"My master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden. . .of having avenged himself" (1 Samuel 25:31).We don't need to avenge ourselves; God will do it for us. Here we have an instance of a wise and holy lady who knew how to gently warn a great man that he would be ill-advised to retaliate in kind. Here Abigail exhibits foresight so that David may be spared the painful memories that hindsight would bring to a man of his moral sensitivity.There are times in all our lives when a prevailing grace becomes a preventing grace; when a friend will remind us that it isn't our nature to say or do what, in a momentary indignation, we would so like to say or do. The wisdom is in recognizing what our friend has done for us. David did; he realized what this perceptive wife of Nabal did for him and he exclaimed, "Praise be to the Lord, the God is Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment. . ." (v.32,33).Abigail tenderly cut to the quick of the problem while David was impressionable. Had David committed the sin of getting even, he no doubt would have been pardoned, for ". . .her husband. . .was surly and mean in his dealings" (v.3). Abigail stated, "He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him" (v.17b). But the question arises: which is better, a pardoned or a prevented sin? In David's case of prevented sin, a family was spared, as well as David's conscience and future reputation.The consequences for others and ourselves is immeasurable and incomprehensible. The only law we can rely on are God's laws when dealing with our feelings about what has happened to us: "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Matthew 5:9) and "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).
_________________Patricia Erwin Nordman