I was fascinated when reading 1 Samuel 25 to see the destructive and constructive dynamics of anger displayed. There are three primary characters and one secondary character described in this historical event.
Samuel had just died. David and 600 men who had joined him moved into the Desert of Maon, near the town of Carmel. This is an area about 7 miles south east of the city of Hebron, south of Jerusalem. It lies on the edge of the Judean desert, in a pastoral region of broad hills and wide valleys. While there David and his men were like a wall protecting shepherds watching the flocks owned by Nabal who lived in Carmel.
When it was time for Nabal to shear his sheep he prepared a lavish banquet for them to celebrate. David sent some of his men to greet him and ask if he would share some of the food from their celebration with David and his men. After waiting awhile he responded to them in a tirade in which he insulted David and his men.
When David heard how he responded he got 400 of his 600 men to arm themselves with swords. He took out his sword and led them out to avenge himself by vowing to wipe out all the men of Nabal’s household.
One of Nabal’s servants must have followed David’s men and overheard David’s intended response. He quickly returned to tell Abigail, Nabal’s wife what happened and what was about to befall them.
Abigail quickly pulled together the fixings of a banquet, went out to meet David and persuade him to cancel his plans. Her humble, authentic appeal worked and David cancelled his plans.
All of this and more happened one day in the life of David.