We’re never transformed by conquering our fleshly appetites with self-will; we’re transformed when our attention is directed by beauty and wisdom to a better way.
Today’s text: “When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, ‘On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.’” (1 Samuel 25:23–25, ESV)
Abigail was a beautiful and wise woman whose humility and intercession saved her fool of a husband and their whole estate.
David’s men had been “watching over” Nabal’s estate but Nabal was ignorant and insensitive to the kindness he had been shown. When David sent messengers to Nabal with a request for food and provisions, Nabal sent back a curt and insolent reply rejecting David’s need.
David was tired and hungry and in a fighting mood. The future king of Israel beckoned four hundred of his soldiers and set out to slaughter the fool Nabal and wipe out his entire estate.
But, after hearing of her husband’s rudeness and folly, Abigail hurried to meet David, interceding on behalf of her drunken husband. In addition to food and beverage, Abigail brought an even more important gift to David—a prophetic blessing:
“Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live” (1 Samuel 25:28, ESV).
Abigail reminded David of his destiny, a “sure house.” David was the future king of Israel. And Abigail reminded the future king that he was God’s man, “fighting the battles of the Lord.” In short, she told David: You aren’t evil. You aren’t a man of raw emotional vengeance. You are God’s man. You are God’s choice. You are part of a much bigger plan than wrangling with the fool Nabal.
David immediately relented.
We’re changed the way David was changed, not by trying harder to overcome our flesh but by being reminded of who we are in Christ. And that’s the Gospel!