When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. I Samuel 25:23-29
This is when Abigail runs to David with a peace offering to save her house after the behavior of her foolish husband, Nabal. What Abigail does here is nothing short of amazing. Looking at verses 18-29 in this chapter we see exactly how Abigail responds to her crisis.
1) Abigail prepares a peace offering – according to verse 18 she is literally running to meet David.
2) She fell down before David (vs. 23-24). This shows reverence and humility. There are three actions she took in doing this:
- She fell down on her face
- Bowed herself to the ground
- She fell at his feet
3) On me alone be the guilt (vs. 24). Abigail tells David she is at fault. She is taking full responsibility and humbly asking David to hold her alone as guilty.
4) Forgive the trespass of your servant (vs. 28). Abigail asks for forgiveness even though she is not at fault.
As we consider this great response from Abigail, I think it is imperative we see the thread that runs through it. It is a thread of humility. If we learn nothing else, let us learn the humility of Abigail. This humble intercession saves Abigail’s house. And before looking to the application of this story, what is David’s response?
And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.” I Samuel 25:32-35
Abigail’s quick action and wise words prevented David from destroying Nabal’s house. Abigail literally saved her house. David listened to her words and granted her petition. And David saw that God restrained him by her coming to meet him. We can pull so many principles from this story, but I really want to focus on Abigail’s response and how this can be our response today. Take a look around, we are plagued with leaders who are very foolish, even if this is not apparent on this outside due to their political polish, it is certainly true of their internal nature. A leader’s foolish attitude toward God will invoke judgment. But take heart, there is more to God than that! He invites us to take on a different strategy. Maybe we aren’t the leaders, but that does not mean we do nothing. Did Abigail sit idly by while her house was destroyed? No! She was moved to action. This is our plight today, and instead of feeling like there is nothing we can do, we also should be moved to action. So what shall we do? We follow the example of Abigail. We intercede for our nation. Let’s follow the steps of Abigail.
1) We prepare a peace offering – an offering to our Lord Jesus. We run to him and bring an offering of peace, knowing the foolish behavior of our leaders. While this can be an offering of “things” in our local church, it most definitely needs to be an offering of prayer.
2) We need to fall down before God in humility. That’s right, we need to fall down on our face before God, bowed to the ground, and yes, falling at the feet of Jesus – in utmost humility and reverence.
3) On me alone is the guilt. It is high time that we as Christians take responsibility for our nation’s ills. We must take on the guilt. Only when we own that guilt will God listen to our cry for help. Maybe everything isn’t our fault, but that is hardly the point. We must own our sin as a nation before God.
4) Forgive the trespass of your servant. We must beg for forgiveness from God for the lack of respect and reverence by our leaders. We must ask for his forgiveness. If we do not, who will? It is up to us to intercede, we must plead with God.
Our nation will likely not be saved by selfish governmental leaders. It is God’s design that his people rise up, rise up in prayer. God is not waiting on the superficial, the wealthy, the influential; he is waiting on the pure-hearted Christian – for you to humbly intercede for our nation. Our nation will not be saved by rich Nabals, but by those who are wise and discerning – those Abigails who are above all humble.
“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14