Leslie Verghese is the Executive Director of Agape Partners International and the Vice President of a premier Social Service agency in New York. Rev. Verghese is a licensed psychotherapist and is also a minister at the Shalem Tabernacle in Elmont, NY. Married to Jessy and has four children, Japhia, Joshua, Johana and Jaynah. He can be contacted at email@example.com.View all articles by Leslie Verghese, LCSW
The story begins with the incredulous account of an encounter between two men who have startlingly dissimilar character traits. Nabal is a fool and David in this story comes across as a bit too impulsive. David and his men showed favor to Nabal and David asks Nabal for reciprocation for his act of mercy. Nabal in his foolishness not only refuses but mocks at David also. As soon as David gets this word, he orders his men to take the sword and attack Nabal. A bit too impulsive? Not a good character trait for a leader to arm his men against a fool who ran his mouth more than he should have.
Now begins the interesting part of the story:
(Who do you turn to when you know that there is a problem and how do you act?)
In verse 14, one of the young men informs Abigail about David’s intentions.
- He was risking his life - He would have lost his life had Nabal known about what he said
- He did not have to do it - However, he knew that this was a fight that was not worth fighting and he did what he could to prevent it
- He spoke to Abigail and not Nabal - Nabal is a fool but Abigail is a woman of understanding; Speaking to Nabal and trying to convert him does not mean anything; it would only escalate the tension.
Abigail becomes a woman of action
- She embarks on a journey with gifts for David - She is risking her life here; she does not tell her husband about it but as a dutiful wife and as a woman of integrity, she is interceding for her foolish husband. She is willing to bring that offense upon her for her husband’s sake. She gets David to change his mind.
- She preserves the integrity in her marriage – Abigail averts the potential disaster; however, she does not want to continue to have the incident as a secret in her marriage. She wants to tell Nabal about what happened.
- She does not tell him anything that night – Abigail is a woman of understanding. She knows that telling him about what happened when he is drunk will not yield positive results. First of all, he is a fool. On top of that he is drunk. There is a time and a place for everything. Abigail was well aware of that principle.
Nabal determines his destiny and chooses destruction
Sometimes, anything you do will not help save a situation or person. Abigail risked her life, pleaded her husband’s case and preserved integrity in marriage. She did everything right even though Nabal did not deserve it. Even still, verse 37 states that when she told him about what happened, his heart died within him and he became like a stone. In verse 38 it states that the Lord struck him after 10 days and he was dead. Nabal dies spiritually (emotionally) first and died physically 10 days later
- God will wait for you to change your ways
- He will even use people in your life to intercede for you even when you don’t deserve it
- He will use them to share the ways in which your life was preserved
- If you don’t change your ways, He has no option but to take you out.
Remember God took Nabal out and not David. The timely and wise intervention of Abigail helped David from acting impulsively and doing what God was going to do. Let the Lord take care of your problem. Let there be Abigails in your life who discern the time, setting and plan to act appropriately.
Are you an Abigail?