"Kneeling at (David's) feet (Abigail) said, ‘Upon me alone let this guilt be, my lord.'"
I Samuel 25: 24, Amplified Bible
"Who Is To Blame"
"There's folks (that would) stand on their heads and then say the fault was (I was in) their boots."
If I had been in Abigail's shoes, would I have taken responsibility for the actions of Nabal as she did?
How do I think I might have reacted in this situation?
"To let oneself be bound by a duty from the moment you see it approaching is part of the integrity that alone justifies responsibility"
"Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
If there's anything I don't like to do, it is to take the blame for something I didn't do wrong. I make quite enough mistakes in my own life that I have to take responsibility for without adding on a load of other goofs I didn't commit.
With this piece of information in mind, you can imagine how I felt when I read our text for today and found that Abigail, our brave heroine, walked up to David and took the heap of Nabal's nasty actions and dumped the load upon herself. "Upon me alone let this guilt be, my lord," she pleaded. Right off the bat I didn't like this statement at all. I don't like it when women are forced to cover for the evils of the men in their lives. God created His sons with backbones and men are plenty capable of taking responsibility for their own behavior whether good or evil. So it took me off guard to read that Abigail was willing to take the guilt of Nabal upon herself.
However, as we have already learned from Abigail's life, it's best to know and think before you act. Since we have found this is exactly what Abigail did, it means that reflective thought went into her statement as well as all the other words Abigail spoke. This knowledge encouraged me to take a second look at why Abigail would accept the blame and take responsibility for Nabal's action.
Here are a few ideas which came to my mind:
Idea #1: Abigail's response was based on what was best for her entire family not just Nabal and herself. What Nabal did and how he reacted affected more than himself, it affected his family and workers also. Too bad he didn't take time to think before he spoke. This is why I believe Abigail was willing to say to David, "Blame me if you must," for she was thinking of everyone in the family as well as their best welfare.
Idea #2: Abigail knew her husband was evil and most likely she was certain he had treated David disrespectfully. By being the first to take responsibility and having heard of David's kindness, she would wisely appeal to his more gentle side rather than the sword side.
Idea #3: Abigail couldn't make things any worse by saying, "Blame me," but she could make things a lot better if David found her words pleasant, which he did.
And this brings me to the key point of this passage in Scripture. What Abigail wanted was to bring harmony into a very unharmonious situation. Rather than get into a blame-game with David, she took the accusations off the table by saying, "I'm the guilty one" which David knew, of course, was completely false. However, once these words passed from Abigail's lips, David couldn't fight with a foe who had already laid their weapons down.
As I reread this passage it got me to thinking about the times in my own life when I became so intent on proving I wasn't to blame for something, I ended up making the situation even worse. Has this ever happened to you, too? I have found myself trying to make certain my foe, or anyone else for that matter, didn't think I'd done anything wrong until it became my only goal. I've done this rather than laying down my sword and bringing unity. Abigail can teach us it isn't "who is to blame" that's half as important as "who will be the one to stop the battle." For as David found out, it's impossible to fight with an opponent armed with kind responsibility that puts the needs of others before their own.
"Do your duty, that is best; leave unto the Lord the rest."
David O. McKay
"Empower me to be a bold participant, rather than a timid saint in waiting, in the difficult ordinariness of now; to exercise the authority of honesty, rather than to defer to power, or deceive to get it; to influence someone for justice, rather than impress anyone for gain; and, by grace, to find treasures of joy, of friendship, of peace hidden in the fields of the daily You give me to plough."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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