October 24 2013 by
Troy Rust, writer, Hurdle Mills
Focal Passages: 1 Samuel 25:14-17, 23-28, 32-35
Nabal, a largely unknown character in the Old Testament, was described by one of his shepherds and his wife as “a worthless man.” After David’s dispatch of 10 men returned with the report of Nabal’s inhospitable response to their request for food, the group of soldiers grew to 400 men with swords. Although Nabal was set to die in his bullheadedness, his wife Abigail determined to intervene. She sent food and personally intercepted David’s army. She fell at his feet and asked that all the blame for her husband’s indiscretion be laid upon her. She said that Nabal lived up to his name, meaning “man of Belial,” which he embodied with great foolishness. She further praised David for his restraint and pronounced God’s blessing upon Him. David replied, “blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.”
When conflict develops, peacemakers and instigators rise to the occasion, while many people do nothing. Abigail’s example reminds us that we must stand on principle even when we don’t like the parties involved. She could have celebrated the death of such a worthless husband, but she knew many innocent men would die. She was also willing to take the blame for an incident she was only tied to indirectly. She could have said, “That’s his problem!” and headed for the hills. However, Abigail knew God had given her a role to play and she could not blame her irresponsibility on anyone else. She chose to be a wise peacemaker, not simply seeking peace at any cost. She knew that God’s plan for David took precedence, which ultimately brought redemption through Jesus Christ.
Are you unfolding a blanket of wisdom to smother the fires of conflict, or are you pouring the fuel of foolishness on the fire? Are you merely a spectator? Our response will show whether we are focused on God’s plan for His people or other earthly concerns.