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David, Nabal and Abigail

Abigail intervenes to prevent a fight.
Contributed by Jack Foster
After the prophet Samuel died, David and his men went to live in the desert of Paran. – Slide 1
Nearby lived a rich man man called Nabal who was known to be a proud and selfish. He was married to a beautiful woman called Abigail. Nabal owned large herds and flocks and David and his men protected Nabal’s shepherds. No harm was done to any of his animals and none were taken for food. – Slide 2
When it came to sheep shearing season David sent messengers to Nabal. They gave him a greeting of peace and asked him for supplies of water, bread and meat. – Slide 3
Nabal angrily refused. ‘Who is David?’ he exclaimed. ‘Why should I give him the bread and meat I have prepared for my workers?’ – Slide 4
The messengers reported back to David who was very upset at Nabal’s attitude. He ordered 400 of his men to get their swords and go with him to teach Nabal a lesson. ‘I have protected this man and all he has while I have been in the desert and he gives me nothing in return,’ David angrily complained. ‘ Nothing he owned has gone missing. He has paid me bad for good.’ – Slide 5
A young man rushed to warn Nabal’s wife Abigail of the danger she was in. ‘David’s men were very good to us and protected us as we looked after the sheep. But Nabal has refused to show any kindness in return and now David and his mighty men are on their way.’<br/> Without telling her husband, Abigail quickly packed 200 loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready to eat, five baskets of dry grain, 100 vines of dried grapes and 200 loaves of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. She also got on a donkey and set out to find David. – Slide 6
When Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and bowed in front of him.  ‘Let the sin be on me alone, my lord. I beg you, do not hold a grudge against Nabal. His name means ‘foolish’ and he is. Please accept this gift and forgive my sin and the sin of my family. The Lord God will keep His promises and make you King of Israel. He will protect you from anyone who tries to do you harm. – Slide 7
David replied, ‘Thanks be to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me.  I am grateful for your wisdom. You have prevented me from being guilty of shedding blood by killing Nabal and his men or hurting you.’ <br/> David took her gift saying, ‘Go home in peace. I have listened to you and have done what you asked.’ – Slide 8
When Abigail returned home she found her husband was having a large feast and was drunk. <br/>So, she waited until the next morning when Nabal was sober before telling him what she had done. – Slide 9
On hearing this news Nabal suffered a heart attack and died ten days later. <br/>When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, ‘Thanks be to the Lord, who has punished Nabal for putting me to shame. He has kept me from sin and has turned the sin of Nabal upon himself.’ – Slide 10
But who would look after Abigail now? David sent messengers to Abigail. ‘David has sent us to you,’ they explained, ‘to ask you to be his wife.’  <br/> Abigail bowed to the ground and washed the messengers’ feet before rushing to get ready to see David. – Slide 11
She rode on a donkey and followed the men to David’s hideout. Abigail married David who looked after her from that time on. – Slide 12
Slide 13