Abigail’s Calculated Risk

Abigail could not have known, as she lived her own life back in history, that she would be the subject of debate today. Beautiful and wise, she was the wife of Nabal, a man of wealth and power, but Scripture describes him as churlish and evil.

Nabal, outspoken and haughty, slandered the character of David, the future king of Israel. A servant told Abigail that David sent messengers out of the wilderness to congratulate their master on his successful venture and he railed on them. He told his mistress, “The men (David’s followers) were very good to us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we anything as long as we were conversant with them, …they were a wall of protection by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.”

Then Abigail’s servant pressed her with this urgent counsel, “Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son wickedness that a man cannot speak to him.”

Even while he spoke to Abigail, vengeance was on the way. You be the judge of her next move and words to David:

Acting quickly, she took two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine, five sheep prepared, corn, a hundred clusters of raisins, two hundred cakes of figs and laid them on asses. Then she ordered her servants, Go on before me; I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.

She took a calculated risk and went into action on behalf of her husband and household. As wife of Nabal, she “repented” of his sin as if it was her own, saying to David, “Let not my lord, I pray you, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I your handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom you did send. . . now this blessing which your handmaid has brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. . .. I pray you, forgive the trespass of your handmaid: for the LORD will . . . make my lord a sure house; because my lord fights the battles of the LORD and evil has not been found in you all your days.”

The next morning: “Abigail came to Nabal; and behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing . . . but . . . in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things . . . his heart died within him . . .about ten days after . . . the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.” (cf 1Sa.25:38)

Did she act in rebellion?

Should she have asked her husband before making a move?

When speaking about her husband, Nabal, was she disloyal?

Did God defend her? Or not?

Did she “rescue” David from a sin of revenge?

What do you think?

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