This Week's Story

David discovers a better answer than revenge.

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David’s Choice, part two

David looked at the woman kneeling at his feet and thought, “She is gorgeous and she has understanding. But, her words are disturbing me!  She asks, ‘Let me take the blame for my miserable husband’s behavior. Please, forgive me.’  Why should I forgive her?  Her husband Nabal cheated and insulted me.  My men and I protected his workers, sheep, and goats from attack when they were in danger.  Payment and gratitude are usual for such services.

“Yet, when I sent ten men to ask fairly for food, Nabal crudely said, ‘Who’s David… just one of many worthless men who run off from their masters.’   Yes, I, David, am a fugitive from the king’s jealousy of me.   I am also a free man with honor. Nabal is a fool, which his wife has already said.  But, is my pride and anger making me another fool?

“I have ordered 400 of my men to ride with their swords and me to kill Nabal and his workers. How ridiculous!  Here we are, a mini-army, stopped by one woman, a few of her servants, and donkeys loaded with food for us.  Does a lion need help killing a mouse?  A few of my men easily could have spilled the blood of Nabal and his workers.  I have said, ‘In God I put my trust.’ I need to practice those words.”

Abigail spoke, “David, it is good that God has kept you from murdering Nabal and his workers. He will meet his punishment.  When you are chased by your enemies, you are in God’s care.  The lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling. God has made promises to you.  You do not want to have on your conscience the heavy burden that you needlessly killed and carried out revenge.  I ask that when God has done great things for you, you will not forget me.”

David’s mind cleared. He responded, “Thank God for your wisdom.  None of Nabal’s men or he would be alive, if you had not come.  We accept your gifts.  Your husband will not be killed.  Go home in peace.”

As Abigail went home, she wondered, “What shall I tell my husband?”

She found Nabal drunk and having a big feast, acting as though he were a mighty king giving favors in his court.

Abigail watched him and thought, “Yes, you are rich; but you are no king!”

The next morning, when Nabal was sober, Abigail said, “Nabal, yesterday David was on the way here with 400 of his men to kill you and all your men.  With servants I took much food for his men and met him.  I asked him to let me take the blame for how you treated him.  We spoke and parted in peace.”

Nabal’s face became horrified and he shouted, “You disgraced me by apologizing to him!  What do you think he will do to me?” Suddenly he fell to the floor.  When his servants picked him up, he was paralyzed from a stroke.  Ten days later he died.

When David received word that Nabal had died, he said, “Praise God that I did not kill him.  His punishment is in God’s hands.”

A little time passed and David sent messengers to Abigail with an important request. “I would like you to become my wife.”

She bowed to David’s messengers and replied with courtesy, “Yes, I would be willing to be a slave to David’s servants.”  Soon with five of her servant girls she rode to David’s camp. David and Abigail were married.  He was yet a man pursued by the king, but a man famous throughout Israel for his many brave deeds.  Abigail, a woman of wisdom, committed herself to be the wife of David, who became the greatest king in Israel’s history.

This is Barbara Steiner with a story of a man mentioned more than any other person in the Bible.

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