Summary: Learn from a very wise woman(Abigail) how to handle a very foolish man (Nabal)
Lit., she had good understanding and a beautiful form. She was lovely not only on the outside… but on the inside as well.
Their marriage was a study in oxymorons! Here was this beautiful, intelligent woman… married to this rude, mean… brute!
Have you ever seen it? After all, it’s not the first time that a talented, competent, & gifted woman… has married a jerk!
For Abigail, it could have been an arranged marriage… she didn’t have any choice in the matter… but then again, like some women, she may have married him for his money…
…It could even be that she saw some spark of greatness in him and thought she could change him over time. A lot of women get married for that reason.
And as a result, a lot of women get married to jerks! We can try and talk them out of it… but most of the time they just won’t listen.
Sometimes, a husband can start out nice and then over time turn into a jerk. Everybody changes… sometimes for the worse, and if you’re married today… you are at least partially responsible for your partners changes (good or bad).
If you did a survey of the women in this room this morning, you’d probably find out that all husbands are at least part-time jerks. Now I’m not “male-bashing”, but once in a while, or maybe once a year… every husband plays the part of the fool.
I know I have. I admit it…I’ve been stubborn and demanding at times. Sometimes both at the SAME time! And so in that sense of the word… every woman can relate to Abigail.
So here’s Abigail a gracious & lovely lady, and for whatever reason… she’s married to a conceited, arrogant, (and as we’ll soon see)… stupid… Jerk!
As we come to vs. 4, we find out that it’s “shearing time” at the “BIG ZERO” ranch. Come spring, all the shepherds would bring their sheep in to be sheered of their thick winter coats before the hot summer months hit.
It was the ancient equiv. of a cattle roundup, and it was the custom to throw a big feast in celebration. Nabal would have had an especially big bash because 4000 head, would mean about 40 shepherds. Plus neighbors, family and relatives.
It was also the custom of that day, to set aside a portion of the profit, and give it to those who had protected the shepherds during the past year. It was kind of like tipping the waiter. There wasn’t any law that you had to… but … it wasn’t a bad idea!
You can imagine the efficient, capable Abigail supervising the entire feast. And it was a great one! It went on for days… and word eventually made it to the mountains where David and his men were hold up, that “Nabal had a good year and he’s throwing a party!”
Now to David and his men, that meant only 1 thing… PAYDAY! They’d been faithfully watching out for his flocks, so it stands to reason that they should share in some of the fruit.
Nabals own employees testify to the way they were treated by David’s men. (READ vs. 15-16)
So, he sends 10 men to politely ask for a share of the food…They stand in front of Nabal and say in vs. 7-8 (READ) But listen to Nabal’s response in vs. 10-11.
He says, “Who’s David?”. Can you imagine that? What arrogance! What a JERK! I mean, he just insulted a band of 600 armed & hungry men! Not a smart thing to do!