As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 25-27
Key verses: (25:18-19) 18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. She loaded them on donkeys 19 and said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me; I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
Reflection: There are many times we need to have someone intercede or we need to be the one to intercede to bring calm and reason to an escalating situation on the verge of “going off the rails”. Said another way, we need someone to “save us from ourselves”.
In this story, David and his men without being asked protected Nabal’s men and sheep. David then sent word to Nabal of his actions expecting gratitude and a big celebration. Nabal, a mean, wicked man would have none of it and rather coarsely rejected the idea. David’s reaction rather than to shake his head and move on was to exact brutal revenge.
Nabal’s wife, Abigail, upon hearing the story acted on her own without telling Nabal. She met David enroute apologizing for her ungrateful husband while bringing the requested items for a celebration; David accepted thanking the Lord for sending her.
Abigail, a wise woman without fanfare injected herself into a pending disaster and through her proactive, positive actions saved two men with big ego’s and their followers from bloodshed and destruction. Where in your life have you been like Nabal, unable to give thanks for a gracious act? Or when have you been like David, where anger overtakes your rational side? And when have you been called to serve as Abigail, acting quickly to promote peace? May we each find ways in which we can bring about peace like Abigail, and give thanks for those who bring peace in our lives when we go “off the rails.”
Prayer: God, each day we face events small and big that call for someone to calmly take positive action without requiring platitudes and recognition. Help us to be that person who recognizes the need and acts as Abigail did.
Author: Greg Smith, Elder class of 2021
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].