Friday, April 17, 2009

Abigail

Samuel died.

But it is only FIRST Samuel 25. There is more to First Samuel, then there is all of Second Samuel. So I'm guessing that Samuel didn't write these books!

So David, still on the move, goes to Maon, which I gather is the Siberia of Israel.

He is now a guerilla warfare warrior, whether he wanted to be or not. 600 men, moving around from place to place, need a lot of food and supplies. They are also a rather terrifying presence to have move into your area.

A rich man called Nabal lived in Maon, married to Abigail.

"The woman was intelligent and good-looking,
the man brutish and mean. "

So, how this THESE two get together? I guess wives were assigned in those days, rather than being wooed and courted. Reminds me of the joke, "We got married for better or for worse. He couldn't do any better. She couldn't do any worse!"

4 -8 "David, out in the backcountry, heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep and sent ten of his young men off with these instructions: "Go to Carmel and approach Nabal. Greet him in my name, 'Peace! Life and peace to you. Peace to your household, peace to everyone here! I heard that it's sheep-shearing time. Here's the point: When your shepherds were camped near us we didn't take advantage of them. They didn't lose a thing all the time they were with us in Carmel. Ask your young men—they'll tell you. What I'm asking is that you be generous with my men—share the feast! Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to me, David your son.'"

David needs food, Nabal is the big landowner of the area. We protected you, now cough up the dough. Nabal isn't impressed...

"Nabal tore into them, "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? The country is full of runaway servants these days. Do you think I'm going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it to men I've never laid eyes on? Who knows where they've come from?"

Now it's David's turn to not be impressed.

12 -13 David's men got out of there and went back and told David what he had said. David said, "Strap on your swords!" They all strapped on their swords, David and his men, and set out, four hundred of them."

Enter Abigail.

18 -19 "Abigail flew into action. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she had it all loaded on some donkeys. Then she said to her young servants, "Go ahead and pave the way for me. I'm right behind you." But she said nothing to her husband Nabal.
20 -22 As she was riding her donkey, descending into a ravine, David and his men were descending from the other end, so they met there on the road. David had just said, "That sure was a waste, guarding everything this man had out in the wild so that nothing he had was lost—and now he rewards me with insults. A real slap in the face! May God do his worst to me if Nabal and every cur in his misbegotten brood aren't dead meat by morning!"
23 -25 As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and fell on her knees at his feet, her face to the ground in homage, saying, "My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don't dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him...
25 -27 " Now take this gift that I, your servant girl, have brought to my master, and give it to the young men who follow in the steps of my master.
28 -29 "Forgive my presumption! But God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights God's battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you.
If anyone stands in your way,
if anyone tries to get you out of the way,
Know this: Your God-honored life is tightly bound i
n the bundle of God-protected life;
But the lives of your enemies will be hurled aside
as a stone is thrown from a sling..."

David is impressed. VERY impressed.

32 -34 "And David said, "Blessed be God, the God of Israel. He sent you to meet me! And blessed be your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and taking charge of looking out for me. A close call! As God lives, the God of Israel who kept me from hurting you, if you had not come as quickly as you did, stopping me in my tracks, by morning there would have been nothing left of Nabal but dead meat."
35 Then David accepted the gift she brought him and said, "Return home in peace. I've heard what you've said and I'll do what you've asked."

End of the story? She returns home to find her husband rolling drunk at a big party he threw.

She waits until morning to tell him what happened.

He has a massive heart attack and dies!

David (who was VERY IMPRESSED with Abigail) loses no time. He sends for her to be his wife.

She agrees, and marries him.

Drugs, sex and violence. Sounds like a modern movie...

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