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an intelligent and beautiful woman

...there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; ... the name of .... his wife was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman ... but her husband was ... harsh and badly behaved.     1 Samuel 25: 2-3


Jersey men are no different from men elsewhere – they all are attracted by an intelligent and beautiful woman. (Me too.)


And there are a good number of these women in Jersey...... Many more than is admitted by Jersey men folk.


But Abigail was special (see above) in part because she was no doubt viewed against the backdrop of her husband. Yes, contrasts do enhance beauty.


The year is around 1010 BC; the place is Carmel in Israel. The record is in the archives of Israel – just as Jersey’s archives contain important records of individuals and their character.


In that place, at that time, a young man is an asylum seeker – escaping from the persecution (through jealousy) of the then King of Israel, Saul. The young man is David and he is shortly to become King of Israel. But he is much, much more illustrious than that might imply to Jersey folk in AD 2009. Because King David family tree will give rise to a man vastly better known than David: Jesus Christ of Nazareth (AD 0 – 30).


So, after David’s name think “Jesus” (J). And after her husband think “me” (m). And after Abigail, ladies, think “you” (y).


David(J) in seeking asylum has sought to ensure that he did no harm, but rather good, to everyone in every place that allowed him shelter. David(J) had about 600 followers at that time and, hungry as they were, David(J) sought that they also did good at all times.


In following this policy, David(J) guarded and assisted Abigail’s “harsh and badly behaved” husband(m). Because of that her husband could get on with his business affairs without any “defence budget”. After a while David(J) sent ten young followers requesting some food from this “very rich” man. He refused with mocking, surly words.


When the ten returned to David(J) bearing this rejection, David(J) instructed all his men to strap on their swords and follow him... Justice was about to be done to Abigail’s husband(m).


But one of the ten young men went to Abigail(y)...and, hearing the problem, she took swift action in preparing an M&S style “dine-in” for 600 men, delivering it personally to David(J) (with her servants).


“When Abigail(y) saw David(J), she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David(J) on her face and bowed to the ground. She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. ... For Almighty God the Lord will certainly make my lord, you David(J), a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of Almighty God the Lord...””


David(J) then turned away from immediate justice upon Abigail’s husband(m). David(J) and his followers were duly fed and watered..


What happened to the husband(m) - Nabal? He feasted that night. He became drunk. Abigail(y) said nothing but told him of his escape in the morning.     “And his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later Almighty God the Lord struck Nabal(m) and he died.”


So.... David(Jesus) postponed justice for the husband(me) for a while – the husband(me) that would not allow himself to be thankful. Almighty God rightly remained in command of death and life. In the middle of it all Abigail(you) sought and obtained forgiveness from David(Jesus).


Yes, forgiveness and reconciliation - for those who are concerned to obtain it.
The epilogue? David married Abigail. In BC 1010. That very year.
‘Man’s impotency lies in his obstinacy.’(Thomas Brooks, Preacher and Author, 1606-1680)
‘The Bible insists that God is entirely just, and that therefore ultimately justice will be done, and will be seen to be done.’ (D A Carson, Research Professor, Illinois)
Richard Syvret

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