Today we began a new 5-week teaching series, Heroes. It will zero in on people who are to be admired for their achievements as well as their noble qualities. There are three main characters in this story: Nabal, Abigail, and David. The story unfolds as David sends ten of his men to Nabal’s ranch during sheep-shearing time asking him for supplies as was customary in that culture. Nabal sharply denies the request. When David hears of the denial, he becomes very angry and plans to punish Nabal. One of Nabal’s servants tells Abigail about the incident and warns her that David is on his way to kill Nabal. Abigail responds with a brilliant plan. She prepares a large supply of food and rides out to meet David pleading with him not to kill her husband. Even though David is on extra testosterone, he thanks God for sending Abigail to him and agrees not to harm Nabal.
Abigail returns home to find Nabal celebrating a feast. After a night of heavy drinking, Nabal is told by Abigail about the terrible danger he had been in; he suffers a stroke. Ten days later the Lord strikes him and he dies. Following Nabla’s death, David asks Abigail to become his wife and she accepts.
Why is Abigail a hero? She modeled for us how to act wisely and quickly to limit the damage someone else has done. In a life-death situation, she displayed unusual steadiness and quick thinking acting in the family’s best interest. Nabal had made an absolute mess of the situation. David was on his way to kill Nabal and his household. Abigail saved Nabal and his entire household. She carried out a rescue operation brilliantly.
Life with Nabal could not have been happy. It was probably an arranged marriage. She was a princess. He was a toad. Nevertheless Abigail did not allow Nabal’s nastiness to make her bitter. Beside the rescue operation, Abigail did one other thing that makes her a hero: she confronted Nabal with the consequences of his actions.
Abigail’s response is a fantastic template about how to respond in bad situations. How does one act wisely and quickly to limit the damage someone else has done. And how do we turn bad situations into good? She worked behind her husband’s back to avert calamity. She saved her husband and everyone else. What courage! Is your situation asking you to step up in faith to take Abigail steps and do unusual things to redeem those around you?