God's Plan

Abigail- I Samuel 25

Purpose: God made you for a purpose

Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.

Introduction:

          Today we’re learning that God made you for a reason. We’re looking at two people—a beautiful woman named Abigail, and David. You might remember David. He was a shepherd boy who killed the giant Goliath with a stone and a slingshot. He became the king of Israel and wrote the book of Psalms in the Bible. In our story today, he isn’t a shepherd anymore, but he’s not king yet either. He is a warrior and a military leader on the run. A jealous king named Saul has been trying to kill David, so David and his warriors have been hiding out in the wilderness.

          But who is Abigail? Let’s find out.

Story:

          Ah, peace and quiet.

          Abigail didn’t care that a celebration was in the barn and she was missing the fun. Her wealthy husband Nabal owned 3000 sheep and 1000 goats on their ranch near Carmel. The servants had been busy shearing for days, and now was party time with lots of food and drink.

          Abigail didn’t want to be anywhere near them, especially her husband.

          Her dream of a wonderful husband who loved her dearly hadn’t come true. Instead, Nabal thought only of himself. He was crude, clumsy, ill-mannered, and downright mean.

          Abigail much preferred her own company.

          She heard running footsteps outside her home.

          Now what?

          At the door was a panting servant. “Trouble, ma’am,” he said.

          She sighed. What had Nabal done now?

          “David sent ten messengers to Nabal asking for food.”

           David was the handsome warrior who lived with his hundreds of soldiers in the hills surrounding their property. The servants told stories of how David’s men had protected them and their sheep on the hills.

          The servant continued, “David’s men asked that since they had protected us, could they share in our food?”

          It was a reasonable request. Abigail would be happy to reward them for all they had done.

          But she had a feeling Nabal didn’t feel that way. “What did Nabal say?” she asked.

          “He said, ‘Who does this son of Jesse think he is? Should I give my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers to a gang from who knows where? Get out of here!'”

          Abigail felt hot all over. “What did David’s men do?”

          “They went back and reported to David, and now David is on the way with four hundred armed soldiers.”

          Abigail slumped against the wall. Four hundred armed soldiers meant only one thing. David was going to kill them all.

          The servant continued, “David’s men were very good to us in the hills. In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection around us and the sheep, and they never stole anything from us. You’d better think fast because there’s going to be trouble. Nabal is such a worthless fool that no one can talk to him.”

          Her mind spun. Yes, she had to do something to save them. But what?

          She couldn’t go to Nabal and beg him to reconsider. He would be stubborn until the end. No, she would have to do it herself.

          So, she went to the kitchen and ordered her servants to prepare food— lots of it.

          200 loaves of bread

          2 barrels of wine

          5 cooked sheep

          2 bushels of roasted grain

          100 raisin cakes

          200 fig cakes

          The servants helped her load it onto donkeys. “Go ahead,” she told her servants, “and I will follow.”

          She rode her donkey down the trail. She hoped Nabal didn’t see her. He would be angry, and he would only make matters worse.

          God, help me, she prayed. Please don’t let David kill us all.

          She saw dust up ahead. It was David’s army. The men carried swords. They looked fierce.

          Up front was David himself. He wasn’t tall, but he was handsome with reddish-brown hair. His jaw jutted out, his eyes flashed.

          With a pounding heart, Abigail slipped off her donkey and bowed low before him. “My lord, forgive me for being so bold. I accept all the blame. Please listen to me. Nabal is a bad-tempered fool, but don’t pay attention to what he said. Here is a present for you and your men. Please don’t take vengeance into your own hands. When the Lord makes you King of Israel, you won’t want a guilty conscience for having murdered my husband.”

          David’s eyes softened. “Thank God for sending you to stop me and for your good sense. For I swear, had you not come, not one of Nabal’s men would be alive tomorrow morning.”

          She felt weak with relief. It had worked.

          “Thank you for your gifts. They are much appreciated. Now go home. I promise we will not kill your husband.”

          “Thank you.”

          Abigail mounted her donkey and returned home.

          The next morning she told her husband, “Nabal, you need to know that David and four hundred men almost killed you yesterday.”

          He frowned. “What do you mean?”

          “Because you refused to share with them after all they did to protect your flocks, David was very angry. He came to kill you.”

          He sneered. “But he didn’t.”

          “That’s because I gave him food.”

          “You…you… How dare you go behind my back!” Suddenly his face twisted, and he fell down.

          He’d had a stroke. For ten days he lay paralyzed, and then he died. The Lord had killed him.

          When David heard that Nabal was dead, he asked Abigail to become his wife. And she did.

Application:

          God had a reason for making Abigail wise and kind and beautiful. What do you think it was?

                  ( to keep David from murdering all those people)

          God has a reason for making you too. He has a special job for you to do.

Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.

God has your life planned out. He wants to use you just as he used Abigail. God is preparing you. Already He has given you the special talents you will  need to do that job.

          Some of you are:

          creative and like crafts or painting or writing

          can sing well or play a musical instrument

          good at fixing things

          like to cook

          like to be with people

          like to tell stories

          like to take care of babies and little kids

          are good talking with elderly people

          are really smart

          are really kind

          are good at sports

          are hard workers

          are good at telling people about Jesus

          are a good leader

          are a good teacher

          God made you just the way He wanted so that He could use you. All of those things you like to do, God can use someday. But you don’t need to wait until you’re a grown-up. God can use you now.

          Are you willing?

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Beth Livingston

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