"Then Abigail made haste and took 200 loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her servants, ‘Go on before me; behold, I come after you.'"
I Samuel 25:18, 19, Amplified Bible
"The Gift of Heavenly Hospitality"
"We cannot possibly let ourselves get frozen into regarding everyone we do not know as an absolute stranger."
How would I have reacted to the young man's message about Nabal and David had I been in Abigail's shoes?
Would I have responded in such a hospitable manner?
"If a (woman) be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows (she) is a citizen of the world and that (her) heart is no island, cut off from other islands, but a continent that joins them."
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."
I Peter 4:9, N.I.V.
Abigail weighed the facts. She thought and considered. Then without hesitation, this beautiful, intelligent woman, sprang into immediate action. She didn't form a committee. She didn't do a 6-week study on the various options available to her. Instead, this thoughtful woman made her decision to act based on a knowledge of what I call heavenly hospitality.
Rather than debating with David or fighting with her husband, Abigail approached this situation with a heart overflowing with generous kindness.
She asked her helpers to assist her in taking a feast to David. And quite a feast it was! Two hundred loaves, 2 skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins and 200 cakes of figs.
I've chosen to reiterate her generosity because it is a lesson to each of us. When Abigail wanted to heal the wound between David and her household, she held nothing back. Her spirit was effusive in its kindness and overwhelming liberality. We ought to learn something from her behavior for every person on this earth has been gifted from a heavenly hand of love, our Father's hand. And our Father withheld nothing, not even His own dear Son. We, as his children should do the same when dealing with others, for the bounty we have been blessed with is so lavish.
From a giving heart, Abigail approached David and his men, whom you might remember, had strapped on their swords and prepared themselves for vicious combat.
Now for a moment, think about the feast Abigail met David with. It took time to prepare and dress 5 lambs. It took time to get all the food together. But Abigail understood that in this moment of crisis, a grand gesture was needed.
Here again is another lesson for you and me from Abigail's life. Not only was she a person who withheld nothing, she was also not afraid to be over-the-top with her extravagant feast. It reminds me of Mary and the perfume she poured on Jesus' feet
Another amazing gesture. Another over-the-top act which made heads turn. However, since Mary's great kindness to Jesus, her act of immense love has changed hearts. This is what happened when David was met by un-paralleled generosity which held nothing back and was of such a grand nature. It changed his heart! His emotions calmed. His demeanor became serene. But most importantly, his sword came off.
I want to ask you a question. Today, when there is so much bitterness in our world, even hostility and harshness portrayed within churches and among people who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ, Christians, I wonder if each of us decided to extend to everyone around us the gift of heavenly hospitality, a gift which renders over-the-top generosity and unbridled kindness to EVERYONE we meet, what would happen? I don't believe hearts are changed by guns. Bullets don't heal. Neither do swords. And unkind words may, in the end, do as much damage as weapons.
But if one by one, we would all purpose to be as extravagant as Abigail, sharing and caring and not holding back anything but overflowing with a feast of compassionate benevolence, what do you think would happen in the world? Even in our own personal world? We could all start there, in our families, in our churches, in our communities. It's a question that is answered in I Samuel 25:32, "And David said to Abigail, ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me.'" The sword came off when confronted by heavenly hospitality.
"That's what I consider true generosity. You give your all and yet you always feel as if it cost you nothing."
Simone de Beauvoir
"Christ, let me see You in others,
Christ, let others see You in me.
Christ, let me see;
You are the poor
You are the stranger at my door.
You are the wanderer
You are the homeless
With no bed.
You are the man driven insane
You are the child crying in pain,
You are the other who comes to me
Open my eyes that I may see."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P. S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.