Assignment: Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in your heart, bringing about change in your thoughts, attitudes, and actions as a result of spending this past few weeks in 1 Samuel 25.
- Then read 1 Samuel 25:39-45. As you read, watch for words and themes that were repeated earlier in the chapter.
What do we see Abigail still doing? What attitude does she display, even toward David’s servants?
We see messengers come from David again. We see Abigail still humbling herself, still falling with her face to the ground — this time in response to David’s messengers who represent him. She still hurries. She gets on a donkey again and rides toward David again. But she is riding to a new life, married to a fugitive who will someday be king.
The troubling part of this story’s end is that David not only marries Abigail, but he is also married to Ahinoam, and will continue to add to his collection of wives. This was a common cultural practice, but one that was contrary to God’s law, and the inevitable fruit of David’s choice is painfully apparent in his life and the lives of his children.
We’re not going to take time to analyze all the details of these verses, or to try to understand why Abigail accepted David’s proposal of marriage. Instead we’re going to use our last lesson to focus on what we were are going to do with what we have learned. If you want a commentator’s viewpoint, read John Gill’s comments or other commentaries. (The link for Gill starts with verse 39. Click on the links that will lead you to each successive verse.)
Read 1 Samuel 25 again and then prayerfully consider each of the points and questions below. This is when we take what we have learned over the past month and chew on it, asking ourselves what God would have us do with what He has taught us. Don’t rush through this. Take time to really think and pray. Go back and reread relevant verses. Look back over your notes. Write down specific thoughts and goals.
We’ve seen that God is the real Hero of 1 Samuel 25, just as He is the Hero of every story in the Bible. It’s His story, and all of life continues to be His story. He has written us into His great story, and we have our parts to faithfully fulfill. What have we learned about Him in 1 Samuel 25, and how should that change how we think and live in this story of His?
- God graciously intervened and sent Abigail to David, to keep him from acting on his sinful desires. He continues to use people — spouses, friends, pastors, and even our children — to keep us from sin.
Is God calling you to be more thankful for His restraining grace in your life — for the people, circumstances, and words He uses to keep you back from sin?
Is God asking you to grow in your willingness to be used by Him as you speak into others’ lives, humbly and lovingly calling them back from sin and pointing them to God’s promises and purposes for their lives?
Is God calling you to grow in wisdom, humility, prayerfulness, and dependence on Him so that you can speak His words and show His love when calling others back from sin? What will you do to become a wiser instrument in His hands?
- God graciously intervened by sending the young man to inform Abigail of Nabal’s foolish actions. He still uses alert and caring people to make us aware of situations that need our wise response.
Is God calling you to respond more humbly and gratefully to those who seek to help you become aware of problems you may not be able to see — in yourself, in your children, in your plans?
- God is the One who was ultimately responsible for all the blessings Nabal enjoyed. He is also the Giver of all that we have.
Is God calling you to change in your attitude toward His blessings, and your willingness to share those blessings with others? What will you do differently?
- God is the One who brought justice to Nabal. He still makes all things right — in His perfect time.
Is God calling you to be patient and to trust Him to bring justice, rather than seeking to avenge wrongs in your own way in your own time?
- God is the faithful, promise-keeping God to whom Abigail could point as she appealed to David, and He still keeps every one of His promises.
Is God calling you to believe and rest in His promises as you face obstacles and trials?
Is God calling you to focus on Him and His character when you seek to call others back from sin, rather than scolding, shaming, nagging, or belittling them?
Meditate on 1 Samuel 25 over the next few days. God has much to teach us through this story!
Meditate, too, on Proverbs 29:11 and how it relates to the story of David and Abigail, and how it relates to your life. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
Tomorrow I’ll post some ideas for additional study on your own, and Wednesday we’ll post our end-of-study giveaway!
For your children:
- Pretend to be David’s men, and enjoy a meal of Abigail’s food. (Perhaps your girls would enjoy helping you hurry to gather all these goodies for the angry men!)
- Serve bread, lunch meat (in place of sheep meat), juice (in place of wine), popcorn (in place of parched corn), raisins, and Fig Newtons (in place of fig cakes). Be sure to let the children explain why you are serving these foods!
- Listen to an audio version of the chapter once more while you eat (see links re-listed below), or discuss all that you have learned together as you’ve studied 1 Samuel 25.
- Alternatively, if your children really enjoy acting out stories, make a production of dramatizing the entire story of 1 Samuel 25. Gather costumes and props. Rehearse your play and ask some people to be your special audience one evening this week. Serve refreshments — the goodies Abigail took to David’s men as described above.
- It the children are too young to remember all the dialogue parts, consider playing an audio version of the chapter, and let them pantomime the story.