david had been insulted.
for a long while, david had spent his time in the wilderness as he ran from saul. he had waited for God to move and had attempted to present a Godly life. while in the wilderness, he protected local farmers and herdsmen from robbers. they even referred to david and his men as a “stone wall.” (1 sam. 25:16)
but when david asked the herdsman, nabal, for provisions to help feed his men – a sort of thank you for protecting him – nabal acted as if he had never even heard of david and went as far as comparing him to the very criminals david had been protecting nabal from.
david was outraged, and rightly so, but he lost all concern for honoring God and vowed to stop at nothing until nabal was dead. it was then that nabal’s wife, abigail, a woman of great wisdom and beauty, stepped in.
she boldly and humbly knelt before God’s true anointed king. she reminded david of when he killed goliath – that it was not his strength that defeated the giant, but rather God’s.
abigail essentially says, “your task, david, is not to exact vengeance; vengeance is God’s business, and you aren’t God. you’re out here in the wilderness to find out what God is doing and who you are before God. the wilderness isn’t an experiment station in which you test yourself and find out how strong and resilient you are. it’s where you discover the strength of God and God’s faithful ways of working in and through your life. nabal is a fool, but don’t you also become a fool. one fool is enough in this story.”
it was abigail’s beauty, her “discretion,” that pulls david out of his rage. It was her “double-edged beauty of character and countenance that recovered the beauty of the Lord for [david]. abigail on her knees put David on his knees.” (eugene peterson, “leap over a wall”)
i will end with a quote from eugene peterson:
there is nothing more common in the spiritual life than starting out right and then going wrong. we start out with enthusiasm and promise, surging with energy and purity of heart. and then somewhere along the line, we’re corrupted and spoiled. st. paul coined the term shipwrecks to describe these episodes. the remains of these shipwrecks are everywhere, to be seen in legislatures and courtrooms, athletic stadiums and concert halls, kitchens and bedrooms.
and most tragically, among Christians. not one of us is exempt. someone offends us, crosses us, doesn’t give us what we want. our self-importance flares up and we’re off to do something about it – usually off to do something about it armed with righteous indignation. wrapped up in ourselves, we’re angry because our self-defined identity is violated. we’re off to avenge hurt feelings, a bruised self-image. we’ll get even, get back at them, show them a thing or two.
and then we’re stopped by something beautiful – child, friend, stranger; cloud, song, fragrance: abigail. we find ourselves presented with something quite other than what we’re feeling and doing. and we suddenly realize that we are quite other than what we’re feeling and doing. wrapped up in ourselves, we had forgotten entirely about God; we now see ourselves as wrapped up in the bundle of God, with nabal reduced to nothing more than a footnote to the text of our life.
The David Project: Creating the First YouTube Album
My newest project, Kings, is an indie folk rock album that is telling the story of David through the combination of both music and video.