“Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich…The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings…
So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person” (1Sam 25:2, 3, 35)
It is my pleasure to write this letter to you. I desire to share with you my life story so that you can be encouraged to trust God to the very end. My name Abigal means ‘The delight of my Father’. My parents were godly but poor people. They died when I was still young. One day a man called Nabal from the tribe of Caleb came to ask my hand in marriage. He was a very rich man. My uncle accepted the proposal on my behalf because of his wealth. I could not disobey my family’s wishes for I was still very young. This is how I found myself to be the wife of Nabal. At the beginning I was afraid of him for he was much older and a very hard man. He was always drinking with his friends. He had no time for me. He called me his ‘trophy wife’. Many nights I slept alone, my pillow wet with tears. I had no one to talk to. All my dreams died on my wedding day. I wanted to go to school, to be a teacher. I loved children but none came to me. It was the pain of a barren unhappy marriage that drove me closer to God. I prayed and prayed for a miracle of peace, of joy, of life. I used to sing as a girl, but my husband hated music and I could sing no more. Nabal had a big Bible but he never read it. I taught myself to read the Word of God. I memorized scriptures. God revealed Himself to me thru His Word. Little by little my broken heart was healed. My circumstances were still unchanged, but I became a different woman. I made peace with God; found mercy and grace at His throne. Daily I shared my faith with the house servants. Some, like Nabal their master, ignored and mocked me. Few believed in my God and changed too. O, the joy to see a soul set free, even in the prison of foolishness…God granted me an oasis of hope in the desert of life. I became humbled my God’s love for me. I was so grateful…
I prayed for my husband too. I tried to counsel him but he never listened to my words. His name means ‘A Fool’. He continued to behave like a dangerous reckless fool ignoring the grace of God upon our home. He said that he is a believer but I’ve never seen him read the Bible by himself or pray when alone.
I was often embarrassed by his words and actions. I tried to cover him when he made mistakes for I wanted peace for all. But his attitude and his words hurt me often. He never apologized to anybody. He was always angry, always in a bad mood especially with his servants. The only people he loved were his friends who shared in his passion of partying and drinking. His careless attitude made unnecessary enemies for us. He was rude to strangers and rejected visitors. He was stingy and wicked especially with those in need. Little by little people started avoiding our home…
One day one of our servants came to tell me that Nabal has insulted the messengers of David, the King’s son in law. What I heard about David is that he had left the palace in a hurry and he was now a fugitive in the desert. I did not know all the political gossip. But I felt pity for the young man who once killed the giant. Different people said different things. My husband hated David for no good reason. But as I prayed about this matter, it was revealed to me that David is a good man indeed, loved by God and chosen by Him. I was even more surprised when God told me that one day he will be the king of Israel. I don’t know why I had a feeling that I will meet him one day and that I will never be the same again.
So when the servant said that David was rejected and insulted by my husband, I knew that we are all in serious trouble. I was told that David was coming towards our house with his army. I knew that I have to act quickly or everyone here will die. I quickly gathered a gift of food and other goods and decided to go and meet David, to plead with him to show us mercy. Nabal was drunk as usual partying with his friends so I could not tell him of my rescue plan. This was the only thing in my mind: ‘King David, have mercy!’
I saw David and his men coming down the hill. I hurried to meet him. He looked exactly as the angel said to me. Seeing him I believed he is the true and righteous king of Israel. But he was very angry and impatient. I fell down from my donkey and trembling at his feet I pleaded for mercy. I offered to take the punishment on behalf of my husband. I also offered to him the gift of provisions and good will. Suddenly a new courage came to me. I openly said to him that I believe he will be a king one day. His throne will be different than the present one. His will be known forever as a wise, patient, gentle and godly king. He will be a worshipper of Jehovah. He will sing and dance for God. I pleaded with him, on behalf of the future glory: no need to kill a man just because of anger. That is what Saul is known for, a wicked man who shed innocent blood. I reminded him that even when a fool like Nabal provokes without a cause, that he should trust God to fight his battles and that vengeance belongs to God alone. Suddenly, I kept quiet… then I waited…on my knees… with my face in the dirt… I waited…
Then David spoke just the way I prayed he will. His voice was like that of an angel to my ears. He thanked me for my words of wisdom and compassion. He accepted the gift and promised peace. He gave me hope that one day, for as long as it is in his power, I shall be free from the curse of foolishness and sorrow. I did not understand the power of his word until few days later. David said that I should go home in peace. I obeyed. I came back to the same house, but I was a different woman. Peace was my royal gift. Nabal was sleeping, vomit all over him. The next day I told him of my journey and he fell down speechless. A week later he died. I became a widow without tears.
Not too long after that David sent his men to ask me to be his wife. I said yes to the man who one day shall be my king. We got married simply, in the desert. Abiathar, the priest blessed our union. The men of valor prayed for us. The stars blinked with joy… the wind touched the strings of the harp…the fragrance of the desert rose filled the air…
For the first time in my life I knew what true love means. I gladly followed my husband in the wilderness and prayed for him daily. I once had money but my life was miserable. I lost all things for the joy of finding true love. Even the desert became like a garden to me. Life was not easy but it was filled with the joy of the presence of God. Once, when David was not around the Amalekites attacked our camp and they kidnapped me. I was not worried for God was with me to strengthen my faith. David and his men rescued us and we worshipped God for His protection over us. Not long after that Saul died and my beloved became king. God also blessed us with a son. We named him Kileab Daniel, meaning ‘Like his Father, the Judge of God’. This little boy brought much joy to me for he was just like David, my lord.
This is my story, dear sisters. I want to remind you that in all situations trust God! Faith has to be tested for a time, in the furnace of sorrow. But the pain is not forever! God will smile over you again! His gifts come without sorrow. Like my husband David used to say, even if ‘weeping endures for a night, joy comes in the morning’. God is faithful! The morning light will never forget to smile at your window, and then your tears will be gone. Trust God for a godly testimony of wisdom, peace and grace! Trust God for the blessing of a happy marriage and good children! Be a woman of God!
Finally, I pray for you…that your wisdom will defeat all foolishness around you…that your peace will overcome the confusion of circumstances…that God’s joy will be your strength even when all things seem difficult and hard to bear…Be anxious for nothing, in all things bring your request to God and His peace shall protect you, His arms shall surround you. Believe in miracles! Believe in the power of a new beginning! May the presence of Jehovah God be with you! God bless you all!
Your sister in faith,
(ISam 25, 30; 2Sam 3:3; 1Chr 3:1; Ps 30:5; PV 10:23, 11:29, 13:16, 14:16, 17:12, 18:6, 26:4, 29:11, Ecc 7:9, 10:1-3)