We have seen so far that Nabal refused hospitality to David and his men and he refused to consult others about his decision. What else might we learn from this story recounted in 1 Samuel 25?
Nabal refused to even recognize David. In verse 10, Nabal says, "David who? Never heard of him." Well, everyone had heard of David. People knew that David had been anointed as King and that King Saul was hunting him to kill him to prevent him from becoming king. People knew that David had killed Goliath. In fact, Abigail (v 28) acknowledges that David will become king and cleverly reminds him of his victory over Goliath (v 29). There is no way that Nabal didn't know who David was.
One thing in Nabal's favor is that he has married a woman who is both beautiful and intelligent. Actually, Abigail is the heroine of this story. With disaster for her entire household immanent (v 22), she takes action. She gathers bread and wine, sheep and grain, figs and raisins on a donkey train and sets out for David's camp. She doesn't hesitate. She leaves quickly and meets David on his way to wipe out her household. David is determined to have his vengeance.
When Abigail meets David on the path, she throws herself face-down at his feet and takes the blame for what her husband has done. Abigail, who comes riding on a donkey, with bread and wine, lamb and fruit, brings peace. She takes the blame, the sin of her husband (the refusal of hospitality, of food and drink and just payment for David's protection) on herself.
Abigail, not David, is the Jesus figure in this story. She is the one riding on a donkey, providing bread and wine, and taking all the responsibility for what went wrong on her shoulders. She is the princess of peace, if you will, offering a way out for David, a way for him to save face and not take vengeance into his own hands. It is the right of God alone to take vengeance (v 26).
For Reflection: Jesus comes to us offering peace, and everything else we need. He offers to take the blame for what others have done to us. Will we accept his gifts? Will we lay down our weapons no matter what was done to us and let him take the blame? Will we put not only our sins but also the sins of others against us onto the cross with him? Can we say, "That's enough. I'm done seeking revenge. It is finished."
Let us pray. Jesus, I've been seeking revenge for a long time. I've wanted to hear an apology. I've wanted to see them punished for what they did to me. But I see now that I have to let it go. I'm giving the hurt to you. You do with them whatever you think is right.
Jesus, I need healing for all the bad things that have happened in my life. Please meet me on the path at Calvary and heal me.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.