“Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. 8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’” 9 When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited. 10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” 12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. 13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies. 14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. 15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. 16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. 17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.” 18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs[b] of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.” 1 Samuel 25.7-19
Abigail was both wise and beautiful. Her beauty is comparable to that of Queen Esther and Rachel in the Bible. And her wisdom is proven in the manner in which she acted when Nabal refused to help David the hero of Judah and the future king of Israel.
David was in need of provisions for he and his 400 men plus women and children. He could have very easily taken what he needed by raising Nabal and his thousands of livestock. Yet he acted with honor and sent a delegation. Nabal, who was stubborn, foolish and selfish, insulted David’s annoy by saying, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?” Where in truth, he knew exactly who David was. He was in power and like so many people do when given a chance to rule, did so with greed and control.
But the servants alerted Abigail, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.” Then they told how David’s men had helped protect the livestock and herds by being a wall around them while they were herding the sheep and not a one was missing. And Scripture says, “Abigail acted quickly.” These are the provisions she prepared and sent to David — two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five containers of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes and two hundred fig cakes — makes my mouth water just reading this!
Abigail responded with kindness when her husband acted foolishly. She of course did this for self-preservation as well as for the preservation of all she knew and loved. Yet she did not tell her husband.
The story continues but for now we will settle in to the fast acting response of Abigail which saved her and her whole household from destruction and defeat. She did the right and hospitable thing by sending David and his men necessary provisions as a peace offering. Her actions were wise and her response immediate.
When faced when opportunities to give to others do we share in our abundance or do we horde our possessions? Do we act with wisdom when others are in need and trust that God will continue to provide for us? Like Abigail, we can freely give to others in need because of the Lord’s faithfulness to us.
Let’s practice hospitality today and the Lord to provide all our needs.
“O Lord God, you are faithful. You fill your Word with lessons of faith and practice. You teach us not to be filled with greed but to share generously what you have given to us. Abigail obeyed you and saved her family. How else might we be blessed by following your principles and decrees? Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love that I might walk in your ways. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen