January 22: Nabal or Abigail?

Read 1 Samuel 25:1-44

Even though Nabal claimed ignorance of David’s identity (v. 10), knowledge of him was widespread.  His reputation had circulated after his victory over Goliath.  In his early days of battle after Goliath, the word on the street about him was, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Sam. 18:7).  In addition, it seemed to be known throughout the nation that David had been anointed as the next king and future replacement for Saul.  Meanwhile, Nabal had personally been on the receiving end of blessing from David and his men.  They had protected his shearers and shepherds from harm.  In spite of all of those factors, Nabal pretended to not know anything about David.  This wealthy man refused to extend a gracious hand to this man who had served Him and been selected by God.

Ouch!  Thankfully, Abigail recognized the sin of her husband and chose to serve David and his men.

Are you a “Nabal” or an “Abigail?”

In my estimation, the number of Nabals is on the rise.  Nabals fail to show respect for people.  They are blind to the benefits they experience from the service and sacrifice of others.  They choose not to honor people for the office or the position they hold.  Instead, disrespect, criticism, and even mocking seems to characterize them.

Abigail, on the other hand, bends over backwards to recognize the position held by David and to demonstrate gratitude for his service to her.  Keep in mind, God wants us to “be subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1) and to “show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Pet. 2:17).

Abigail is not the first person in 1 Samuel to demonstrate respect and honor to one in a position of authority.  Remember, that was one of the underlying reasons we saw yesterday why David refused to kill his enemy, Saul.  He would not allow himself to lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.

Certainly, as Jesus followers, we will, at times, walk a tight rope as we relate to those in positions of authority.  God somehow invites us to honor them even when and if we find their decisions to be contrary to God’s plan.  That is a real tension that requires wisdom and sensitivity.