, regardless of number. Nabal was financially able to do this. Second, David and his men had been protecting Nabal’s men and his sheep, and a meal was the least he should have offered as a token of appreciation.
Abigail was a wise woman, and God used her wisdom to stop David from making an unwise and extremely harmful action — taking vengeance upon Nabal and also killing innocent people. Abigail clearly understood that David would be king. Nabal indicated his unwillingness to acknowledge that when he said, “Who is David?” (verse 10). The rest of that verse shows that Nabal was a backer of King Saul. Abigail honored David; fourteen times she called him “lord.” David showed his own wisdom by listening to the advice of this woman and admitting his error.
The phrase “he became as a stone” (verse 37), probably means that Nabal had a stroke. Ten days later, he died.
Michal was David’s first wife, Saul’s daughter, whom Saul had given to David. When David fled, Saul gave Michal to Phalti, forcing her into adultery. No doubt Saul felt that removing Michal from David’s household further weakened David’s claim to the throne by severing his legal ties with royalty.
When Abigail became David’s wife, Nabal’s property and riches came to him also. The land was near Hebron, which David later made his royal residence.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The reign of Saul
B. The decline of King Saul and the rise of David
2. David in exile from Saul
l. His flight in the wilderness of Paran (25:1-44)
(1) The death of Samuel (25:1)
(2) The refusal of Nabal (25:2-13)
(3) The intercession of Abigail (25:14-31)
(4) The acceptance by David (25:32-35)
(5) The death of Nabal (25:36-38)
(6) The marriage of Abigail to David (25:39-42)
(7) The marriage of Ahinoam to David (25:43)
(8) The fate of Michal (25:44)
God used Abigail to prevent David from taking justice into his own hands. If we will let him, God will help us handle difficult situations when they arise.