"Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request." 1 Samuel 25:35 (NIV)
"Keep the peace"! How many times have we heard those words throughout our lifetime. They can range in context anywhere from two siblings quarreling to armies battling. I think as adults, we often do many things to try to "keep the peace". Most people prefer harmony versus arguing. What does keeping the peace look like? Well, it could be one person putting aside their opinion of an argument so as not to let the argument continue. It may be another person not bringing something up that could cause an argument. Or it could be someone who intervenes to stop a battle from brewing.
Hence we come upon Abigail. Abigail's story is one of courage, yet humility. She does something very brave to "keep the peace. Her story involves her husband Nabal and King David (yes, the David and Goliath David). David is now King and helped out Nabal's servants one time - ensuring their safety and well-being. When David sent his servants to Nabal to ask the same of him, he answered with an emphatic, "NO" (very ungrateful guy). As you can imagine, David, along with his many troops, didn't take this answer lightly and decided they were going to wreck havoc with Nabal.
Along comes Abigail. Nabal's servants went to Abigail. They shared the goodness David had provided them and didn't believe Nabal was being fair. They also shared that a battle was brewing. Abigail gathered many provisions (wine, bread, sheep, grain, cakes, etc.) and she went behind Nabal's back to bring them to David and company - in order to keep the peace. When she got to where David was, she offered a humble apology for her husband and gave him all the "goodies" she brought along. It was then that David shared the words that are above - "Go Home in Peace."
Abigail walked out in faith and courage to keep peace. She didn't do it for the glory or the praise. Remember, she did this behind her husband's back. Abigail stepped out for peace. How many times have we done the same? As a parent, we may sometimes help our spouse to see things from our child's perspective to keep the peace. As a child, we may help our parents see things from a sibling's perspective to keep the peace. Outside of the home, it may also happen at work. Helping to share information or feedback in order to help keep peace. Typically, we don't do this expecting praise or thanks. We step out in faith to keep the peace.
This type of stepping out is such a wonderful example of simple faith. It takes faith in God that He will help the peace be lived out. God was with Abigail as she approached David. God is with us when we approach conflict. He is there to help us keep the peace. God granted David the words, "Go home in peace," to Abigail. He says the same to you and me. "Go home in peace, Susan." I don't know about you, but those words are truly the only praise I need to hear.
There is an ending to Abigail's story. Upon her return home, her husband was in a drunken stupor. So she waited until the morning and told him everything she had done. As the Bible shares, "his heart failed him" and ten days later he died. When David heard that, he asked Abigail to become his bride - and she did. Isn't that the same for us? When we are able to try and keep the peace, God blesses us. It could be with the peace that we were hoping for. It could be with greater understanding of the other party. It could be with His love. Chances are - keeping the peace can bring all three!
The next time you think about "keeping the peace", remember our gal Abigail and the courage and humility she showed, and the grace that was granted to her. Simple faith can bring simple peace.
"Heavenly Father, we thank you for the example of Abigail. As she showed us, simple faith in you and courage to step out helped to keep the peace and saved many lives. Help us to be like Abigail, keeping the peace, and may your love shine upon us. In you peaceful name we pray, Amen!"