Today’s reading includes two very long passages. Let me give you the short version of the story of David, Nabal, and Abigail. Nabal and Abigail were married and Nabal was a harsh man, while Abigail was a good and beautiful woman. David’s men were looking for food for which to eat on a feast day. He sent them to Nabal to ask for provisions. Nabal scoffed at David and refused to supply them any food. They went back to David, and David mounted 400 men with swords to go and attack Nabal for his attitude. Abigail heard what had happened, and set up in their path with food for David’s men. David had defended and protected Nabal’s men, and felt that he had been betrayed. When he came upon Abigail, she bowed before David and asked his forgiveness, basically saying that her husband was foolish. She sang David’s praises, declaring that she knew he would one day be king. David called her blessed and said that she had kept Nabal’s house from being destroyed. The next morning she told her husband what she had done, and his heart died within him, and ten days later he died. David sent for Abigail, and took her to be his wife. He also took Ahinoam as his wife, and Saul gave his first wife, Michal, to Palti, the son of Laish.
Saul again pursued David, this time in the Wilderness of Ziph again. David spied out his location and then went to where he was camped and saw Saul asleep next to Abner. They were surrounded by soldiers. David and Abishai went down to where Saul was asleep, and Abishai wanted to pin him to the ground with his own spear, but David stopped him. Again, David said that he would not reach out his hand to harm the Lord’s anointed. But they did take his spear and jug of water. When they were a good distance away, David called back to them and asked Abner why he did not guard the king better. David then showed him that he had the king’s spear and jug of water. Saul recognized David’s voice, and David once again pledged that he did not wish to harm the king, and Saul repented. David asked Saul to send a young man to get the spear and jug, and they parted ways again.
Three reactions of David. He intended to destroy Nabal for his harsh rejection of David and his men, but relented when Abigail interceded and the Lord stopped him. He took Abigail as his wife once the Lord killed Nabal. Finally, he respected the king, Saul, in spite of his evil. How do we respond to the people around us? How do we treat our enemies, the oppressed, and our leaders? How we treat those around us makes a tremendous difference in how the Lord cares for us. When we obey God, He blesses our lives and gives us favor. In this story, it appears that the Golden Rule applies: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.