Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Women are weak
Back home, Nabal, her husband is a rugged he-man. No kowtowing for him! He is having a big harvest celebration, and he is "drinking like a man", feeling no pain, servants running to a fro, obeying his every command.
23 "When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests.[d] But I never even saw the young men you sent."
"I accept all the blame in this matter, my lord." How many thousands of times has a variation of this statement been made by the wife or child of the alchoholic? Abigail is grovelling, trying to patch things up. Trying to fix a problem she did not create.
A little praise and flattery couldn't hurt.
26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and you yourself live, since the Lord has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is."
How about some gifts?
27 "And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The Lord will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the Lord’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life.
29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the Lord has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”
She looks down. A few tears fall. Her sensuous lower lip is quivering. David can see that her neck and cheeks are flushed.
32 "David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”
It works! Disaster is averted. She returns home to find her husband in high spirits...
36 "When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke,[e] and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck him, and he died."
Oops! Who is SO strong? SO brave? SO macho?
Nabal keels over dead.
And who is SO weak? Grovelling in the dust? Crying? Bringing gifts to an outlaw?
Abigail lives to see another day.