I’ve been reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst recently (which is a great book on how to live life in God’s love without letting rejection and the whims of others steal your joy), and at one point she mentioned Abigail, Nabal’s wife in 1 Samuel 25. As I continued thinking about what she said about Abigail, I decided to take a dive into the passage myself.
For the sake of space, I’ll just summarize it here, but please do go read the full chapter if you have the time. Essentially, David finds himself near Nabal’s home at sheep-shearing time. Since he’s protected Nabal from harm before, he asks Nabal to share some of his provisions with him.
Nabal, however, lashes out and basically insults David, saying that he’s no good and absolutely refusing to give him anything.
Now, most of us know a bit about King David. He was the one who God chose as king, to reign after Saul. He’s the guy who killed Goliath, and the guy God described as, “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22 NLT).
But here’s Nabal saying that David is a nobody who is undeserving of his gifts.
When he hears this, David sets out intent on killing Nabal. How dare he insult David’s name like that? How dare he be so selfish and unkind?
Abigail, Nabal’s wife, however, hears this, and instantly she gathers gifts for David and goes out to meet him. And when she arrives, what she says is just flabbergasting.
She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say.”
1 Samuel 25:24 (NLT)
I accept all blame in this matter.
Wait, what?! Abigail, girl, you didn’t do anything wrong. You’re completely innocent here. It’s your husband who did it. Why are you taking the blame?
I put myself in Abigail’s place. I imagine doing what she did. And I just get so filled with rage. Why would I take the blame for something I so clearly didn’t do? No, Nabal did it. He’s the one to blame. Not me.
But Abigail says, “I accept all blame.”
And I think that’s such a beautiful representation of what Jesus did on the cross.
Growing up in the Bible belt and knowing all about Jesus and how he died for our sins and rose again, sometimes I miss out on the impact of exactly what Jesus did. It’s almost like background knowledge to say that Jesus was sent to earth, he lived a perfect life, he was crucified for our sins, and then he rose again on the third day. Just standard fact.
But it’s not just standard fact. It is jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, amazing grace.
And looking at Abigail’s story, the impact hit me again.
Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth, dealt with a bunch of nasty people who essentially called him a liar, lived with absolutely no sin, and still was crucified as a criminal. He went down into the grave to defeat death for us. He didn’t do anything that made him deserving of death, and yet he said, “I accept all blame.”
We are Nabal. We are the fools who messed up, who sinned, who are now on the receiving end of the perfectly just wrath of God.
But just like Abigail stepped in on Nabal’s behalf, Jesus stepped in on our behalf. He stepped between us and God and said, “I accept all blame.” Which means that, through him, we can have an eternal life with God that we don’t deserve.
It’s absolutely incredible, isn’t it?
So anytime I’m struggling to see the weight of Jesus dying on the cross, I’m going to put myself in Abigail’s place, think about what I would do. When I do that, I can’t help but realize just how game-changing and awesome it is that Jesus took all the blame for all of us, despite being completely blameless.
On him be the blame, not on us. That. That is amazing grace.