Each time I read the story of Abigail and David, I cannot help but be struck with how this woman is able to save her household despite her husband’s foolishness. Her husband, Nabal, though a wealthy man is worthless and arrogant toward God’s anointed. David had even protected Nabal’s shepherds from harm as they traveled together. Yet, Nabal endangers his household by disrespecting David and refusing to feed the hungry company of men.
Abigail, however, had created a pocket of excellence in the midst of this man’s unrighteousness. She was the one the servants ran to for help; she did not hesitate, but hastened to save her household. She had the experience and skill to feed a company of men, and the ability to quickly prepare enough food to feed a multitude. By sending the food and wine ahead of her, she also demonstrated wisdom and strategic planning on how to approach David and assuage his anger. The most interesting fact is that she delivered herself into David’s hand, standing in the gap for her husband and her household.
David, too, had to create his own company of excellence amidst the unrighteous acts of Saul. Though Saul repeatedly tried to kill David, the king was without honor and wisdom. He knew that David would rule after him, but so did David. Yet David repented of even cutting the edge of Saul’s garment and would not retaliate on Saul’s wicked intent. David held back from harming Saul even though his men said that God had delivered him into David’s hand. David stood in the gap for this king who wanted to hunt him down.
The greatest story of all about deliverance, however, is Christ – innocent, righteous, doing good and teaching truth. He willingly delivered Himself into the hands of his executioners (humbled Himself before the will of His Father, even unto death). Unimaginable, when I try to picture Christ standing before Pilot and Herod with their illusion of power over Him and before the crowd who were uninformed and foolish. Jesus Christ stood in the gap for us.
How is it that I have such a hard time being prepared, remaining faithful, or allowing myself to suffer hurt? It is a struggle even when I do the right thing. Lord, help me to have the brave heart of Abigail, the restraint of David, and the humility of Christ when You call me to stand in the gap for others.