Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 144

Kindness Overcomes Selfishness, May 17

And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. 1 Samuel 25:19.

The Lord would have the wife render respect unto her husband, but always as it is fit in the Lord. In the character of Abigail, the wife of Nabal, we have an illustration of womanhood after the order of Christ, while her husband illustrates what a man may become who yields himself to the control of Satan. When David was a fugitive from the face of Saul, he had camped near the possessions of Nabal and had protected the flocks and the shepherds of this man from all depredation while in Carmel. In a time of need David sent messengers to Nabal with a courteous message, asking for food for himself and his men, and Nabal answered with insolence, returning evil for good and refusing to share his abundance with his neighbors....

Nabal accused David and his men falsely in order to justify himself in his selfishness, and represented David and his followers as runaway slaves.... One of the young men in the employ of Nabal, fearing that evil results would follow Nabal’s insolence, came and stated the case to Nabal’s wife, knowing that she had a different spirit from her husband and was a woman of great discretion. He set forth the true character of Nabal as he presented the difficulties to her, saying, “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.”

Abigail saw that something must be done to avert the result of Nabal’s fault, and that she must take the responsibility of acting immediately, without the counsel of her husband. She knew that it would be useless to speak to him, for he would receive her proposition only with abuse and contempt. He would remind her that he was the lord of his household, that she was his wife and therefore in subjection to him and must do as he should dictate.... She gathered together such stores as she thought best to conciliate the wrath of David, for she knew he was determined to avenge himself for the insult he had received....

Abigail’s course in this matter was one that God approved, and the circumstance revealed in her a noble spirit and character.... Abigail met David with respect, showing him honor and deference, and pleaded her cause eloquently and successfully. While not excusing her husband’s insolence, she still pleaded for his life. She also revealed the fact that she was not only a discreet woman, but a godly woman, acquainted with the works and ways of God in David.—Manuscript 17, 1891 (Manuscript Releases 21:213, 214).

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