What do you do with a live stick of dynamite? Do you run? Do you scream and dance around in circles? Do you throw it at someone else? Do you try to stomp on it and put the fuse out? Or do you just stay away from dynamite all together?
Silly questions, I suppose. Most of us obviously try to stay as far from dynamite as possible.
But what about other flammable situations? How do you handle a lit fuse of other sorts?
- When your two-year-old pitches a temper tantrum?
- When your teenager goes hormonal?
- When smoke is coming out of your husband’s ears?
- When your girlfriend is spewing flames of fury?
- When the person in front of you at the check out counter is going ballistic?
- When your boss is being unreasonable…again?
- When your children are throwing hateful words at each other like fire balls?
- When that person you love has lost their temper once again and is behaving badly?
That’s exactly the dilemma Abigail found herself in.
The story of Abigail is one of my very favorites in the Bible and plays no small part in why I named my daughter after her. She is my trailblazer for diffusing dangerous situations with hot-tempered people.
You can read Abigail’s story in 1 Samuel 25 and it’s well worth the quick read–a delightfully fast-paced and action-packed story of love and anger and revenge and beauty. All the stuff of a good Lifetime movie. But I’ll give you the basic facts to spark your interest.
Abigail was married to a fool. (See? I told you…good Lifetime movie) Nabal was wealthy, arrogant, selfish, and rude. Abigail, on the other hand, was intelligent and beautiful. How the two got together is a mystery to me. Probably the result of an arranged marriage gone sour. But from all we can tell, Abigail had been doing the best she could to be faithful and good to her wealthy but foolish husband.
We meet this interesting couple when king-to-be David sends an entourage of his men to ask Nabal for a sort of gratuity for the voluntary protection David and his men had afforded Nabal’s shepherds and sheep in the wilderness. Evidently this was accepted custom and David tells his men to approach Nabal with respect.
But you can just imagine how well the fool responded to the men’s request. Nabal lashed out, “Who is David? (I imagine Nabal saying this with a surly growl.) Who does he think he is? I’m not going to just give a portion of my wealth to every Tom, Dick or Harry who says they’ve watched my shepherds or my sheep!” You’ll have to read the story yourself to see what Nabal really said, but I think I’m pretty on target with my interpretation.
The entourage heads back to report to David. Cue intense music that accompanies the sounds of galloping horses and boiling blood. One fuse is lit. Another is about to spark as well.
Meanwhile one of the servants runs to Abigail–beautiful, wise, gracious Abigail–to tell her what her foolish husband has done now. Not only that, but he tells her that indeed David and his men did protect Nabal’s property and should have been rewarded handsomely. The servant then adds: (love this line!)