from Lynda Lindsey
Abigail to David: Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies He will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.
I Samuel 25:29
Nabal and Abigail, husband and wife. Nabal: wealthy, churlish, surly, mean, stingy. Abigail: beautiful, intelligent, wise, a woman of sound judgment with the ability to discern and act quickly. David: honest, a wall of protection and safety for Nabal’s shepherds. Sheep sheering: a time of joyous sharing, feasting, and thanksgiving. Hospitality, always supremely important, was especially heightened during shearing season.
David sent a small contingent of men to Nabal at sheering time, respectfully requesting hospitality. Nabal, who had profited from having David’s men nearby during the grazing season, deliberately snubbed Israel’s future king. It wasn’t a question of financial hardship for Nabal. He could well afford to generously gift David and his men with a feast. Nabal simply chose to live up to his name. He turned David’s men away with a stingy, churlish refusal. David, cut to the quick, mobilized four hundred men with swords, leaving two hundred men as lookouts over their supplies, and set out to extract revenge. Overkill, even by today’s standards!
Abigail, once apprised of the situation, galvanized her household into action. Provisions and gifts were readied and sent ahead while Abigail followed behind. Disaster was averted by Abigail’s quick thinking. God, Abigail reminded David, was for David and sought his highest good. David’s life was secure in God’s hands. God valued and watched over David protectively. Abigail seemingly referenced Saul’s intent to kill David and reminded David of God’s protection in that circumstance. Abigail’s mention of God hurling David’s enemies away as from the pocket of a sling surely resonated with David, who had once dispatched Goliath with a slingshot and one stone! David, heeding Abigail’s words, trusted the matter to God and refused to take revenge. Can we do any less?