Day 107: Abigail in the Gap (1 Samuel 25-27)

“David Meeting Abigail” by Peter Paul Reubens
32 And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! 34 For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” 1 Samuel 25:32-34

Up to this point in our read through, the only other person the Bible has described as discerning is Joseph (see Genesis 41:33). Tara-Leigh describes both Joseph and Abigail as “entering into chaos and bringing peace.” I love that phrase. Both Joseph and Abigail stood in the breach and brought peace.

Joseph did it twice. First, he provided the way for the sons of Israel to be spared from destruction, so that they didn’t perish in the famine (See Genesis 41-44). Then, he does it again by speaking peace and forgiveness to his brothers. He had every right to get revenge on his brothers for the wrong they had done to Joseph. Instead, he forgave them, and assured them that what they had meant for evil, God meant for good, “to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today (Genesis 50:20).

In a similar way, Abigail also brought about that many people should be kept alive. She turned David from the evil he was planning against the house of Nabal.

What jumped out to me today, though, was David’s praise of Abigail. David blesses her because she kept him from “working salvation with [his] own hand.” With this one phrase, I see where Christ is foreshadowed in this story.

David and Nabal were at enmity. David had treated Nabal’s household with justice and fairness. Under his watch, the shepherds of Nabal were kept safe. All he asked for in return was a little hospitality. Instead, Nabal scorned and despised David. He showed contempt for David, and thus became the object of David’s wrath.

This is where all of us are apart from Christ. We are enemies of God (Romans 5:10) and objects of His wrath (Romans 1:18). And like David, we often try to work salvation with our own hand. But our efforts to be our own agents of salvation always fall short, and they usually make things worse. This would have been the case had David acted out against Nabal.

Instead, Abigail stands in the gap. She bakes the bread and pours out the wine and slaughters the sheep so that David’s wrath will be turned away from Nabal. Thus, not only does she save Nabal, but she also saves David from bringing guilt on himself by attempting to work his own salvation.

And this is Jesus.

19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:19-20)

Abigail brought peace in the midst of chaos, bridging the gap between David and Nabal.

  • Abigail baked the bread for David. Jesus is the bread, broken for us.
  • Abigail poured the wine for David. Jesus’ blood is the wine of the new covenant
  • Abigail slaughters the lambs. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (see John 1:29)
  • Abigail brokered peace between David and foolish Nabal. Jesus, the Son of David, makes peace with God available to sinful man.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility (Ephesians 2:14)

Thank God for Abigail. When David could not accomplish his own salvation, Abigail accomplished it for him.

Just. Like. Jesus.

For an even more in-depth article about Abigail as a type of Christ, check out this article: Twelve Ways Abigail is a Type and Shadow of Christ

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