“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t snap back at those who say unkind things about you. Instead, pray for God’s help for them, for we are to be kind to others, and God will bless us for it.”
– 1 Peter 3:9
The way of God isn’t appealing when someone else has wronged us. Our natural urge is to try to get even…we want payback that seems just, it seems fair, but does it solve anything? In the end, aren’t we just acting as the other person is? Today, we are going to look at a story in 1 Samuel 25, to see how Abigail avoided disaster for her household by repaying good for evil, and was blessed.
In our passage, while David was still a fugitive, he sent down ten of his men from the wilderness to a local man who was very wealthy, in trying to obtain provisions and food for themselves during the festive season. The man’s name was Nabal (meaning “fool”), and as the Bible verses reference, he was “stubborn, and ill-mannered.” So even though David attempted to use kindness to appeal to this man, Nabal did nothing but throw insults (evil for good) at David and his men. When the men reported back to David, his response was to tell his men – “get your swords,” even strapping on his own. Luckily, Nabal was married to Abigail, who the Bible says, “Was a very beautiful and intelligent woman.” So when it was reported back to her to what Nabal said to David and his men, she did some fast thinking and faster talking to intervene on what was about to happen.
The Bible says she gathered up provisions and food to take to David and his men, and went out to meet him as he was coming to repay evil for evil. When she saw David, she immediately bowed down before him, and began to treat him as the man she hoped he really was. She then begins to speak to David for his potential and future, telling him that God has something great for him, a “lasting dynasty” and because he fights God’s battles, he is a good man and not a wrongdoer. She continues to tell David that his life is so secure that no one can take it, because God is saving him for something specific. And if that wasn’t enough to convince David, she continues to make a point that “when you become king, do you really want this needless act of bloodshed on your conscience?”
In Old Testament law, David had every right to act in vengeance – “eye for eye,” “tooth for tooth” because he was insulted, but because Abigail saw the bigger picture in repaying good for evil, she convinced David to change his mind, and kept him on a path of a greatness for God’s purpose. In the end, Nabal died and Abigail became David’s wife, and they were blessed!
No story in the Bible is by accident, and even though we don’t know if David and Abigail lived happily ever after, we saw by Abigail’s actions that she had already completed Jesus’ “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:12). Acting like Abigail is our best opportunity to be Christ-like in repaying good for evil when we are wronged or insulted. In the end, this is what Jesus did for us, in showing us grace in doing something we didn’t even deserve. So when you’ve got an opportunity, don’t settle for getting even – even is easy, make it remarkable, just like Abigail!
Confession for today: “Today, Jesus, when I’ve been placed in a position where I feel I’ve been wronged or insulted, help me to be like Abigail. In doing so, I’m going to act Christ-like in showing kindness and speaking blessings, instead of trying to get even over those who choose to act foolishly against me and what I believe. Help me always repay good for evil, because I know I will be blessed!”
Living for Today,