Abigail is my hero! Love her! In 1 Samuel 25, her courage and the speech she gave, changed people's destinies and saved lives.
Cast of characters:
Abigail- "a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance" who was married to Nabal
Nabal- a wealthy man whose name meant "fool. " (what kind of mom names her son Fool?!) He "was harsh and evil in his doings" and "such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him."
David- the son of Jesse, a former shepherd, who had been anointed by Samuel as the next king of Israel. He was being hunted by it's present king, Saul, and hiding out in the wilderness with a band of men who follow him. (sounds Robin Hood-ish, doesn't it?)
The Wilderness of Paran
Nabal's men were hanging out in the wilderness with his 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and it was shearing time. David, always a shepherd at heart, had his men protect them. One of Nabal's servant's said that David and his men: "were a wall to us both day and night...The men were very good to us and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them." Sweet!
David sent a servant to Nabal to ask if he and his men could be invited to a feast day as thanks for all their service to them. But Nabal, being a 'fool' doesn't have any problem refusing the future king, being ungrateful for his service and insulting David by comparing him to a runaway slave. Not too smart.
David, red hot with anger, goes to attack Nabal and all of his servants for "repaying evil for good."
Once she gets the scoop, she goes into action. She gathers up a feast, take-out style, that David and his men won't soon forget (200 loaves of bread, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep, roasted grain, 100 raisin clusters, 200 cakes of figs) (because the 'way to a man's heart is through his stomach' right, Ladies?)
and sends it on ahead of her and follows behind on her donkey. With 401 armed men coming down a hill toward her, she "fell on her face before David" and gave the speech of her life.
She reminded David who he was dealing with, "for as his name is, so is he!" She apologized, asked him to accept the food and forgive them.
THEN, she reminds David of the truth and speaks to him about his destiny!
She tells him that because "no evil was found in him" and because "he fought the battles of the Lord", God would bring to pass His word and make him king one day. (which may have looked like a bleak prospect to a guy hanging out in the wilderness with his band men) In light of those facts, killing Nabal and all the men of their household, would one day be a cause for grief in his life, if he avenged himself. She reminded him that vengeance belongs to the Lord and she even threw in a word picture, for good measure, using something near and dear to him, . -A sling! (remember Goliath) "The lives of your enemies He shall sling out as from the pocket of a sling." Cute!
I'd say what she said, 'hit the mark' because David proclaims "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me, And blessed is your advice and blessed are you..." (Awesome!)
(Ladies, let's make sure our advice to our men is rooted in the word of God!)
"You have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and avenging myself with my own hand."
When Abigail got home, her hubby was drunk, so the next day when he's sober she tells him what almost happened and he has a heart attack... or maybe a stroke. "His heart died within him and he became like stone." After about ten days, "the Lord struck Nabal and he died."
Thanks to Abigail "the Lord, (not David) returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head."
(cue romantic music here) "And David sent and proposed to Abigail to take her as his wife."
Yes, that was some speech!
The End. : )