I stare at the screen for an hour with nothing to say. My life lessons seem so inconsequential amidst the great injustices and suffering of our times. So I just want to share one of my favorite stories. I’ve felt such an application to our current war of words and contests of opinions.
As you read the story, what is your takeaway? Does this story apply to you in any way?
It’s the story about how Abigail mediated between two opposing worldviews. Abigail married Nabal “and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was and evil in his doings….”
Nabal was rich. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. This event took place during the shearing season on Mount Carmel.
David and his men had protected some of Nabal’s shepherds. And since David’s group’s provisions were running short, he thought he’d send some messengers to Nabal requesting hospitality from Nabal for David and his men.
And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, be both to thee, and be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
And when David’s young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
So David’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
One of the young men who experienced David’s protection told Abigail what transpired and how Nabal railed on the visitors sent to salute him. Abigail knew what that meant. She sprung into action.
Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
That list of food made ready astonishes me, but there were a lot of men. When she gets home, Nabal is still feasting like a king and apparently didn’t miss all of the food that Abigail gave to David.
The next verses recorded David’s vengeance again Nabal. He vowed that no one associated with Nabal would be spared.
Abigail Seeks to Make Restitution for Injustice
And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
Abigail acknowledged David’s plans for just retribution and took responsibility for an injustice she did not inflict, but that was inflicted nonetheless.
Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even : for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a ; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
Abigail, from her position of prosperity, saw David’s perspective and expectation for fair reward. She acknowledged the Lord’s long-term purposes for David and his men and also the Lord’s divine protection and promises.
David Praised God for Abigail’s Mediation
And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
This story is so visual to me. I see Abigail with her household rushing to prepare an offering to save their lives. I see her embarking on the trek to David’s group. When she sees David, she immediately acknowledges what was wrong and takes responsibility for it. She became a mediator for Nabal. She provided the sustenance that David needed. David accepted her mediation and left in peace.
I’ve turned to this story countless times over the years when searching for wisdom. I hope as you read it with me today that the Holy Ghost gave you wisdom that will bless your life.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.