1 Samuel 25:39-44 – A Proposal That Changes Everything

Posted: April 11, 2018 in Book of 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 25:39-44
David Marries Abigail

This passage is one of those that evokes memories of proposals of marriage. When I read through it, my proposal to Elena came to mind. Back on Valentine’s Day 2009, I had been living in California since the previous May. In October 2008, what had been a temporary assignment in California became a permanent one. So for all that time, Elena and I had been living on opposite ends of the country. I was in San Francisco Bay Area and she was living back in South Carolina, at that time – just south of Charlotte, NC. We saw each other on about every 3rd weekend. She would fly out to California or I would fly back to my home state of South Carolina. That way we only had to travel individually about once every six weeks.

In the midst of all that, Valentine Weekend 2009 rolled around. She flew out to California that weekend. I had planned us a great weekend up in the North Bay area in Napa Valley. We were going to visit wineries, have great food, roam around the countryside, and sit around coffee shops in downtown Napa and people watch. On Valentine’s Day evening, I had found this quaint restaurant that was this huge old farmhouse that had been converted into this really chic restaurant. As we were seated I pulled the waiter aside and gave our waiter the diamond ring in the box that it came in and asked him to put it on top of her dessert at the end of our meal. It was to be this chocolate mousse kind of thing so I asked him to write “will you marry me?” in chocolate on the plate around its edging. As we ate our meal, I was as nervous as a lady of the evening in church on a Sunday morning, as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof, as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, well, you get the drift. I was so nervous that I could barely eat. And if you know me, THAT’S saying something.

Finally, we get through the main parts of the meal and get to dessert and coffee time. They bring out her dessert and place it in front of her. However, she never would look down at her plate. She kept talking to me. I guess she was waiting for them to bring me a dessert but I guess she didn’t hear me say to them that we would share her dessert – fitting idea considering the situation. So, she just kept right along having conversation with me without looking down at her plate. It got to the point that I was trying to give her visual cues. I would look down at the plate and back up at her in quick succession to kind of give her the hint to look down at the plate. She was being polite I guess. She wouldn’t look down at the dessert plate! She wouldn’t look down! Finally, I had to tell her to look down at the plate. There sitting tastefully (pardon the pun) on top of the slice of chocolate mousse was her diamond ring. Around the edging on the dessert plate, the waiter had written “Will You Marry Me?” in this dark chocolate syrup. At that point, the proposal was on! Luckily, for me, Elena said yes.

Since then, she has followed me from South Carolina to California back to South Carolina and now to Illinois. We have lived in Rock Hill, SC, then, Livermore, CA, then Lyman, SC, and now, Rock Island, IL. She has followed me everywhere I have asked her to go. We have done ministry together as volunteer leaders together in Livermore and in Lyman. We are now a minister and his wife doing ministry in northwest Illinois. Without intention of being so, we are on our third state together in these 11 years since I first met her. Just as Abigail came upon David and through their conversation started a relationship that would be amazingly good for David. Abigail was a wise woman who made David a better man. Similarly, our meeting along the way (in the laundromat in the apartment complex where we had moved into the same building six months apart) led me to find that Elena has been the amazing wife to me that she has been. I am thankful for the wise counsel and the unconditional love and the Ruth-like loyalty that Elena has shown me over the years.

My proposal to Elena is what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage. Let’s read it now together (1 Samuel 25:39-44):

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the Lord, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. Nabal has received the punishment for his sin.” Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife.

40 When the messengers arrived at Carmel, they told Abigail, “David has sent us to take you back to marry him.”

41 She bowed low to the ground and responded, “I, your servant, would be happy to marry David. I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants!” 42 Quickly getting ready, she took along five of her servant girls as attendants, mounted her donkey, and went with David’s messengers. And so she became his wife. 43 David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, making both of them his wives. 44 Saul, meanwhile, had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to a man from Gallim named Palti son of Laish.

In this passage, we see that David rewards Abigail’s submission and loyalty to him with a proposal of marriage. In the absence of his proposal, Abigail would have been dependent on the eldest son if there was one for her economic well being. In those days, a woman had no inheritance rights and was solely dependent on her husband for her financial needs. Thus, her submission and acceptance of David’s proposal was a life-saver for Abigail. She was grateful to David for his proposal of marriage and repaid him with her love, loyalty and wise counsel. I am certain that David was grateful to God for orchestrating his meeting with Abigail. She was his wisest and best wife. Similarly for me, I am grateful to God for that “chance” meeting with Elena. Similarly for Elena, her loyalty and submission to her husband has been rewarded with a life that has been better than her life before.

I can see symbolism of salvation and baptism in this passage and that’s where I want to end this blog today. In Nabal, we see Abigail’s old life. To me, in this passage, David represents Jesus to us. When Abigail meets David, she suffers the death of her husband and must now cling to David and as she willingly does so, she finds a new life with David. Her life will never be the same ever again after meeting David. Similarly, when we find our salvation in Jesus Christ, we leave our old life behind. We suffer the death of our old life. In accepting Jesus as our Savior, we accept his proposal to be wed with Him. Once we accept this proposal, we have new life and our life will never be the same again. In return, we submit to Jesus Christ and give him our loyalty, love and obedience.

Amen and Amen.

 

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