The Bible says that Abigail was a beautiful woman who also, more importantly, had a beautiful heart. It says that she had good understanding. That means that she understood people and was very kind and considerate of them. She knew the best way to help them and the best way to talk to them, and the best way to be kind to them.
But listen to what the Bible says about her husband, Nabal:
Nabal was a rich man. He had 3000 sheep, and 100 goats, which made him a very wealthy man in Biblical days. But, he was harsh and evil in his doings! That means he was mean and hateful to everyone. Nabal’s name meant “fool” and he definitely acted that way!
One day, Nabal was shearing his sheep in a city called Carmel. David and his 600 men were also in that city. David decided to send a greeting to Nabal. David sent one of his young men to tell Nabal “Peace to you! Peace to your house, and peace to all that you have!”
Now, David knew that Nabal was a very rich man. Some of Nabal’s shepherds had traveled with David and his men. David and his men had been very kind to Nabal’s shepherds. They had fed them and took care of them. They had protected the shepherds so that no harm came to them. David told his young messenger to tell Nabal all of this, and then David asked a favor of Nabal.
It was a feast day, a special Jewish holiday. David and his men had nothing to eat and nothing prepared to celebrate the holiday. In Nehemiah, a book in the Old Testament, God tells the people to “send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is Holy to the Lord.” David’s favor was for Nabal to send out whatever extra food he had so David and his men could celebrate the feast! This was a polite request to ask in that day and the polite thing for Nabal to do would be to send David and his men food for the holiday.
Boys and girls, what did the Bible say that Nabal’s name meant? And how did the Bible say Nabal acted? That’s right! He was an evil man. So, his answer to David was “Who is David? I don’t know him or his men! Why should I take food and meat that is for my family and my men, and give any of it to them?!”
When David heard Nabal’s answer, he was MAD! He told his men to get their swords and get ready to fight! Leaving 200 men behind to guard their supplies, David and 400 of his strong men were about to go to war with Nabal because of Nabal’s rudeness!
But, boys and girls, who did I tell you this story is about? Is it about Nabal? Is it about David? No! It is about a kind woman named Abigail.
One of the young servants of Nabal must have known how kind Nabal’s wife was, because he went and told Abigail the whole story. He told her how kind David and his men had been to him and the other servants. He told how David’s men had protected them and kept them from harm while they were watching the sheep. The young servant also told Abigail of David’s request for food from Nabal for the feast celebration and of Nabal’s response. He told her of how now, David was ready to go to war with Nabal over his rude response. I Samuel 25, verse 17, records the young servant’s words to Abigail;
“Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him!”
Well, Abigail got right to work! She knew what God had said; to be kind to people and give the food to them when they needed it. She also knew that if she didn’t act fast, Nabal’s ugliness might cost him his life, and all of their lives! So, she quickly got a feast ready for David and for his men. It takes a lot of food to feed 600 men! But Abigail made it all ready as fast as she could, and then she put it all on donkeys and she and some servants carried it out to meet David and his men.
David was still very mad at Nabal when Abigail met up with him on the road. But Abigail and her kind words calmed David’s anger down. She told David that her husband was wrong to not be kind to David and his men. Nabal was not obeying God, but that didn’t mean David shouldn’t obey God! She told David not to sin by being so angry; God would take care of punishing Nabal. Abigail also said that God would bless him for doing the right thing.
What a wise and understanding woman Abigail was!
David knew she was right. These are David’s words in the Bible: (I Sam. 25-32-33)
“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice, and blessed are you because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand!”
Then David and his men took the food from Abigail, thanked her and said; “Go in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice, and respected your person!” That means he saw how wise her advice was and he would follow it.
The next morning, Abigail told Nabal of all that had happened, and how David had been coming to attack him because of his rudeness, and how she had sent the food to keep peace. The Bible says that after hearing this, Nabal’s heart died within him and he became like a stone!
When David heard about Nabal dying, he thanked God for keeping him from sinning by attacking Nabal. Then, he sent and proposed to kind, wise Abigail, and she became his wife!
I hope boys and girls, that you want to always be kind like Abigail was. God can help you to do that if you ask Him to!
Bible text for story: 1 Samuel, chapter 25
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