Monday, June 27, 2016

Mindful Monday- Abigail In The Old Testament

     This month I have focused my mindfulness on my relationship to God. Meditative prayer has been my vehicle. I study a passage of scripture and then meditate for a time, not necessarily to review what I have read what to let what I learn from the spirit rise to my consciousness. Here is what 1 Samuel 25 teaches me.

                                   The Abigail story

Nabal- rich with possessions, important in the eyes of man, churlish-rude and rough (He railed, swooped down like a bird and attacked)

David- Someday to become a king. He is confident in the Lord and in the reputation of his men. In the previous chapter he spared King Saul's life even though the King Saul wanted him dead, He is quick and determined to defend against the offense given his men

Abigail- she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: (What kind of understanding? Her own, acquired from going through a tough life with her husband or higher understanding, acquired through the spirit of God? )

   David is in the wilderness and he and his large band of men need provisions. He sends ten of his men to ask for assistance from Nabal, thinking that they worked beside Nabal's men in good faith before, so he should want to assist him. They are rebuffed and swooped upon with force, 

1Samuel  25:10 ¶And Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master."

    When reporting this rebuff to David he is deeply offended at this reaction. He tells four hundred men to saddle their horses and ride to Carmel to confront Nabal and his household. Meanwhile, Nabal's servants overhear his response to David's men and they come to Abigail and tell her of their fears.

Free to Choose
 "As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation." Elder Bednar 2006

We can choose to act with the Natural Mind or with our Spiritual Mind.

Characteristics of our Natural Mind
    1- protects
    2- desires the good opinion of others
    3- it has many fears
    4- it harbors untruths
     5- it relies on its own strength 

Characteristics of the Spiritual Mind

  1- responds the power of the spirit
  2-it is awake to realities known only through the spirit
  3- it seeks the character of Jesus Christ

The Natural mind is strong and access to the Spiritual Mind comes through practice and humility.

How do we engage our SPIRITUAL MIND?

Here is what I learned from the Abigail story-

-Know (become aware)
-and consider what to do (pray and counsel with the Lord)
-make haste
-prepare to serve beyond what is expected
-don't talk with those who might feed your offense

  The servant speaking to Abigail is explaining what he thinks will happen.

1Samuel 25:16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.

18 ¶Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.

Abigail rides the road to Carmel to intercept David. If we see her through the Natural Mind we might assume she is going to go throw herself on the mercy of David and ask him to stop his revenge.

But Abigail comes with a Spiritual Mind. She is coming in humility and love but, is she coming to save her husband or is she coming for even a greater good?

1 Samuel 25:24 And (she) fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.

25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

Abigail sees her actions as an attempt to prevent revenge on her household but more importantly to stop David from shedding blood. With King Saul, David acted with a Spiritual Mind and refused to kill him. Now, he seems to be letting his emotions overcome his Spiritual Mind

1 Samuel 25:27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.

28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.

Abigail is acting in similitude of the savior, Jesus. She will take upon herself her Husband's trespass to prevent David from committing sin. She is providing power to David. The power to act with his Spiritual Mind comes from her invitation. He receives this power as he realizes that she is innocent and he cannot let her take this sin. If he let her take this sin he would have to kill her which is unthinkable. His Spiritual Mind floods him with compassion and grace.

  "Through the strengthening power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you and I can be blessed to avoid and triumph over offense. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165)."

June is a month to be more mindful of God.
You can read more about my Year of Mindfulness here.


  1. I love your reflections here and the lessons you draw out from this story. Even when we want to be led by the Spirit it is easy for our natural mind to take over at times. I like how you point out that Abigail's example of operating from her spiritual mind influenced David to operate from his spiritual mind too. There is such wisdom when we can allow the Holy Spirit to take the lead.

  2. Thank-you Carly for your thoughtfulness in making wise comments. Many thanks.


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