Colin Lacey, Bath, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]
The Father's Joy
The desire of Hannah's heart, Samuel, departed from the scene – one of the few shining lights of those dark days was extinguished.
‘And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran', v. 1. David, the desire of God's heart felt the loss and departed to the wilderness of Paran = beauty, gleaming – a place that is linked in the Scriptures with light, glory and grace.
It was here that he found sorrow and rejection, but also indescribable joy and delight.
‘A woman of good understanding', 1 Sam. 25 ’And Samuel died', v. 1
SORROW AND REJECTION AT THE HANDS OF NABAL
He lived in Maon = resident/dwelling – he had settled down in this world – he had lost his pilgrim character. Have you?
His possessions were in Carmel = fruitful place/vineyard – BUT there was no fruit for God in his life.
He was shearing his sheep – always linked with evil, suffering and death – his only interest was in the financial gain he could get from the sheep.
His possessions were for self – he speaks of MY bread; MY water; MY flesh; MY shearers, v. 11.
He was of the house of Caleb, a man who followed God fully – BUT Nabal did not live up to such a worthy heritage.
He rejects the man after God's own heart –'Who is this David and who is this son of Jesse? There be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master', v. 10.
His name was Nabal = foolish/weak – by the end of the chapter God had removed him from the scene – 'the Lord smote Nabal, that he died', v. 38.
JOY AT MEETING ABIGAIL (the father's joy/delight)
She was of good understanding (wisdom; intelligence),
v. 3 – INWARD.
She had a beautiful countenance,
v. 3 – OUTWARD.
HER WISDOM WAS REMARKABLE
She understood and appreciated the consequences of rejecting the man after God's own heart.
Nabal thought David's claims upon him could be treated lightly and ignored.
She realized that things needed to be put right immediately – 'then Abigail made haste', v. 18, 'she hasted and lighted off the ass', v. 23 – she knew that judgment was coming.
She was able to listen to the truth about her husband: a young man was able to share his concerns without any fear, v. 14.
'Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do, for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial that a man cannot speak to him'.
She held her possessions lightly for the Lord
'Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs’, v. 18.
What a contrast to the selfishness of Nabal – my bread; my water; my flesh; my shearers!
'Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute’, 1Tim. 6. 17, 18.
She knew where to find David
not in the bright lights of the city; in the wilderness; by the covert (secret place) of the hill.
She knew how to find him
without her husband – 'But she told not her husband Nabal', v. 19 – he would have been a hindrance to her; without her servants – 'And she said unto her servants, Go on before me’, v. 19 – they would not understand – this was a personal matter between her and the king.
Riding upon an ass – 'And it was so, as she rode on the ass . . . David and his men came down . . . and she met them', v. 20 – a wilderness creature – 'whose house I have made in the wilderness and the barren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city . . . the range of the mountains is his pasture’, Job 39. 6-8.
She knew how to respond to him, v. 23
she got off her donkey;
she fell down before him on her face;
she bowed herself to the ground;
she called him 'my lord';
true humility and obeisance.
She understood the need for intercession
‘Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be . . . Let not my Lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal . . . I pray thee, forgive thine handmaid', v. 24, 25, 28 – she identified herself with the need and pleaded with David to hold back the judgment.
She had a clear vision of David's coming glory – no one looked less like a king than he did – he was rejected and the dust of the wilderness was upon him – but she saw beyond his rejection to the time of his coming glory, 'The Lord will certainly make my lord a sure (enduring) house', v. 28; The soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life (the living) with the Lord thy God', v. 29; 'And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel . . . when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord’, vv. 30–31.
She wanted to be linked with him when he reigned
She was prepared to be associated with him in his rejection, but she also wanted to share with him in his coming glory. 'But when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then REMEMBER thine handmaid', v. 31. She did not need to worry about that – David could never forget her!
Once Nabal had died: She was prepared to take the lowest place – 'Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord', v. 41.
BUT David had higher things in mind for her – 'and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife', v. 42.
‘Yet it must be, Thy love had not its rest
Were Thy redeemed not with Thee fully blessed;
That love that gives not as the world, but shares
All it possesses with its loved co–heirs.’
'Favour (charm) is deceitful (deceptive), and beauty is vain (passing): but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit (reward) of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the (city) gates', Prov. 31. 30–31.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Colin Lacey is a retired secondary school headteacher. He travels extensively throughout the UK teaching the word of God. He has contributed to several Day by Day publications and has also written the commentaries on Judges, Nehemiah and 1 & 2 Kings for the What the Bible Teaches series published by John Ritchie Ltd.