Verses 32–35

As an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear, Prov. 25:12. Abigail was a wise reprover of David’s passion, and he gave an obedient ear to the reproof, according to his own principle (Ps. 141:5): Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness. Never was such an admonition either better given or better taken.

I. David gives God thanks for sending him this happy check to a sinful way (1 Sam. 25:32): Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me. Note, 1. God is to be acknowledged in all the kindnesses that our friends do us either for soul or body. Whoever meet us with counsel, direction, comfort, caution, or seasonable reproof, we must see God sending them. 2. We ought to be very thankful for those happy providences which are means of preventing sin.

II. He gives Abigail thanks for interposing so opportunely between him and the mischief he was about to do: Blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, 1 Sam. 25:33. Most people think it enough if they take a reproof patiently, but we meet with few that will take it thankfully and will commend those that give it to them and accept it as a favour. Abigail did not rejoice more that she had been instrumental to save her husband and family from death than David did that Abigail had been instrumental to save him and his men from sin.

III. He seems very apprehensive of the great danger he was in, which magnified the mercy of his deliverance. 1. He speaks of the sin as very great. He was coming to shed blood, a sin of which when in his right mind he had a great horror, witness his prayer, Deliver me from blood-guiltiness. He was coming to avenge himself with his own hand, and that would be stepping into the throne of God, who has said, Vengeance is mine; I will repay. The more heinous any sin is the greater mercy it is to be kept from it. He seems to aggravate the evil of his design with this, that it would have been an injury to so wise and good a woman as Abigail: God has kept me back from hurting thee, 1 Sam. 25:34. Or perhaps, at the first sight of Abigail, he was conscious of a thought to do her a mischief for offering to oppose him, and therefore reckons it a great mercy that God gave him patience to hear her speak. 2. He speaks of the danger of his falling into it as very imminent: “Except thou hadst hasted, the bloody execution had been done.” The nearer we were to the commission of sin the greater was the mercy of a seasonable restraint—Almost gone (Ps. 73:2) and yet upheld.

IV. He dismissed her with an answer of peace, 1 Sam. 25:35. He does, in effect, own himself overcome by her eloquence: “I have hearkened to thy voice, and will not prosecute the intended revenge, for I have accepted thy person, am well pleased with thee and what thou hast said.” Note, 1. Wise and good men will hear reason, and let that rule them, though it come from those that are every way their inferiors, and though their passions are up and their spirits provoked. 2. Oaths cannot, bind us to that which is sinful. David had solemnly vowed the death of Nabal. He did evil to make such a vow, but he would have done worse if he had performed it. 3. A wise and faithful reproof is often better taken, and speeds better, than we expected, such is the hold God has of men’s consciences. See Prov. 28:23.