Abigail hurries (verse 1818Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred [loaves] of bread and two jugs of wine and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded [them] on donkeys.; verses 23,34,4223When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face before David and bowed herself to the ground.34Nevertheless, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light [as much as] one male.”42Then Abigail quickly arose, and rode on a donkey, with her five maidens who attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.). It is the haste of faith to hold someone back from foolishness. She does not act out of protection for her husband, but she acts with the future of David in mind. That shows a great faith. If faith is present, there is also wise action. She takes everything Nabal has refused to give and even does more than that. David has asked for the things that Nabal has easy to grasp (verse 88Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let [my] young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”). Abigail also gives food that she has prepared.
This is far more than a mere compensation of Nabal’s refusal. Later she will also compensate the insulting words Nabal has spoken. She acts according to the truth of the proverb: “A gift in secret subdues anger, And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath” (Pro 21:1414A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.; Gen 32:13b-2113So he spent the night there. Then he selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau:14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,15thirty milking camels and their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.16He delivered [them] into the hand of his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on before me, and put a space between droves.”17He commanded the one in front, saying, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks you, saying, ‘To whom do you belong, and where are you going, and to whom do these [animals] in front of you belong?’18then you shall say, ‘[These] belong to your servant Jacob; it is a present sent to my LORD Esau. And behold, he also is behind us.’”19Then he commanded also the second and the third, and all those who followed the droves, saying, “After this manner you shall speak to Esau when you find him;20and you shall say, ‘Behold, your servant Jacob also is behind us.’” For he said, “I will appease him with the present that goes before me. Then afterward I will see his face; perhaps he will accept me.”21So the present passed on before him, while he himself spent that night in the camp.).
With her gift she goes to David. She comes down. This suggests that in the valley, i.e. in a humble attitude, a dispute can be settled. In the low affection and mercy are found. This is present with Abigail in relation to David, and thus she prevents him from exercising a wrong intention.
While she is on her way, she meets David. The meeting is described in a way that suggests that she hears everything David says and that David then suddenly stands face to face with her. What David intends to do and the reason for it are communicated. This shows that David reacts as a taunted and offended man. In his opinion Nabal has rewarded him “evil for good”. For that he will avenge himself. There he has, he thinks, the fullest right.
He is thus far away from the mind he has always shown towards Saul, which thus reminds us of the mind of the Lord Jesus. Nabal’s refusal to give him some of his prosperity, and Nabal’s insult in relation to his person, went down the wrong way with David. However misplaced Nabal’s refusal may be, in itself he did not do injustice to David. There is no agreement that David will be rewarded for the protection he has offered. David’s punitive expedition is not related to the refusal and the insult done to him.
The fact that the world does not show any gratitude for services rendered and perhaps even insults us should not be a reason to avenge ourselves. Gratitude is not a right we can claim. We too can count on the Lord to reward everything we have done out of love for Him, especially if we do not receive the expected reward from people. It is not for us to avenge ourselves for injustice or insult: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath [of God], for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord” (Rom 12:1919Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath [of God], for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.).
Because David listens to Abigail, the LORD takes Nabal for His account, and David does not do anything that he would regret later.