TODAY’S READING: 1 Samuel 25–27
The generosity of Jehovah towards Abraham was linked to blessing the nations. God indeed prospered Abraham, but with the very specific intent that all peoples of the world would notice and be attracted to the God who so comprehensively blessed. Abraham was to be both recipient and dispenser of God’s blessings, as were Nabal and Saul, as are we. To receive generously without passing it on in such a way that affects more than our own, without investing our wealth in such a way that makes God globally glorious, is to be ungrateful and to ultimately lose it all. God’s generosity is contingent on us acting in like manner.
Nabal was indeed a fool (1 Sam. 25:25), for he did not pass on what God provided. He lived in prosperity (v. 6), which God allowed, with no intention of passing it on, which God abhorred. David exhibited God’s inherent disgust with those who were blessed but did not bless and he set out to punish the ungenerous fool (for that is what the ungenerous are: fools). Abigail entered the scene and stole the show. She is a Proverbs 31 woman: beautiful and wise (1 Sam. 35:3), quick-thinking and acting in crisis, and generous, (v. 18), humble and spunky (vv. 23–25), prophetic (v. 28), astute, moral, and cautionary (vv. 30–31). So stunning was Abigail that she stopped a wrathful king in his tracks and all he could do was sputter blessings. Nabal’s lack of generosity incurred the scorn of the people, the wrath of the king, and the loss of his life (v. 38). Abigail’s overflowing generosity led her to intimate union with the King. And so it will be with us: A lack of generosity with the blessings of God (specifically directed towards the blessings of God being offered through the gospel to all the peoples of earth) is foolishness and leads to death. Generosity used to wash the feet of those who battle for God’s glory leads to joy with the King and to a beautified bride (v. 41–42).
Let this lesson not be misconstrued by missionaries into a license to berate other Christians and churches to give more to missions. The whole point is that those who receive the generosity of others must themselves be generous in such a way that affects the nations. If you are a missionary and you receive the generous support of God’s people to represent Him in the earth, you better be just as generous, you better be supporting other missionaries yourself, or you are just a modern form of Nabal.
It is not only in our finances that God demands generosity. We give because God is a giver and He wants us to look like Him. Our primary motive for generosity is that that we look like our heavenly Father, not that we receive. This giving includes honor to our leaders and opportunity to our followers. Abigail wisely instructed David not to take vengeance into his own hands. How fortunate she inspired this grace right before David was positioned to harm Saul. David realized the Lord would strike whoever needed to die (26:10), and Saul realized he had been a fool and erred exceedingly (v. 21). Saul had the same lack of generosity that Nabal had. God generously gave authority to Saul, but Saul hoarded it jealously, wouldn’t pass it on, and as a consequence lost it all. How different were David and Abigail—giving, blessing, releasing, and honoring. David generously provided for the kingdom, generously honored others, and generously yielded the kingdom. When he lapsed (ungenerously taking a friend’s wife and life), death and disaster resulted. No one is exempt from being generous, and no one is exempt from the judgment of God when ungenerous. All of us are meant to steward God’s generosity to us for His glory among all the peoples of earth.
 Her “enduring house” reference to David in 1 Samuel 25:28 anticipated one of the most seminal passages of the Old Testament when in 2 Samuel 7, God promised David a dynasty from which Messiah will come.