Thursday, December 13, 2012

C - I Samuel 25-26 - David and Abigail

Chapter 25 begins with a sad note.  Samuel died.  Not much was written about his death other than all of Israel mourned and he was buried in Ramah, his home town.  This was all written in two-thirds of one verse.  Then the Scripture abruptly moves back to David.

The story of David and Abigail is one of the less known love stories of the Bible.  There is not a whole lot of detail about Abigail, but she shows her loyalty to David early, even against her own husband Nabal, who was quite an unsavory character.  God shows little patience for those who treat His children unkindly.

Vs 2 tells us that when David and his men had moved to the Desert of Paran, they met up with this very wealthy herdsman named Nabal.  Nabal was a descendent of Caleb, although he does not seem to possess many of the qualities of his ancestor.  But his wife Abigail was intelligent and beautiful.  David sent ten men to Nabal to ask for some badly needed provisions.  He had them to remind Nabal that David and his men had been charitable to Nabal and his people (vs 8).  Also, this was a festive time in Israel, being one of the Festivals, when all Israelites were expected to be charitable (I would guess this to be somewhat like Christmas time to us, when people are generally more charitable and gracious).  However, Nabal not only refused them any provender, but insulted David.  These ten men returned to David with their report and David seethed with anger.  So much so, that he had his entire army prepare to strike Nabal and his ranch.

Vss 14-->  Abigail received word that her husband had angered David and that David and his army were coming to take by force that which Nabal should have gladly given them.  Abigail was aware of the fact that David and his army had been somewhat of a wall of protection for Nabal for quite some time.  {Wherever David was, there would be no bandits or raiding parties that would dare enter the area, thus making Nabals men and herds safe.  Nabal didn't have the sense enough to value this, but Abigail did.}   Abigail did the only things she knew to do.  In vss 18-->, she gathered as large a peace offering as she could move with, took it to a ravine that she knew would be necessary for David to pass through where she could intercept him.  When David arrived in that area she threw herself face-down on the ground.  In vss 23-31. Abigail voiced a dramatic, logical, and effective appeal to David.  David must have been very impressed with this lady.  David honors Abigail's request for her sake, not Nabal's.  In the vss following, when Abigail returned home, she found her husband drunk and engaged in an extravagant feast.  She waited until morning when he had sobered up to tell him of the meeting she had with David, and what she did to save Nabal and his entire clan.  When she told him, Nabal was stricken by either a stroke or a heart attack (vs 37).  He died ten days later.  In the remaining verses of this chapter, David hears of Nabal's death and thanks God for dealing with Nabal.  David was also thankful that God spared him of acting in anger and pride.  {David realized that to kill all of Nabal's household would have been wrong, and would have carried with it some negative consequences as David later would establish his throne.}  After hearing of Nabals death, David decided to seek Abigail to be his wife, having spent just that litlle bit of time with her less than two weeks earlier.  Not only did Abigail accept David's proposal, but offered herself to be as one of the lowliest servants.  It says in the last verse that Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's wife, to another man.

Chapter 26 tells of David sparing the life of Saul yet again.  Saul has gone against his own word to David and began hunting him again.  David is still a fugitive.  Saul had three thousand men hunting David and his army of six hundred.  Saul had heard that David was in Ziph (desert area with those many crags and caves, which were excellent to hide in.  Even more so than the hills and caves of the present-day Afghanistan).  David and Abishai sneaked into Saul's camp at night.  Finding Saul among three thousand men was not difficult.  It was customary that the king and his generals would be in the middle of the camp so as to be surrounded by all the troops, providing protection for the king.  When David and Abishai reached Saul, Abishai urged David to kill him in his sleep, but David again refused to do harm to "the Lord's anointed".  However, he took Saul's spear and his jar of water.  {David insisted that killing Saul was up to God, since Saul was God's anointed.  David wanted Saul to die of natural causes or at the hands of an enemy other than David.}  Then next morning David stood on the opposite hill and spoke with Saul, and actually chided Abner for his weak protection of Saul and David had Saul's spear and water jar to prove it.  He then again appealed to Saul's reasoning, asking him why he wants to kill him and reminds Saul that he once again had spared his life.  Saul again vows to do David no further harm and they part ways once again.

To Adam and all other readers:  This is the 100th post of this blog, which I started less than 6 months ago.  There have been more than 3200 page views on this blog, from 23 different countries.  I have decided to take a short break during this holy season, and will publish the next post in early January.  This might give you a chance to "catch up" with your studying of God's Word, as we are about to conclude the Book of I Samuel.  I invite any feedback that might make this a more effective and meaningful study of the Holy Bible.  Please share with me your thoughts.  My email address is  (Note that in my email address, there is an underscore line between merle and yates.  It's easy to miss that.)  May God bless you and I sincerely wish each of you and Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

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