One day I read a devotion on self-control, and thought about how much of a blessing and a power that is. The devotion focused on three people—David, Nabal, and Nabal’s wife, Abigail. Their story is found in the Old Testament book of I Samuel 25:1-35—a passage in the Bible which has as much drama and action as any movie.
David and the men with him were on the run from King Saul and his army. At a time when possessing many animals meant wealth, Nabal was a wealthy man, having thousands of sheep and goats. David did the shepherds a favor by protecting them and the animals from thieves. But when David and his men requested food from Nabal, his refusal was full of contempt. Incensed at his reply, David led his men out to kill Nabal and his household.
Hearing of the impending danger, Abigail, rather than wringing her hands and wondering what to do, got busy. She loaded food for David and his men onto donkeys and sent them ahead. Then she rode out to meet David. When Abigail met David, she respected him by getting off her donkey and bowing down before him (which both women and men did in that culture to show respect to someone). She told him she had not known of the conversation between his messengers and Nabal. She reminded him that her husband was known throughout the countryside for being unreasonable and surly. Abigail honored David by telling him she knew he would be king of Israel in God’s timing. (She knew that Samuel the prophet had already anointed David as king some time before.)
The gift of provisions, but more than that, the self-control Abigail demonstrated enabled David to regain his self-control. It prevented him from killing many innocent people. The power of self-control blessed many people that day. It leads me to the question: If I show self-control today, how many people will be blessed? What situations will be made better than they might have been? I do have power to exercise control over my impulses.
Author’s Note: I need to give credit where credit is due: the inspiration for this post came from a devotion written by Pastor Seth McClymonds.