Not my most well written piece of work but here it is!
*~From the house of God’s grace~*
Whispers slithered through the group as the ten young men David appointed to send a message discussed how Nabal would respond. I kept quiet, holding my thoughts to myself. David was a great leader and all who were lost, distressed, in debt or discontented came to him. But ever since King Saul began chasing David to kill him, we’ve been running, which was how we ended up here.
Nabal’s shepherds had camped near us, in the wilderness of Carmel and David had given instructions not to take advantage of them, though we could easily overpower them and use the sheep as meat. We didn’t lay a hand on them. In fact, I think our presence protected them from people who would take advantage of them. After all, David had a reputation for being a skilled warrior. Shearing time was here and Nabal was holding a feast and since we were living on scraps in the wilderness, it was only sensible we asked permission to have a little of the feast Nabal prepared after the benefit we brought to his shepherds.
Rumour had it he was as much a fool as his name suggested he was. Well, he’d really be a fool to deny David his very reasonable request. David was a mighty warrior, chosen by the Almighty God and Nabal would not stand a chance against him. We were, after all, six hundred strong and each trained for battle.
Nabal’s mansion came into view and we asked to speak with him. The arrogant man didn’t want to see us so we passed our message to the servant.
“Greetings to Nabal from David the son of Jesse. Our captain says: ‘Shalom! Peace be to you, your house and all you have,’ ” I began, repeating what David instructed me to. “ ‘Word has reached me that it is shearing time. We were near your shepherds but we did not take anything that did not belong to us and neither did we hurt anything that belongs to you. If you do not believe my words, ask your shepherds and they will testify to the truth. Let us find favour in your eyes for we have come on the day of your feast. Please spare us, your servants, and David your son, some food.”
The servant nodded and scurried away.
“Do you think he’ll agree?” one of the men asked me quietly as we waited for our message to be passed to Nabal.
“He’d be a fool, like his name means, to deny our captain,” I replied. “He has no reason to say no. We’ve not done any harm to his shepherds. If anything, we’ve helped them. Our captain is a man of integrity and he understands the life of a shepherd. He was one before, remember?”
The young man nodded grimly but before we could continue the conversation, Nabal’s servant came back.
“My master says, ‘I do not know this David son of Jesse. There are many servants who run away from their master nowadays. Why should I take all the food that belongs to me and my men and give them to people I do not know?” the servant said.
I was speechless. This Nabal lived true to his name and was indeed a fool. Whispers broke through the nine others with me, discussing amongst themselves how David would respond. I had an idea but did not say anything and neither should they. It was up to our captain how he wanted to deal with the fool.
“Come, let’s go!” I called out to them.
Needless to say, David was not happy when I passed Nabal’s message to him. He called all six hundred of us together. “Everyone, take up your sword. I want four hundred men to come with me and two hundred to stay behind and guard the camp,” he instructed. “Nabal will learn what a foolish decision he has made.”
I nodded at David’s words and prepared my sword before falling in line with the four hundred men following David. This would be an easy victory. We marched steadily and came to a ravine. I was up near the front and could hear David speaking as if to himself.
“What a waste! Guarding everything that man had, making sure nothing of his was injured or stolen and now he insults me. May God do His worst to me if Nabal and every mongrel dog in his misbegotten brood are not dead by morning!”
Those were harsh words coming from our captain and I knew he meant every single one of them. Indeed, I shared his sentiments. Many nights which could have been spent sleeping or making weapons had been wasted guarding Nabal’s shepherds. All our work, self-control and vigilance had been for nothing.
Suddenly, David halted. I raised my gaze and in the distance, coming down the other side of the ravine was a group of donkeys and men. Immediately, I drew my sword as did the other men around me, waiting for David’s command to enter into battle. It was a small group that was approaching us and would be easily defeated. David however, held his hand up in a command to restrain us and in a few moments, I saw why. There was a woman. A very beautiful woman.
The moment she saw us, she dismounted and dropped to her knees, bowing until her head reached the ground. I was surprised beyond measure but kept a steady grip on my sword. It was one lesson I’d learnt, to never let my guard down. But she started speaking.
“Blame me, my master! Let me take all the blame! Please, listen to what I have to say,” she cried out. “Don’t hold a grudge against what Nabal said and did, brute that he is! Foolishness pours out from every pore in his body.”
By this time, she’d grabbed the attention of every man. I’d inferred that she was Nabal’s wife. How such a beautiful and intelligent woman ended up with an animal like him was beyond comprehension.
“I wasn’t around when my master sent his young men to Nabal. But now, my master, God has kept you from taking revenge. May all my master’s enemies end up like Nabal! Please, take the gifts that your servant girl has brought to my master and give them to your young men,” she continued. “And please, if I may say that God is working in my master molding you into a mighty ruler for my master fight’s God’s battles. God is protecting the life my master has honoured Him with and all your enemies will be thrown far away from you, like a stone is thrown from a sling.”
I raised my eyebrows. The battle between David and Goliath was very well known but this woman was smart to bring it up and remind David of it. She had wits and intelligence to match her beauty. A very impressive thing, indeed. But she wasn’t done talking.
“And when God has fulfilled his good plans He has promised my master, you will not have the guilt of taking revenge weighing you down. Please, remember me then when God has worked thing out for good for my master,” she said.
There was a pause before David responded in a loud voice. “Blessed be the God of Israel for sending you to intercept me and blessed are you from keeping me from murder and taking matters into my own hands. If you had not come, Nabal and everything that belongs to him would be dead by morning. Go back to your home in peace knowing that I will do what you have asked me to.”
A wave of David’s hand commanded us to sheath our swords and he accepted the food Abigail brought. We returned to our camp and ten days later, received word that Nabal had a heart attack and died. Of course, David married Abigail and we celebrated but the one thing I remembered the most and the one thing that stayed with me from the experience was this: God fight’s our battles for us.