A story based on the wife of Nabal. How she copes with a foolish husband, marries a king and becomes a captive of war.
The night was cool and brought in the dust from the desert. From a distance she could hear the sheeps bleating. She always liked to look up at the stars. The evening hours were the best moments for her. She got to dream of getting out of her father’s grip and being married. Going off to start her own family and telling her children about Yahweh. There were still so many things she didn’t know about Him. Questions she yearned answers for. She wondered how it might have been like to stand off at Mount Horeb to watch Moses go off to be with Yahweh. The clouds descending and God talking to him. It wouldn’t have been loud and thunderous for all would have heard, but sweet whispers as though He were talking to a friend.
Abigail would have been jealous, and yet too afraid to go near. She sighed. She wished God would talk to her like that. Would direct her which way to go. Would tell her his plans for her life. Abigail snapped away from her reverie when she heard the hoofs of horses approaching home.
She stood quickly, dusting away the sand from her skirts and ran into the house through the back door and busied herself with getting dinner warm for her father. If her father knew she had sat outside for quite a while he would think she had too much time on her hands and would be forced to accompany him to his sister’s house where Abigail’s cousin seemed to take glee in pulling her hair and dumping their chores on her.
Her father always said she was too intelligent for her own good and no man wanted a wife too knowing. Abigail always stayed quiet whenever he spoke. Sometimes his speech slurred after he had his fill of wine at night and it gave him the courage and freedom to utter unkind words to her.
That night was no different.
He had just walked in from his usual gathering with the men who often liked to drink and talk of things that were of no matter.
Abigail missed her mother. She would recite the law of Moses to her as she brushed her hair and tell her of the great works of the God of the Hebrews. The God who delivered their ancestors from the slavery of Egypt. How He parted the Red Sea and caused the mighty waters to crash on all their enemies. The battle that lasted a day without the sun going to sleep. Indeed God was wonderful and powerful. Her mother had spoken so much of God that Abigail could scarce forget even if she wanted to.
“So what did you spend all day doing?” Her father asked, giving her a weary look.
“I cleaned the house and washed the clothes. I also prepared dinner -”
“And went to visit your friend.” He said, looking pointedly at her.
She clamped her mouth shut. Yes, she had gone to visit Sarah but had barely spent as much as she would have liked. They had gone to the well to fetch water with other maidens and had parted ways on their way back. Her father didn’t like her spending time with Sarah. He considered her too simple, wayward and boisterous. Her father said that about anyone he didn’t quite understand. Sarah was full of laughter and fun to be with. Although she was a helpless romantic. Abigail liked to be practical in such matters even if someone handsome approached her, claiming to have fallen in love with her at first sight. ”
I have good news for you.” He said and signalled for her to get him a jar of water to wash his feet covered with dust.
“What is it father?” She asked, rushing to do his bidding. He seemed to be in a good mood that night and she didn’t want to be his reason for going sour.
“You shall be getting married.”
Abigail froze, a frown on her face. There was no one she had taken a liking to. Yes, it was customary for her father to choose a husband for her. She wondered who among the many young men he had chosen.
“Where’s the water?”
“Coming father.” She filled the jar, went to her father and bent low to wash his feet.
“Don’t you want to know your future husband?” She could hear the pride and joy in his voice. That alone made her fear who it was.
“He is Nabal. He is a rich man and would cater to your needs.”
“Nabal!” Abigail exclaimed and looked up at her father. Nabal? She had heard of him. . . There were women at the well that spoke of him from time to time. The fool as people called him. He was a brute. A man who cared more for himself than anyone. How could her father expect him to be her husband?