Open Your Bible
1 Samuel 25:1-44, Proverbs 15:1-4
Scrolling through social media, you’re likely to see posts with comment threads a mile long. If you dare to unfold those threads, they’re often divisive and negative. The distance created by an online world makes it easier for tempers to flare and harsh words to be thrown like daggers. I find myself wanting to retreat from social media for this very reason. When we sense danger, many of us have a tendency either to jump into the fight or to take flight. But the story of Abigail offers us a third and better way to respond.
It couldn’t have been easy for the “intelligent and beautiful” Abigail to be married to Nabal (1 Samuel 25:3). He was a foolish and harsh man, and when David sent his young men to him for provisions, Nabal almost incited a war. Nabal’s lack of generosity sparked David’s temper, and David began planning his retaliation.
Once Abigail heard what was going on, she took action—but not to join in the fight or to run for cover. While her husband had been unnecessarily loud and offensive and David was quick to seek revenge, Abigail was a swift peacemaker. With David organizing his army and calling for blood, others may have assumed a battle was inevitable. But Abigail still had hope that things could be resolved peacefully. With wisdom, she discerned how to repair an extremely heated situation. Abigail approached David with humility and generosity, and was able to bring healing to a gaping wound caused by her husband’s foolishness.
Abigail helped bring peace to two men, thus saving many lives from death and destruction. Jesus praised peacemaking saying, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9, NIV). Not only did Jesus value the virtue of peacemaking, but He embodied it. He chose to lay down His life in order to offer true and everlasting peace to all people through His death and resurrection.
The way Abigail responded is beautiful because it mirrors the heart of God. Scripture tells us that the new heavens and new earth will be a place with no need for weapons or war (Isaiah 2:4). In a divided and conflicted world, we are called to be agents of peace. Just as Abigail could have easily given up hope, it can be tempting for us to think the problems in our society are unsolvable. But Christ has can bring peace to the darkest situations. Our God can breathe life into the driest of bones. Instead of fighting or retreating, let’s respond to conflict around us with discernment and generosity in the power of the Holy Spirit. Then our actions of peace will be a witness to the heart of our loving Creator.