Many years ago, I had the good pleasure of viewing Michelangelo’s famous “David” sculpture, housed in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence, Italy. This renaissance rendering of David, sparsely clad for his battle with Goliath, is remarkable. His appearance is perfect. There is a “presence” to the sculpture – look into the eyes of David and find strength, God-given confidence and determination, and perhaps even humility. A true masterpiece!
Michelangelo carefully chiseled the honoring aspects of David, omitting any hint of the less flattering character flaws, such as David’s impulsiveness.
In this week’s reading, we find a jealous and prideful Saul, hunting down David like some sort of felonious fugitive. Rather than fearing Saul, David is a man fearing only God.
Even in the face of consistently caustic counsel from his cronies – “Here’s your chance, kill Saul!” – David deferred to God’s plan and timing. The result? The full and final fall of Saul, and the righteous rise of David!
Although it’s easy to skip to the end – “Long live King David!” – another person in this story deserves special attention. Her name: Abigail. She was “a sensible and beautiful woman” (1 Samuel 25:3). And she had a crude, mean, selfish fool for a husband named Nabal.
When Nabal hurled insults toward David, how did David respond? Did he seek God’s counsel? Was he waiting on the Lord? No! David impulsively set out to kill Nabal and his household.
I can practically hear David’s men cheering for the coming vengeance, with no pause to perceive God’s perspective. Although David has many brilliantly bright days, this particular one is desperately dim until Abigail approaches. Her plea to David is beautiful. And persuasive. Even endearing! And most certainly effective. The hero of this day is not an avenging David, it is the astute Abigail. And David knows it!
David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. – 1 Samuel 25:32-33
Abigail’s actions and advice altered the course of David’s life, and David rightly recognized God as the ultimate source of this eloquent and enchanting intervention.
Personally, even though I know I need help and sound advice every day ,my impulses too often govern my actions. Pause to seek God’s perspective? That just takes too long! My lack of patience stands in stark contrast with God’s indescribable grace and mercy for me.
As you ponder the story of David and Abigail, personally consider: What if my impulses were fully replaced by a right reaction – an impulse to urgently seek God first?