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#1 partner - Where is that wife of mine, Abigail?

'Where is that wife of mine, Abigail?"
said he.

His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail.
Abigail was an intelligent and beautiful woman.
Nabal was surly and mean in his dealings. (1 Samuel 25:3)
He treated people with contempt. (See: 1 Samuel 25:39)
No one could talk to him. (1 Samuel 25:17)

He was very wealthy i.e. rich.
When strangers came, he reasoned:

"Why should I take my bread and water, and ...give it to men coming from who knows where?"
1 Samuel 25:11
Et moi, je devrais prendre de mon pain, de mon eau...et les donner à des gens dont je ne sais même pas d'où ils viennent! French
Mein Brot und mein Trinkwasser...sind nicht für jeden Landstreicher der daherkommt. German
Devo prendere il pane, l'acqua...e darli a gente che non so da dove venga? - Italian
¿Voy a tomar acaso mi pan, mi vino...y se las voy a dar a unos hombres que no sé de dónde son? Spanish
He did not know where they came from...but, he was told what kind of people they were--kind.
"These men were very good to us."
"They did not mistreat us."
"Nothing was missing." 2 Samuel 11:15
Veramente questi uomini sono stati molto buoni con noi;
Non ci hanno molestati.
Non ci è venuto a mancare niente. - Italian
Ces gens ont été très bons pour nous;
Ils ne nous ont fait aucun outrage.
Rien ne nous a été enlevé. - French

Die Männer sind sehr gut zu uns gewesen.
Wir sind nicht belästigt worden.
Wir haben nicht das Geringste vermißt. - German
Aquellos hombres han sido muy buenos con nosotros.
Nunca nos trataron mal.
Ni nos faltó nada. - Spanish
Nabal was so rude and confrontational, hurling insults at them, that the leader, David, wanted to fight. He was getting ready to do so with his men.
But David did not do anything quickly. That was wise, as everyone that is angry needs a cooling off time.

Abigail did not tell her husband Nabal that she was going out to meet David and his men. 1 Samuel 25:19;20

Nabal was not really concerned about his wife. He was looked after--Abigail prepared enough food and had clothes ready. She made preparations with her maids, and he did not become aware of this fact.

Abigail was doing "damage control" or "salvage work". In so doing, she was also indirectly preparing for the future.

When she met the leader, she was straightforward with David.
She told him Nabal's true nature and about possible problems. 'He's wicked. ...His name is Fool...Nabal is like an enemy...just like the worst enemy you could have.'
And Abigail asked: "Grant me a request." The request was not to treat innocent people the same as Nabal surely deserved. She requested even that Nabal should be spared.

Next it was David's turn to be straightforward. He praised her peacemaking abilities. (She would have had to have good peacemaking skills with Nabal, for sure!)
And he told her that her actions prevented a bad skirmish.
Abigail gave David and his men the gifts she brought. In this way, she saved many people in her house from revenge.

She was sent home with blessings.
"Go home in peace."
"I have granted your request."
1 Samuel 25: 35

At home there was trouble.
'Where is that wife of mine, Abigail?'
'WHERE IS THAT WIFE OF MINE, ABIGAIL?' shouted Nabal all over the house.
'She had better watch out! Going out and not telling me! I'll teach her!' He ranted and raved.
Then he decided:
'Who needs her ANYWAY?'
'I'm GLAD she has finally run away."
'I have to celebrate this freedom."
'I'll have a Party.'
'A party fit for a king.'
'Wine flowing.'
'Lots of people. Lots of food. Banquet food.'

Surely we must wonder who would come to Nabal's banquet on short notice.
-People who wanted alcohol badly, but couldn't afford it any other way?
-Masters of slaves, slave overseers, slave catchers and slave sellers who also said like Nabal, "Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days!"
1 Sam 25: 10
Aujourd'hui il y a bien trop d'esclaves qui s'évades de chez leurs maîtres. French
Davongelaufene Sklaven gibt's heutzutage genug. German
Cada día son más los esclavos que se escapan de la casa de sus amos. Spanish
Wouldn't they have enough slaves yet? Were they never satisfied?
-People who thought they could outwit Nabal and get his riches?
-Duped people who did not recognize trouble in overbearing niceness?
-People who were Nabal's enforcers who 'enjoyed' keeping and making slaves?

Nabal must have just guzzled the alcohol down quickly, just like he must have done whenever things didn't go his way.
"He was in high spirits and VERY DRUNK."
1 Sam 25:36
Er war in Hochstimmung und völlig betrunken. German
(Nabal) il était si joyeux et tellement ivre. French
Se encontraba alegre y completamente ebrio. Spanish
Drunk enough to forget everything and not notice that Abigail had come back.

Abigail was too smart to argue with a very drunk person who was also easily angered.
She safeguarded her household and herself...

Then in the morning, at daybreak, when Nabal was SOBER, she told him all she had done...but in a way that presumed that Nabal would certainly have wanted to show he was a good host in public. That was her way.
She told him in a kind of round about way.
She told him she went to see the leader, David.
She had not seen David's messengers.
(She did not tell him that she talked about not agreeing with Nabal's treatment of guests.)
She mentioned that she gave food to the strangers. She didn't mention that she gave David and his men not only plain food, but exquisite food.
Abigail had listened carefully! Nabal had questioned giving "his" bread...well SHE had also made bread that he didn't know about! He must have meant that he couldn't give any extra bread, as the shearers had eaten it all. So she would give "her" extra bread.
Nabal had questioned giving water...well, any good host wouldn't just give water...no, only the best wine. So she took some wine...Nabal's wine.
Nabal had questioned giving meat...well, she was not giving meat, but live sheep and the foods he had not mentioned...foods such as grain, raisin cakes and fig cakes.
She had an answer to all of Nabal's questions...answers so he would look good!

BUT Nabal was not 'fooled'; his thoughts were revengeful.
'She's outwitted me.'
'How can I make her pay for humilitating me?'
His heart began to race with the anger.
He clutched his heart but it was like a stone...cold.
Sounds like heart attack symptoms and spiritual problems.

"About 10 days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died."
1 Samuel 25:38

David was kept from doing wrong by the Lord.

Abigail did not mourn her contemptible husband for even one moment of time.
She went on with her life.
She preferred being second wife to being first wife with abuse!
Did she take her share of her husband's estate? NO. Did she stay. No. The estate was large but she had what she needed with David. Why would she have taken more than she needed.
Anyway she departed QUICKLY to start a new life! Happy to be away from things that brought bad memories.

Where was that missing wife of Nabal's, who was also known as Abigail of Carmel?

She was doing what needed doing! Making the neighbourhood safer! Praying!
She was not shedding tears anymore and she was not afraid.

Why did Abigail get married to Nabal in the first place?
Didn't she know his nature?
Nabal must have been supremely intelligent to fool "outwitting" Abigail.
Indeed, why do people today end up in abusive situations, where they are not allowed to be out-of-sight 'missing' for even a little time?

Lord Jesus, you were subjected to abuse, beatings and more by the guards and to verbal abuse by the crowds even at the cross.
Help those like Abigail to show their talents, so that more people can be helped.
Thank you for sending encouragers to abused people.
Warn Abigails so they can avoid Nabals in the first place.
Thank you for intelligent, useful repartee with Nabals.
Thank you for peacemakers.
Deliver us from Nabals and their banquet friends.
Thank you for looking after every gift.
Thank you that you teach us not to be vengeful, but prayerful.
Thank you for sending Davids.
Amen.