The young man standing before me was huffing and puffing, his shoulders heaving with every breath.
“Yes, what is it?”
“David,” he said, as he rested the palms of his hands on his legs, above the coordinating knee. Slouching forward he took a big gasp of air.
“David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master Nabal. Evil man that he is, he reviled them.”
“What do you mean he reviled them?”
“The men, they...they were some of those men of David’s that have been good to us.”
“Please calm down and be precise in telling me what happened.”
“During shearing season they gave us provisions. They protected us acting as a wall to us both during the day and night. We were not hurt, any of us.”
“Please, my lady. I come to you in fear for I cannot speak to my master about this. He is such a scoundrel. This situation is surely to bring trouble against our master Nabal and his entire household. Consider what you will do”.
I nodded slowly, my mind trying to take in what he was telling me, while trying to affirm for him I understood the seriousness of the situation.
With a wave of my hand I dismissed him, turning away.
"I need time to think." Thoughts tumbled through my mind.
I lifted my right hand slowly to my face pushing back hair that was falling over my forehead.
"He’s done it again. My husband. He has acted in his own interest and not for the well being of his household."
"His servant has just told me of the provisions and good care that David and his men gave to him and his men during the season of shearing. Could he not, just this once, do what was right?"
"David has expected a return of that favor of hospitality and protection, and rightly so. Oh, how angry David must be. He has great power and a mighty army. What shall I do? I must act quickly."
I shouted to my handmaiden, “Quick, gather two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hunger cakes of pressed figs. Have them loaded onto donkeys.”
I trembled with the urgency of my request.
Turning to a nearby servant, “Go on ahead; with the items that have been gathered, I’ll follow you.”
"Should I tell Nabal?" My instinct directed my action. "No."
As I mounted my donkey, the reality of the situation hit me with full force.
"If David is not moved by my gift and offer of compensation and kindness, what shall befall my family?"
"Lord, hear my prayer. Give me the words that will soothe David’s desire to avenge this great evil my husband has done. Please Lord, may he accept my gifts with kindness."
With those words calm assurance came over me. I looked straight ahead with confidence and conviction about my impending actions.
As I came over the crest of the hill descending into the mountain ravine I could see David and his men coming towards me.
Without reserve I got off my donkey, bowing before David, my face touching the ground before him.
“My Lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you, hear what your servant has to say.”
Words poured from my mouth. They were un-rehearsed by me. They affirmed the wrong doing of my husband. They spurred David on to not avenge him.
Then he spoke, David.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and avenging myself with my own hands.”
“Go home in peace. I have heard your words and will grant your request.”
Arriving at home, I saw Nabal was very drunk.
"I will wait until morning to share this news with him."
My heart beat rapidly as I approached Nabal.
“A word with you, my Lord?”
“Yesterday, in response to your wrong in not providing for David and his men’s goodwill done to you, I traveled to him taking him gifts.”
His right hand went quickly to the left side of his upper chest. Grabbing at his clothing he made a tight fist. His eyes rolled in his head he staggered and fell.
Ten days later he died.
With God’s providence, I spared a husband and spurred a king.
NIV ( I Samuel 25:24, 32, 35)
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