This Week's Story

Abigail's husband brings disaster to his family and employees. How can they be rescued?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

A Foolish Man and a Wise Wife, part one

“Nabal, ten men are here to see you.”

“What do they want?”

“They wish to speak with you, sir.”

Nabal went to the visitors and asked, “What are you doing here?”

“We’ve been sent by David.  He sends his greetings.  Peace be to you and your family.”

“Get on with your message.”

“Nabal, several hundred of David’s men are camped in the Carmel area of Israel. Your shepherds and large herds of sheep and goats are also there.”

“I know that.  I didn’t become rich by ignoring my business.”

“Sir, not one of your animals has been stolen or one of your workers hurt by us. We’ve protected them.  Ask your workers.  Your

shearers are busy cutting sheep’s wool and soon you’ll be celebrating.  We desire a gift of food for David and his men.”

Nabal replied, “Have you come to beg for David? Why should I honor your request?  David is just one of many bums, who thinks he can disobey his master and take off on his own.   I know that King Saul and his soldiers are seeking to capture David.  Good!  David doesn’t impress me.  So, he killed our enemy Goliath and women sing about his military conquests; what is that to me?

‘Do you think I am going to give you bread, wine, and meat; food I have had prepared for myself and my workers?  I’m no simpleton.  Go back to David.”

The men were insulted and angry, but they controlled their tongues and fists.  When they repeated Nabal’s words to David, he instantly ordered, “Two hundred men are to remain here and guard camp.  Four hundred of us will ride to Nabal. Take your swords.”

One of Nabal’s men, urgently reported to Nabal’s wife Abigail, “I have terrifying news!  David and a large force of his men are riding to attack us.  When our workers were with our master’s herds, David and his men were camped nearby.  They were kind to us and shielded us from thieves.  Not one of Nabal’s 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats was stolen.  We owe David much appreciation.  But, when David’s messengers came to ask us for a gift of food, Nabal treated them discourteously.  He foolishly accused David of being a rebel and worthless beggar.

‘David is famous throughout Israel.  We’ve all heard of his bravery and skill in battle as he defended Israel at the king’s command. He is now chased unfairly by the king, because King Saul’s jealousy of David consumes him.  Saul fears that he will be replaced by David as king.

‘Abigail, will David and his men destroy all of us?  Nabal deserves their wrath; we do not.  Please, think quickly.  We know that your judgment is good, but nobody can reason with your husband!”

Abigail did not hesitate.  She and her servants loaded 200 loaves of bread, bottles of wine, cooked mutton from five sheep, corn, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 hundred cakes of figs onto donkeys.  “Take these to David.  Go before me.  I will not tell Nabal what we are doing.”

As David and his men rode, hot with vengeance, they were met by Abigail’s servants and gifts.”

When Abigail’s donkey approached David, she got off and with graceful humility, kneeled before him. “My lord, please let the blame for my husband’s mistreatment of you be upon me.  My husband’s name means foolish and so he is.  I ask that you listen to me.  I never saw any of the messengers you sent.

David looked at Abigail.  She was beautiful and showed wisdom.  Was he being too hot-headed?”

This is Barbara Steiner with a Bible story of a commander reconsidering payback.  Next week we will hear what his response was.

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