TO CHEW ON: "David said to Abigail, 'Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'” 1 Samuel 25: 32,33
Many people loyal to David began to join him in the cave where he was hiding. Eventually David and his men moved from caves to the desert. While they were there, some shepherds, the servants of a man named Nabal, were herding sheep nearby. David and his men made friends with the shepherds. They protected their flocks from wild animals and bandits.
After the shepherds had taken the sheep home, David heard that Nabal was going to throw a party for his servants. This would be a good time to get a meal from Nabal in payment for protecting him, David thought. He sent one of his men to Nabal with a polite note, asking if he and his men could come to the party.
Nabal, who was very rich, but also very selfish, answered David’s servant roughly. “Why should I take the food I make for my servants and give it to any old person?” he asked.
When David heard what Nabal had said, he was furious. He and his men strapped on their swords and set out toward Nabal’s ranch. They would make him pay for his selfishness!
Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants had heard the way he talked to David’s messenger. He went to Abigail, Nabal’s wife, and told her what happened. “I’m worried,” he said. “The way Nabal treated David, I’m sure David will try to get even.”
Abigail set right to work. She collected a lot of food – bread, wine, sheep, roasted grain, raisins and figs. Then she loaded them on donkeys and set off down the road.
Soon she met David and his men. Sure enough, they were red-hot angry and eager to make Nabal pay for insulting them. Abigail got off her donkey, bowed politely, then asked David to take the gifts of food she had brought. She also begged him to spare her life and the lives of her husband and their servants.
As David listened to this beautiful, wise woman, his anger cooled. “Praise God that you came,” he said. “If you hadn’t, not one male person on your ranch would have been spared. Today you kept me from doing a bad thing.”
PRAYER: Dear God, please give us the wisdom, humility and courage to be peacemakers. Amen.
MORE: A peace harvest
Choosing to be a peacemaker instead of fighting may feel like a sissy way to respond to threats and insults. But God calls making peace between enemies a wise thing to do. James 3:17,18 talks about peacemakers.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
According to this verse, what does a peacemaker need to be like? You may want to memorize this verse to help you remember how to be a wise peacemaker.