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Abigail Beauty in the Midst of the Beasts(2)

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Intro:

Abigail: 1 Samuel 25
Wife to Nabal
Sensible
Beautiful
Opposite of her husband
VS 14—the go to person; obviously her sensibility spoke for itself
Quick to ascertain a situation and acted quickly in wisdom
Acted on behalf of her husband in-spite of his
Humble
Understood the imminence of the situation (timing)
Realist VS 25
Loyal/faithful to her husband—she told him what she had done
Had heard about David and his situation with Saul (vs 26)
Believed David would be the leader
Knew her fate with Nabal (vs 31)
Adventurous life with David including being kidnapped
Read Ernest story
Where in your life do you see this “code of the jungle” —the code of selfishness, hatred, and pride—the most? What issue does this cause for a believer in Christ?
Do you think we come by selfishness, hatred, and prize naturally? Why/Why not
Psalm 51:5 NLT
5 For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
According to Scripture, what do you think is the opposite of this “code”
Philippians 2:4 NLT
4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Philippians 2:4 ESV
4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Matthew 20:28 NLT
28 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Lets look at the three personalities

The Brute of Carmel

Nabal—Hebrew meaning is Fool
He was rich, through parties and got drunk
1 Samuel 25:3 NLT
3 This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings.
1 Samuel 25:15–16 NLT
15 These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us. 16 In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep.
David was kind of like the Robin Hood of the wilderness.
Then there is Abigail
1 Samuel 25:3 NLT
3 This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings.

A King on the Run

David is on the run
Recount his story running from Saul
What do you see is David’s attitude toward leadership that was not necessarily looking out for his best interest?
What should our attitude be according to Scripture?
Romans 13:1–2 NLT
1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.
Psalm 105:15 NKJV
15 Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”
The word refuge was a big repeat in his vocabulary. He knew God was his refuge.
Psalm 57:1 NLT
1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.
Psalm 57:1 ESV
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
No wife, no position in the army, not priest, no friend.
Sometimes God removes our crutches to so we rely on Him and take our refuge in Him.
Have you ever felt like David, that you were being attacked unfairly?
How did you react to the situation?
What was the outcome?
Nabal-rejected David
Saul-threatened David
But what had David done? He had trusted God and this is what he got in return?
He had reason to reject God but instead he pressed into God.
The only CONSTANT GOOD in a world that is poisoned by power and pride of men like Saul and Nabal.
David sees that Nabal is having a celebration and asks that he share his bounty with his men.
1 Samuel 25:4–8 NLT
4 When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: 6 “Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! 7 I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. 8 Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.”
What is Nabal’s response?
1 Samuel 25:10–11 NLT
10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?”
Pretends he hasn’t heard of David and lumped him in with runaway slaves.
Didn’t set well with the men.
What is David’s response?
1 Samuel 25:13 NLT
13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment.
*Community*
Important right from the beginning we see in Scripture. With community always comes stress, tensions because sin exists.
We need to pray for our leaders rather than criticize them and their actions.

Peacemaker Appears

Brains and beauty—Abigail puts both to work.
1 Samuel 25:18–19 NLT
18 Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys 19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.
What was Abigail’s immediate response to the servant’s warning?
What does this say about her demeanor?
What decisions do you think would be considered wise?
**She used the “sandwich” approach
Abigail does not defend Nabal and admits he is a scoundrel.
Abigail does not ask for justice—she asks for forgiveness instead—accepting blame even though she had not done anything wrong
What effect does Abigail’s wise words have on David?
1 Samuel 25:34 The Message
34 A close call! As God lives, the God of Israel who kept me from hurting you, if you had not come as quickly as you did, stopping me in my tracks, by morning there would have been nothing left of Nabal but dead meat.”
David receives the words and he receives the gifts.
David returns to camp/Abigail returns to Nabal.
Abigail comes home to Nabal who is in a drunken stupor—she waits until morning to tell Nabal about her conversation with David.
*NOTE* she does not keep this hidden from Nabal
Look what happens after she tells Nabal how close he came to death:
1 Samuel 25:37–38 NLT
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.
1 Samuel 25:37–38 The Message
37 But in the morning, after Nabal had sobered up, she told him the whole story. Right then and there he had a heart attack and fell into a coma. 38 About ten days later God finished him off and he died.
So Nabal is dead
Abigail is available
David thanks God for the first and takes advantage of the second
There is POWER in MEEKNESS
Jesus is role model
Philippians 2:8 NLT
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
He set aside His Kingly “rights and privileges” His focus was on Kingdom life
“We live in a world where we all are little kings of our own kingdoms. We want our way and we want it now. Humility looks like a foreigner in our selfish society.”
Abigail went against the selfishness and hostility that surrounded her.

Grace Changes Lives

Abigail teaches us:
Contagious power of kindness
Strength of a gentle heart
Her grace prefigures the grace Jesus gives us
story of Japanese officer and shovel
What kind of person takes the blame?
Isaiah 53:6 NLT
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
How then should we treat each other?
1 John 4:11 NLT
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
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