Spring was Avigayil’s favorite season. The mild temperatures, ripening grain waving under a blue sky, her difficult husband away - shearing his sheep in Carmel – it all made her a happy woman. She hummed a merry tune and gave her spindle a twist. The woolen thread, created by the falling and twisting movement of the spindle, she wound around the stick.
Her storeroom still had plenty of grain and dried fruit, even with the upcoming harvest. There was enough to sustain her large household for a long time. Despite the fact her husband treated everyone with contempt, the LORD had been good to them.
One of the servants came running, interrupting her reverie.
“What’s the matter Shimon? Why are you not with the shearers?”
“Mistress, David sent messengers to give our master his greetings, but he insulted them and sent them away empty handed.” Bent over, Shimon coughed, taking in big gulps of air. “Those men protected us, and should have received their due. You MUST do something, mistress,” he wheezed. “Disaster is hanging over this household! I’m sorry to say, but your husband is such a wicked man! No one can talk sense into him.”
“I know!” Avigayil said, ran inside the house and began shouting orders to the servants.
“You girls! Bake 200 loaves of bread! Quickly!”
“So many?” One of them protested.
“Get the other girls to help you. And roast five seahs of grain as well.”
Avigayil ran to the storage. “Shimon! Take these two wineskins outside and get the donkeys ready.”
When she told a servant to kill and dress five sheep, the man frowned. “We celebrate here as well?”
“Do as I say! Five sheep! NOW!”
Back into the storeroom Avigayil collected 100 pressed raisin cakes and 200 pressed fig cakes and put them in coarse woven sacks that were loaded on the assembled donkeys.
Baking the bread seemed to takes ages, and Avigayil became tenser with each passing moment.
Finally, they were ready to go.
“Shimon, you lead this caravan. Go on ahead, I’ll follow.”
As they set out, Avigayil warned those staying behind not to send word to her husband.
While traversing the narrow mountain paths, Avigayil rehearsed what she would say to David.
“As God’s anointed,” she whispered, “Your future mission is to care for God’s people.” He would agree with her. “Don’t try to revenge yourself, or work your own deliverance!”
But what if the future king refused to listen to her?
He MUST listen! Shedding innocent blood would start a blood-feud. David would need the support of the Judah-clans if he were to become king.
When she reached the Wadi, she saw David and his men descending towards her. Heart hammering in her chest, Avigayil slid from her donkey and bowed with her face to the ground.
“My lord! It’s entirely my fault! Please, let me explain!”
David raised an eyebrow. He noticed his men didn’t like to be stopped in their revenge tracks. Not even by a beautiful woman.
“Stand up, woman, and speak!”
Keeping her eyes averted, Avigayil told him about her obstinate, arrogant, stingy and disrespectful husband, Naval, who lived up to his name – fool.
In order for them to see her appeasement gift, Avigayil motioned the servants to move towards the waiting men, and said,
“Please, my lord, don’t avenge yourself! Like a protected, precious jewel, your life will be bound up securely in the bundle of the living by the LORD your God. My lord, don’t let innocent bloodshed burden your conscious,” Avigayil pleaded. “I know you will be king. Please, remember your servant when the LORD has brought you success.”
Suddenly faint, she fell to her knees, and bowed low.
David and his men looked in amazement at this courageous woman, whose name they were told, was Avigayil.
He helped her stand up.
“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel!” he exclaimed. “You live up to your name – you’ve given us joy today, for you’ve prevented me to avenge myself.”
David looked at the loaded donkeys. “I accept your gifts. Go home in peace.”
On her way home, the true impact of what could have happened sank in. If she had waited, disaster surely would have fallen upon them. Being Naval’s wife, she would also have been killed.
Humming a merry tune, Avigayil raised her eyes heavenward and whispered,
“Thank you, my LORD and God!”
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