But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”
Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.” I Samuel 25:14-22 ESV
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9 ESV
Gladys Aylward was an English missionary to China in the 1930s and 1940s. Once while she was in China a riot broke out in a prison. The men were so violent that the prison guards were afraid to try to stop it, so the prison warden asked Gladys if she could do something. Gladys walked into the rioting prison yard and shouted for them to stop fighting and tell her what the problem was. She discovered that the prisoners were kept in a small space with nothing to do, and that there was no food supplied for them except what their families brought. So they fought over food and because they were crowded and bored. Gladys helped the warden set up a couple of looms and a grindstone so the prisoners could work weaving cloth and grinding grain. They now had work to do and a way to earn money to buy food. Gladys had found what the prisoners needed and helped to supply it, and that brought peace.
Nabal’s wife, Abigail, was a wise woman like that. She didn’t want to see David and his small army come against her family and community in battle, so as soon as she heard what was happening, she quickly got together what she hoped would settle the problem and calm David’s anger. She got lots of wine and some sheep ready to roast, as well as toasted grain, raisins, and figs to go with it. Abigail was bringing David and his men a feast to make up for her husband’s lack of hospitality. She wanted to win peace and stop David from the revenge he planned.
Jesus said that people who are peacemakers are blessed by God. Jesus was the greatest peacemaker of all. We were all God’s enemies and at war with him, but Jesus gave his life on the cross to bring peace between us and God. We have God’s peace and the privilege of sharing that peace with others. Sharing the love of Jesus is the best way of making peace, because God’s peace is the kind that lasts for always.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to make peace for us. Help us to share that peace with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.