May 16

May 16.

Abigail & Nabal — Nabal (whose name means “fool”) & foolishness.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: 1 Samuel 25

Reading 2: Psalm 14:1-3

Reading 3: Proverbs 10:6-25

Today’s readings illustrate a principle that paying back evil for good will result in harm. In some ways Abigail represents humanity, and Nabal (whose name means “fool”) represents the devil.

Abigail is married to Nabal, who is only concerned for his own gain, greedy and coarse. Even though David and his men have treated Nabal’s servants and property with respect all the time they have been nearby, Nabal refuses to offer hospitality even when it is requested. In that culture hospitality was a requirement – it was expected that everyone who came along (which would have been a good number of people in that agricultural society) would be firmly encouraged to accept hospitality. Nabal stands in stark contrast to the norms of the day.

Paying back evil in return for David’s good provokes a strong reaction in David – he is a man of justice and will not hesitate to administer justice to this boorish fool. This serves to highlight the power of David’s trust in God that he does not act similarly with Saul!

When Abigail finds out what an idiot her husband has been, she makes haste to atone for his offense. Taking food and supplies, she hurries to apologize and make amends. Her gentleness and spirit of repentance touch David deeply, and he thanks her for keeping him from murder!

But there is still death on the agenda for Nabal: when he learns what Abigail has done, the shock gives him a stroke which leads to his death. Evil never prospers in the end!

Then David, who was so impressed with this wise and godly woman, asks her to marry him. What a proposal: his prospects were great when he was given Michal, daughter of Saul, as his wife, but she has now been taken away and given to another man. Now David’s only guaranteed prospect is insecurity and living as a marked man. Yet that does not stop him from asking Abigail to marry him, nor does it deter her from accepting the proposal!

Whatever your circumstances, Jesus is asking for your hand today. Will you say “yes” to Him?

Have a great day!

Mark.

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