“And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.” (I Samuel 25:32-33)
After killing Goliath, David was a national hero in Israel, but King Saul was insanely jealous of him and wanted to kill him. As a result, David fled. One day he would be Israel’s king; Saul knew that. For the time being, though, he was basically a fugitive with a loyal following.
On one occasion, David’s men protected a group of shepherds who worked for a man named Nabal. He was very rich but was also “…churlish and evil in his doings” (I Samuel 25:3). Nabal was cruel and hard-hearted. David later sent some of his men to tell Nabal how his men had helped protect Nabal’s workers and to ask Nabal for some provisions. Nabal was rude to them and gave them nothing. When David’s men reported back to him about how Nabal had treated them, David was furious. He amassed his men to fight against Nabal.
One of Nabal’s workers told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, what had happened. He verified that David’s men had treated the shepherds well and protected them. He warned her that because of Nabal‘s action against David and his men “evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” (1 Samuel 25:17) A “son of Belial” is a wicked person—that was Nabal.
Abigail quickly took action. She put together a huge peace offering of food and provision for David and his men but didn’t tell Nabal what she was doing. She stopped David and his men as they were en route to attack Nabal’s household. She gave them the gifts and asked David not to attack. She knew that Nabal was wrong for what he did, but she also knew that David would be wrong to shed blood over this offense and that he’d regret his hasty action later. He took Abigail‘s advice, accepted her gift, and didn’t attack. Our opening passage is part of David’s response.
If you do aggressive police work, you’re doing a tough job. You deal with vicious people who don’t care about other people’s lives or yours. They only care about themselves. They’ll prey on innocent people and put you at risk. They also know you’re human and may try to provoke you to do or say something in the heat of emotion that you will later regret.
If you see another officer being provoked into an angry response, just as Nabal provoked David into an angry response, don’t be afraid to step in for the officer’s good. Pull the suspect away if you have to. In a way, you’re doing what Abigail did for David—intervening to protect a good officer from doing something that would mess up his career.
If you haven’t seen in the Bible how to have your sins forgiven and have a home in heaven, please go click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.
Brian Miller 3/10/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822