Although their make shift camp was buzzing with activity, Abigail felt a sense of peace and calm as she walked through checking on all the preparations for the sheering festival.
All was going according to schedule and she even had extra food prepared should a traveling caravan wander by. She was greeted by servants during her stroll.
She loved to smile at them as they worked. It was her way of balancing out her husband's harsh treatment. She found that her daily walks through their dwelling, whether here or in Maon, seemed to calm the servants and give them a trusting attitude. She hoped they all knew that she appreciated and valued each and every one of them. Her husband, Nabal, on the other hand, seemed to care for only himself and his money.
Convinced that she could make the quick trip to their home in Maon, she loaded up a few things and took two of her beloved servants, Deborah and her brother, Pallu. Maon was her favorite. The tents of Carmel were nice, but not like her home in Maon. In Maon she felt the cool mountain breezes even in the heat of the summer days. In Maon she had buried her mother and her father. Maon was home.
The festival would begin at sundown day after tomorrow. She would be back by daybreak. Maon, even if for just one night, would provide her the rest and peace she needed before the next ten days of the sheering festival. Nabal was in the fields with the sheepherders sheering the flocks and would not need her until the feast began.
The moment she came through the clearing she felt that warmth in her soul. Home! She was grateful to Yahweh for this place. The purpose of her mini-vacation was really to check on the servants here. She had not seen them in four weeks. She knew no news meant all was well, but she just wanted to make sure for herself before the festival started.
After checking on the few families left, she took a small lunch to her favorite tree. Deborah went with her. These were some of her favorite times. Deborah may have been her servant, but she was also her dearest friend. Together they dreamed and planned. They laughed and cried. Sisters could not have been closer.
Before their lunch was complete, Abigail looked up to see a cloud of dust coming from the same direction they had traveled earlier. Whoever it was, was in a hurry!
A sense of dread clung to Abigail's heart. Deborah, without a word, began gathering their lunch. She knew her master and she knew something had happened in Carmel.
By the time the dust cleared, Abigail could make out Hanini talking to Pallu. The two women hurried down the hill to find the reason for Hanini's quick pursuit of his mistress.
Hanini, was the assistant to the chief sheepherder. Shephullah would not have sent Hanini if it were not an emergency. Abigail feared the worst.
"Hanini! What brings you all the way from the sheering?"
"Mistress, David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master. Rather than thanking David's servants for their protection and good will, our Master, Nabal, your husband, insulted them and ridiculed David. Mistress Abigail, David and his men did no harm to us. In fact they were a wall of protection around us. Shephullah has sent me to you to consider what to do. You know that harm will come of this. He has insulted men who have been kind to him. Harm will come to him and all of his house. He is such a worthless man and no one can tell him anything!"
Abigail could not believe what she just heard! Was Nabal out of his mind? Did he not know what David and his men were capable of? They were not just some travelling caravan. These men were warriors. Everyone knew that someday David would be king, and her husband just insulted him!
She knew she shouldn't be surprised. How many times had her husband, handsome and wealthy as he was, made a cruel and selfish judgement only to laugh at the consequences to others later.
Her mind went into high gear. She sent Hanini rushing back with instructions and a fresh steed.
Her mini-vacation just ended and her little party made hasty preparations to return to Carmel.
By the time she returned to the camp in Carmel, the stars were twinkling in the dark sky. Their dancing belied the fact that everything she loved could be destroyed after daybreak.
She almost ran from tent to tent checking on the instructions she sent with Hanini. Loaves of bread baking. The choice wine selected. Sheep slaughtered and roasting. The grain bagged and the raisins and fig cakes prepared.
One last stop before a few hours of sleep. She went into the barn to make sure that the servant boy loaded all of the gifts on the donkeys by the fourth watch. She would need to leave before first light.
Her bones ached and her back side was sore. The quick trip back was not an easy one. To think she had hoped to rest for the day!
Sleep evaded her and when she did finally drift off she dreamed of warriors slicing the throats of all their men. She was thankful when Deborah wakened her to make preparation to leave.
Would David and his men accept her apologies for her husband's rude and cruel behavior? Had the stories of the man who slayed Goliath yet played the harp for King Saul been true? Would David show his mercy or his blood thirst?
Only Yahweh could know. She breathed an urgent prayer for His intervention.
Ok. That's all for today folks! Check back Monday for the rest of the story!