After David had revealed to king Saul that he had spared his life and the king promised to leave David alone, they went their separate ways. King Saul went back to Israel and David went back into the wilderness with his army of men. David still did not trust the king and thought it best to stay away from him.
David and his men never asked for anything in return. When sheep shearing time came around, Nabal's entire household, including the people who worked for him, would join in a big sheep shearing festival. David sent 10 of his men to Nabal to ask if they could reap some of the benefits from the party.
Nabal (Whose name means fool) lived up to his name when he answered them. " Who does this David fellow think he is anyway? Go back and tell him NO WAY!"
David's men returned with the message from Nabal. David was furious! "He wouldn't even have the cattle and the sheep if we didn't help protect them!" David shouted. "Men strap on your swords! We are going to teach that fool a lesson!" David was so mad that he wanted to kill Nabal and all his men.
Meanwhile one of Nabal's men went to Abigail, Nabal's wife and told her of the situation. Abigail didn't waste any time. She loaded up several donkeys with Nabal's best goods and headed in David's direction. I'm sure she was afraid, but she had to do something to protect her husband.
Have you ever found yourself in a sudden fearful situation. The Bible says over and over not to be afraid. Fear only clouds our judgement and sometimes it paralyzes us. The Bible tells us to be courageous. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of fear. Fear may paralyze, but courage acts.
David looked at Abigail and responded. "Praise the Lord. He has sent you here to keep me from making a terrible mistake. Bless you for having the courage to come out here and meet us." Then David accepted the gifts. "Return home in peace. We will not kill your husband."
Whew! That was a close one! Nabal had no idea how close he came to ending up dead. Abigail was not only courageous. She was smart and humble. Did you notice that she asked for her forgiveness as well as Nabals, even though she had done nothing wrong. But wait! The story is not over.....
Abigail returned home after meeting David and his men. Nabal was getting out of hand at his sheep shearing party. He was so drunk that Abigail decided to wait till the next day when he was sober to tell him how close he came to being killed. The next morning, Abigail told Nabal everything. As a result, Nabal had a heart attack. He was in bed for ten days, then he died. When David heard what happened he said. "God has paid back Nabal for us!" Then he went back to Abigail and took her as his wife.
Romans 12:19 says not to take revenge. Leave it in God's hands. Sometimes He does it right away like in David and Abigail's story. Or sometimes He takes his time. Either way. it is out of our hands and in God's. He is the great just judge. (Isaiah 33:22)