But Nabal’s wife Abigail has apparently heard directly from God that David is God’s chosen successor to Saul. She organizes a caravan of food for David and his men and rushes out to meet them, just as David is coming toward Nabal to destroy him. Abigail pleads with David, not to save her husband who she agrees is worthless, but to appease David so that later he will not regret having acted in anger.
When Abigail returns to her husband and Nabal hears that he has greatly offended the future king of Israel, he dies very suddenly. David is so impressed with Abigail’s wisdom that he quickly marries her, exclaiming:
“Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head” (25:39).
So Abigail is a hero for risking her own life by listening to God and protecting the Lord’s chosen one from impulsive, violent anger.
In Chapter 26, a nutritionally refreshed David spares Saul’s life for a second time. He vows three more times not to lift up his hand against the “Lord’s anointed.” Putting these two chapters together, both Abigail and David offer us a New Year’s greeting and with it a resolution that has the power to challenge us greatly:
Wait as long as necessary for God to judge evil people; don’t try to usurp God’s judgment prematurely and risk major regrets later; and vow to do nothing that will harm the Lord’s anointed.
Which begs a question:
Who is God’s anointed today?
In our era, which began about two thousand years ago, we must take this into account:
“But as many as received [Jesus], to them he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12).
I suggest that all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior are the Lord’s anointed!
Therefore, I must be in perfect unity with all true believers and resolve to do nothing to harm any. And I must trust the Lord’s timing to judge those who deserve it (that would be me first and foremost).
What does this mean in the everyday world? I found this quote by Howard Hunter recently - a great list to keep in mind every day to bless the Lord’s anointed wherever we can:
- Mend a quarrel
- Seek out a forgotten friend
- Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust
- Write a letter
- Give a soft answer
- Encourage youth
- Manifest loyalty in word and deed
- Keep a promise
- Forgive a grudge
- Forgive an enemy
- Try to understand
- Examine demands on others
- Think first of someone else
- Be kind
- Be gentle
- Laugh a little more
- Express gratitude
- Welcome a stranger
- Gladden the heart of a child
- Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth
- Speak love, and then speak it again.
Happy New Year from Streamside Unity!