That Brute, Nabal!

How long were they married for, Nabal and Abigail? How did Abigail develop such grace and wisdom in the household of Nabal? How could such grace dwell with such rudeness? We ask ourselves these questions over and over. When we are confronted by abuse in real life, we can’t understand the how and why? Why would anyone make some other person miserable on a continuous basis and delight in it? What kind of monster finds joy in the unhappiness of another person? More so, someone that you claim to love, vowed to love and to cherish. Without doubt, those vows were mere words. They could have been written in Greek and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

We see them every day, wolves clothed in sheep clothing, smiling, laughing, eating and drinking like regular human beings. They engage in sane conversations, engage in business, buy and sell like lucid people. But in the secret of their homes, they shed the skin of sheep and put on their monster outfits. The fangs come out then and the claws, and the fists and boots. Some have even perfected their art, so that they have graduated from fists and boots to mere words. They use words to demolish the esteem and confidence. They have found a way to use words as weapons of deep destruction, unrelentingly hitting their target until what is left is worse than the aftermath of a bomb strike during World War II. ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’! What a lie that statement is, in the face of constant emotional abuse!

So, Nabal said “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse?” (1Samuel 25:10). He pretended that he didn’t know who David was, like he was dealing with an unknown runaway servant. But he knew who David was. He knew he was the son of Jesse. He knew he was running from his former master, King Saul. He was just being Nabal, as usual; uncaring, harsh, full of himself and thinking everyone had to lick the ground he walked on because he was so rich! He was also a bully who was used to getting his own way, without caring whose ox was gored. He was in the habit of treating his entire workforce and household like that. Also, he was used to getting away with it. Until now.

How many of us know people like that? People like Nabal. Most of the time, we let get them get away with their bad behavior, because we can walk away from them and possibly never have anything to do with them again. But, have we ever thought of the Abigails who are married to Nabals and can’t walk away because their entire lives are wound around him. There is talk of choice, the woman’s choice. But what kind of choice do you have when you have to choose between the Egyptian army advancing towards you and the deep Red Sea waiting to drown you? God made a pathway in the Red Sea for His people, a pathway no one knew was there before (Ps.77:19 NLT). That is my prayer for Abigail today.

In this story, Nabal’s cup of wrongdoing was full, so God took him out of the picture. Abigail’s grace and wisdom made a way for her and she later became David’s wife. It is not always that God intervenes expressly like that. He could also create a pathway for Abigail. A pathway of grace and peace, whereby she learns to accept her circumstances and makes the best of them, while ensuring she is unchanged by Nabal’s harshness and hardheartedness.

However, as is always advised, Abigail must be on the lookout for physical abuse. Physical abuse can sometimes lead to loss of life, which is not a desired outcome.

Are you in an Abigail situation? What are you doing to cope? How are you preserving your character? Are you being influenced negatively or you are maintaining your sweet spirit? Look to God. He can give you wisdom to take the right decisions, if you ask Him. He knows the best way to go, a unique solution for your own circumstance. Ask Him for that hidden pathway. He will reveal it to you.


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