Hebrews 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Abigail’s propitiation saves the day. David thanks Abigail for staying his hand and repents of his own foolish and rash decision to slaughter Nabal’s household. In fact, David sees Abigail’s coming to him as a blessing from God, and he sends her home in peace (verse 35).
32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today!
33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands.
34 For I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.”
35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”
- Scripture says that we should not seek vengeance for ourselves. Rather, we should “leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19; cf. Deuteronomy 32:35). This is exactly what happened in Abigail’s story. David was prevented from taking revenge, and the Lord Himself took care of the matter in due time.
- David and Nabal can be seen as representative of the two responses men have to Christ. Nabal does not repent or acknowledge his sin; neither does he thank Abigail for her willingness to risk her own life on his behalf. On the other hand, David’s heart is tender and repentant, and he calls Abigail blessed for her actions. David is spared the consequences of the sin he had planned, but Nabal dies in his sin.
36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day.
37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone.
38 About ten days later, the LORD struck him, and he died.
- What caused the stroke? Was it pride and anger on learning that his wife had dared to help David without his permission? Or was it shock in realizing the danger he had been in and how close he and his household had come to being slain? What if Saul heard that Abigail had befriended David? The king might consider Nabal an enemy and punish him accordingly.
And being found in fashion as a man, he [Jesus] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:8
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5