Then David accepted the gift she brought him and said, “Return home in peace. I’ve heard what you’ve said and I’ll do what you asked.” (1 Samuel 25:35, Msg)
Throughout my life, I have noticed that when I sow into God’s House, He, in return, sows into my house. As I give of my time, gifts, and finances at C3, He is consistently faithful to fill my home with peace and provision.
This concept is represented in the story of Abigail and Nabal. 1 Samuel 25 tells their story. The Bible says that Nabal, a businessman in Maon, was very prosperous. He owned thousands of sheep and goats. Yet, he was “surly and mean in his dealings” (v. 3). His wife, Abigail, in contrast, was an intelligent and beautiful woman.
King David, living in the wilderness of Maon, heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. He and his men had spent their days guarding Nabal’s men. They showed integrity, and never once took advantage of them, nor took anything from them. In fact, “they formed a wall around them, protecting us day and night all the time we were out tending sheep”. In return, David asked Nabal to show favor to his men. He says, “What I’m asking is that you be generous with my men-share the feast! Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to me, David your son.”
It’s unfortunate, but true, that Nabal’s response is anything but humble and giving. He is pretty ticked that David, someone he really doesn’t know, is asking for provision from him. He says, “Do you think that I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on? Who knows where they’ve come from?”
When David heard of Nabal’s miserly attitude, he became enraged. He gathered 400 of his men, and set out to bring disaster on Nabal and his household.
The Bible says that Abigail “flew into action”. She heard of the trouble her husband had brought on her family and knew she needed to get involved. “She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and she had it all loaded on some donkeys”. She didn’t even take a moment to think if or how she should react. She was simply sparked by a desire to be generous, knowing that doing so was her family’s only chance at survival.
When Abigail met David, she humbled herself before him, begging his forgiveness of her husband’s poor choices. She spoke encouragement and blessing over him. In return, David forgives Nabal’s attitude and blesses Abigail. He accepts her gift of provision, and tells her to “return home in peace”. He says, “I’ve heard what you’ve said, and I’ll do what you’ve asked”.
During this season of Impact, we are met with a choice. God, like David, has been our provision and protector. In this season, He is asking us to be generous towards His House. The choice is ours. We can respond like Nabal, deciding that what we have is for us alone, and choose not to give towards helping those we may never meet or be in relationship with. Or we can take action like Abigail, and gather our resources to help those in need.
Like David, I believe God honors our decision to be like Abigail. I have seen time and time again in my own family’s life that when we give to God’s House, He answers my prayers about the needs in our house. No matter what financial circumstance we may find ourselves in, my husband and I have made a choice to be givers. I have seen God continue to multiply what we have as we have been faithful to sow into His House. He is a generous God, and we were created to be like Him. How can we not respond like Abigail and do all that we can to sow into His House?
Prayer Focus: Begin by asking God if you have a heart of Nabal or Abigail. Take time to identify all that God has blessed you with, whether it be in your finances, your life experiences, or your giftings. Seek God for ways in which you can use these things to build His House. Choose to live an Abigail life in which you are called to action, trusting God to fill your personal house with peace and provision.