Lucia's Blog: ABIGAIL'S INSIGHT SAVED THE DAY
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ABIGAIL'S INSIGHT SAVED THE DAY

"Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.  Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight."  
Proverbs 4:5-7


Abigail was a beautiful woman, but we do not remember her for her beauty. We remember her for the grace and wisdom of her words that saved the lives of her loved ones and blessed the future king of Israel.  Let us take another look at the lessons that Abigail teaches us.

As I study the Proverbs, I see that wisdom, understanding, and strength are vital character traits. As I read them, Abigail's godly example of wisdom and strength come to mind.  Abigail's great insight will be my focal point in this study.  Although the Bible gives us little background about this great woman of God, we can conclude from reading her story that she was a woman of strength, courage, intelligence, integrity, and insight.  Her story reveals a woman who understood her place, acted with decisiveness and integrity.  The Scriptures present her as a beautiful and intelligent woman, whose lot in life was to be married to a rich fool. Abigail manifests her wisdom and determination to save others from disaster.  Wisdom acts immediately when there is danger.  Lady Wisdom cannot afford to stand by and watch destruction that can be avoided.  Abigail's example shows the importance of choosing the right words, wise words, that are necessary when speaking in tense situations. Harsh, loud words are catalysts that produce an unnecessary explosion. They drive many to actions that they will later have to regret.  In contrast, calm, gentle, carefully calculated words can lead to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. This lesson's golden message deserves careful attention:
"A gentle (soft) answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."  (Proverbs 15:1)

As we read through the few pages of this beautiful story, it is easy to capture the attitudes and actions of three persons. One doesn't hesitate to spout inflammatory words without any regard to potential consequences. Another hears the words and, in haste, chooses to retaliate with far-reaching implications.  But standing between them, there is a woman who immediately grasps the entire setting. Therefore, she hastens to bring a peaceful end which, in the long run, will bring blessings to her and those around her.  There is much to learn from Abigal's story.  Our attitude of heart is critical when evil assails us.  And though our personalities and emotional levels may differ, we must strive to be calm, peaceful and collected.  Thus, it is wise to think twice before speaking.  Abigail's insight protected both her current husband and the man who later became her husband. Abigail seized the information given, understood what needed to be done, and then did it.

 "WISDOM" is mentioned at least 45 times in the Book of Proverbs.  Have you ever wondered why some teeth are called "wisdom teeth?"  We call them "wisdom teeth" because we get them at the onset of maturity.  Throughout the Bible, wisdom, and understanding are always found hand in hand.  "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of both wisdom and understanding."  (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).  Although the two words seem to be used interchangeably, wisdom more often refers to the practical application of understanding.


I.  DETERMINED ACTION:   (1 Samuel 25:2-19)

  • David's Request:
"Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel; and the man was very rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it came about while he was shearing his sheep in Carmel 3 (now the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was a Calebite), 4 that David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, 'Go up to Carmel, visit Nabal and greet him in my name; 6 and thus you shall say, ‘Have a long life, peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7 Now I have heard that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us and we have not insulted them, nor have they missed anything all the days they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’  9 When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David’s name; then they waited.'"  (1 Samuel 25:2-9)

The story of Abigail takes place during David's "outlaw" years when he and his men were fugitives from King Saul. David had to run from King Saul's madness.  Samuel the prophet had just died, leaving his country to mourn his death.  David and his six hundred men took refuge in the wilderness of Paran near Carmel.  Saul's forces pursued David, but he successfully escaped them despite Saul's spies located in various parts of the country.  In Carmel, there was a wealthy man named Nabal who raised sheep and goats.  Nabal was Abigail's rude, impolite, and stubborn husband.  He lacked wisdom, the wisdom that his wife Abigail possessed.  Having many sheep and goats required many shepherds to provide them with proper care. Thanks to David and his men, Nabal's flocks and herds were well protected from the Ishmaelites who wanted to steal and cause harm. David and his men were on the run and could have simply taken the herds to supply their needs or perhaps demand payment for their services.  Yet, they chose to be valiant and noble.  They instead cared for and protected the flocks that camped nearby.  Imagine the effort to shear the sheep and then care for the wool.  The shearing time is a time for festivity. Since shearing is similar in importance to harvest for a farmer, he is there for this significant shearing event.  I wonder if his parents gave him the name Nabal"fool," or if it was conferred on him later in life?

The differences in personality between Nabal and his wife are pronounced. She is both beautiful and intelligent. Her name means "whose father is joy." On the other hand, there is her husband. He is "harsh and evil" (v. 3).   He lived up to his name, "fool."  Knowing that Nabal is in the area, David sends ten men to greet him and request provisions at this time of festivity.  They approached him with wishes of health and long life.  They point out their treatment of his shepherds and that no animals were missing. It means David and his men did not simply take animals for their personal use like some fugitives would have.  Notice that David made no specific request other than what Nabal could have spared at this celebration time.

  • Nabal's Response: 
"But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, 'Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men whose origin I do not know?' 12 So David’s young men retraced their way and went back; and they came and told him according to all these words. 13 David said to his men, 'Each of you gird on his sword.' So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed with the baggage.'"  (1 Samuel 25:10-13)

Nabal not only refused David's request but also mocked, ridiculed and insulted David.  He likewise questioned David's character and anointing as future king.  Nabal harshly dismissed David's request. He phrased his insult as a question, "Who is David?" Who wouldn't know of the hero who brought victory to Israel by defeating Goliath? How could Nabal even pretend not to know the one whom the women praised in song (1 Samuel 18:7)? Nabal's response suggests David was merely a traitor to the king of Israel, a rebel. What a slap in the face to the messengers and their leader!

The wealthy Nabal would not have any problem complying with David’s request for provisions. Nevertheless, he chose to be foolish, even insulting and certainly lacking in generosity.   Nabal expresses no appreciation for the services rendered to his men and property. He wants to serve only himself.  His behavior infuriates David.  In a fit of rage, David ordered two-thirds of his army (400 men) to strap on their swords and prepare for battle.  Here we see an angry David who let his bruised ego overcome his wise and righteous judgment.  Meanwhile one of Nabal's servants approached Abigail for help.  Here is where we begin to see Abigail's strength and character shine through.   Had it not been for Abigail's wisdom, David would have accomplished his plan of destruction.

  • Abigail's Efforts:
"But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, 'Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, and he scorned them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not insulted, nor did we miss anything as long as we went about with them, while we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 Now therefore, know and consider what you should do, for evil is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him.' 18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread and two jugs of wine and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 She said to her young men, 'Go on before me; behold, I am coming after you.' But she did not tell her husband Nabal.'"  (1 Samuel 25:14-19)

When one of the young men, servants, informed Abigail of the events, she understands this is a crisisShe immediately acts to avoid an unnecessary catastrophe. Abigail becomes the source of wisdom and reason for her household.  She knew, understood her place as the wife and protector of her home.  Nabal was a thoughtless, self-absorbed and arrogant man. Abigail was reasonable, wise and prudent both in word and actions.  What a contrast!

Abigail did not waste time worrying about what to do next.  She went to work, trying to rectify this ugly situation.  Indeed, she was a smart woman who didn't have to mull over possible options.  She understood the gravity of the situation and potential impact instantly.  Time was of the essence. Therefore, she went to work rapidly, putting a plan into action to save her household.  She knew that it was not profitable to scold her husband, Nabal for being such a fool.  She acknowledged she needed to act decisively with the hope of saving her husband's life.  The future was in Abigail's hands. Disaster was coming on them. Perhaps, some tried to speak to Nabal about the situation.  I can assure you it would have accomplished nothing. Stubborn, obstinate, egotistical men do not change their minds! Or, if they do, it is under considerable pressure of the more powerful.

So, what does Abigail do?  She quickly gathers food supplies as a gift for David and his men. Once the donkeys are loaded, she sends them on ahead. Possibly she needed some extra time to be prepared adequately for the meeting. All this takes place without Nabal's knowledge. More than likely he is out supervising or observing the shearing.


II.   WISE COUNSEL:   (1 Samuel 25:20-31)

  • David's Intent:
"It came about as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by the hidden part of the mountain, that behold, David and his men were coming down toward her; so she met them. 21 Now David had said, 'Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has returned me evil for good. 22 May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if by morning I leave as much as one male of any who belong to him.'"  (1 Samuel 25:20-22)

According to this passage, David's thoughts are very evident. He realizes the worthlessness of all his good deeds toward Nabal.  His care for Nabal's property and flocks brought nothing more than railing insults.  Evidently, Nabal was a wealthy, self-centered person.  In David's mind, this kind of evil answer deserves the most severe retribution.   So, he decides to attack Nabal's encampment and kill all the males. Then, David and his men could take all the needed supplies.  Abigail meets David in this vengeful environment.  It is interesting how the  Scriptures describe the exact location of their meeting. The mountain ravine provides a narrow place guaranteeing their coming face-to-face.

  • Abigail's Intercession: 
"When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face before David and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, 'On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant. 25 Please do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him; but I your maidservant did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.'"  (1 Samuel 25:23-25)

Abigail's action proved her wisdom and determination.  This is a make-or-break situation.   She acknowledged that to stop the shedding of innocent blood, she would have to intercept and persuade David from his intended purpose.  I'm sure Nabal deserved David's wrath.  Abigail recognized who David was; a servant of the LORD.  She immediately set out to intercept David carrying generous gifts and provisions.  When she approached David, Abigail dismounts from her donkey and offers the bow of greatest humility. Instead of remaining on her feet,  she prostrates herself at David's feet. She bowed down to the ground pleading for the life of her husband.  She acknowledged to David her husband's rude behavior and sought grace on his behalf.  Notice her intercession. In an attempt to ward off the bloodshed and save innocent lives, she asks for the blame to be hers. Though having nothing to do with what took place, she willingly offered herself as the culprit.  Only after setting the stage does she ask David to disregard the words and actions of her husband. What a contrast between Abigail's wise humility and Nabal's foolish pride and arrogance!  Abigail's words in verse 25 indicate her husband is a person, who is worthless or without profit. She points out how his name fulfills his actions. A fool makes foolish decisions and choices.  Working as the intercessor and mediator, Abigail says she is different from her husband, and that things would have been different.

  • Abigail's Counsel:   
"Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has restrained you from shedding blood, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be as Nabal. 27 Now let this gift which your maidservant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who accompany my lord. 28 Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the Lord deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant."  (1 Samuel 25:26-31)

Now, a significant shift comes into the conversation. Abigail goes beyond a wife and intercedes for her husband and household. She becomes a messenger of the Lord.  She shares an understanding of God's purpose and David's future status as king.  In verse 26 she points out to David how the Lord wants to keep him from bloodshed.  It is an example of God's care and protection in David's life. For this reason, the future king should be thankful.  Then she proceeds with a blessing on David (a condemnation of all his enemies in the future).  It did happen during David's reign when he defeated all enemies everywhere.  There was indeed peace when Solomon (David's son) took his place as his successor.   Isn't it something that the people that you associate with make a difference in life?! In this instance, Abigail wants David's blessing to extend to David's men, (v. 27). They too have been saved from killing the innocent. She desires David's future success to be poured out on them.

In verse 28 she identifies herself once again with the actions of her husband as though they were hers. Then she assures David he will become Israel's king. The anointing of at least a decade earlier will be fulfilled. The phrase "an enduring house" speaks of a dynasty. Several years into David's reign, God assures him of an everlasting family member being on the throne, (2 Samuel 7).  The Lord was going to partner with David and help him fight his battles. This didn't take away David's involvement and efforts. David can be assured of  Saul's inability ("29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the lives of your enemies He will sling out as from the hollow of a sling") to thwart his rise to the throne.  In verse 31, she urges David not to engage in vengeful actions, which in the future, would bring considerable grief. David would bear the stain of the blood of innocent victims on his hands. Now, thanks to the intervention of Abigail, he can face the future with a clean heart.  She concludes her words requesting David to remember her when he was on his throne.


III.   COURAGE REWARDED:   (1 Samuel 25:32-42)

  • David's Acceptance:
"Then David said to Abigail, 'Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, 33 and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Nevertheless, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male.' 35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him and said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and granted your request.'"  (1 Samuel 25:32-35)

David responds with an immediate and positive answer to Abigail's plea.  We see a grateful David toward God and then to Abigail.  David recognizes the hand of God in this situation. He praises this wise and godly woman for taking immediate action and for wanting to stop the bloodshed of innocent lives.  If it had not been for Abigal's wise and prudent interventionDavid would have destroyed Nabal and all his household. She stood in the gap, protecting both parties. Her decisive, wise and prudent action makes it possible for others to continue living.  What a remarkable woman of God!  In verse 35, David accepts the provisions brought from Abigail and instructs her to go home in peace. There was nothing to fear. David humbly heeds her words and request.

  • Nabal's Death:
"Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she did not tell him anything at all until the morning light. 37 But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became as a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died."  (1 Samuel 25:36-38)

Upon arriving home from intercepting David, Abigail finds it hard to speak to Nabal concerning her actions and David's intent. Nabal is in the middle of a feast celebrating as though he were a king. Perhaps he is celebrating another successful sheep-shearing with the resulting profit. Or he may be thinking himself to be some special person for insulting and dismissing David's messengers. Whatever his reasons, his celebration becomes his last.  The next morning, when he regained his sobriety, Abigail recounts the events of the previous day. In verse 37 she tells him the story in detail and most likely recounts the exact words.  Apparently, the stress of his foolishness caused his heart to die within him, and he was left as a stone. Perhaps he had a heart attack or stroke. He lingers for ten days and then dies. Verse 38 puts Nabal's death in perspective where God strikes him and takes his life. Nabal's failure was not just his rudeness and greed, but his insulting and dismissing of David, who was God's anointed king of Israel.

  • Abigail's Future:
"When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, 'Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.' Then David sent a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, 'David has sent us to you to take you as his wife' 41 She arose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, 'Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.' 42 Then Abigail quickly arose, and rode on a donkey, with her five maidens who attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.'"  (1 Samuel 25:39-42)

When David heard the news of Nabal's death,  he offers praise and thanksgiving for God's intervention. He recognizes that Nabal's contempt and insult deserved retaliation, but not in the way he was going to accomplish it. Instead, God allowed Nabal's hasty temper to be the cause of his death.  Wasting no time and without any hesitancy, David begins the negotiations for Abigail to become his wife. Following the custom of sending an intermediary, David sends his servants. However, they aren't really asking, for she is expected to accept. She accepts with great humility. Her bowing and offering to wash the servants' feet show her remarkable character (v. 41). It also shows her willingness to become David's wife.  So Abigail doesn't delay in going to David. She and her five maids immediately joined David (v. 42).  Abigail now becomes part of a group who move from place to place avoiding the forces of Saul. She will not only be the wife of David, but the woman who stopped David from making a disastrous choice is now placed under his loving care. What a beautiful love story!!


CONCLUSION:

Abigail was courageous and a woman of insight.  She was indeed a contrast to the foolish man. She portrays the virtuous wife.  She saved her husband's life and her household.  She met her problems face on and did not delay or worry about them.  In this story, we see hasty anger in full bloom. Anger (especially quick anger) is the root of many grievous sins.  It is dangerous to let this kind of anger linger, (Eph. 4:26).  Unchecked anger builds up and corrupts the angry one.  Delaying anger does not make things better. Hasty anger wants to argue and humiliate, (Proverbs 25:8).  Arguing leads to strife and quarreling.  It is like a flood of water that breaks the dam.   Therefore, stop your anger before it is too late,  (Prov. 17:14).  Remember that humble pleading is the only wise solution.

You see Abigail kept a righteous man, David, from making a grave mistake.  Her insight rescued David and those around her.  She understood that her husband's life and the lives of every person in her household was at stake.  She could have run.  Who would have blamed her?  But she was no quitter.  She graciously faced the imminent disaster with determination and godly fear.  Indeed, it took courage and wisdom.  You see courage moves us forward.  It forces us to see what needs to be done and move ahead regardless of the cost and consequences.  It is a trait that is desperately needed and rarely valued.  Abigail's insight shines through over and over again in this beautiful story.  Her decision to wait for the right moment to act demonstrates wisdom and great restraint.  True wisdom is rare these days.  James defines wisdom as,
"Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."  (James 3:13-18).

Indeed, Abigail showed this kind of wisdom with her words and actions.  She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, (1 Samuel 25:3).  Proverbs 31 reveals the source of Abigail's true beauty, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."  (Proverbs 31:30).  Her example teaches and inspires us to be women of true beauty, godliness, wisdom, intelligence, and understanding.  She is rewarded for her godly character and integrity as David recognizes not only her beauty but her wise counsel.  She is humble not allowing herself to be arrogant.  She is a woman of sweet submissive spirit.  A woman who fears and submits to God's ways will be exalted, (James 4:10).


So, let us consider Abigail's cycle and example of WISDOM, INSIGHT:
  • Abigail realized and acknowledged that David was a godly man.  She also acknowledged what her God Jehovah was capable of doing.  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."  Proverbs 9:10
  • Abigail avoided conflict.  "A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless."  Proverbs 14:16
  • Abigail purposed in her heart to go secretly or quietly about resolving the problem or crisis.  That is, she resolved the conflict wisely.  "A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back ."  Proverbs 29:11
  • She put her wisdom and understanding into action and offered generous gifts to David.  "He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully."   Proverbs 10:5
  • She definitely reaped the rewards that come to those who are wise "The wise will inherit honor, but fools display dishonor."  Proverbs 3:35

Abigail's life speaks loudly of her godly conduct and wisdom which impacted the lives of others.  Because of her insight, wisdom, and prudence, she protected the life of her husband Nabal and the man who later became her husband. Abigail seized the information given, understood what needed to be done, and then did it.  
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."  (Proverbs 15:1).

How do you respond to an angry (full of wrath) person?  Do you respond positively, negatively, pleasantly or bitterly?  Do you respond gently, yielding and peaceably or do you cause more bitterness and anger?

"A soft answer" is not a sign of weakness.  The most compelling and useful answer is offered in the mildest tone. And although the substance might be firm, the tone of speech and spirit are gentle. Such an answer is hard to resent or refute.  Wrath is turned away when we use a soft answer.  Anger is silenced.  Negative emotions and attitudes cannot burn without fuel to feed them.  So, what are the effects of using grievous or bitter words? Only hatred, cruelty, and misery.  Remember that bitterness is stronger than wrath. And while rage thunders, bitterness stabs. It creates more ill will than the angry words that provoke it.  Let this sink deeply into your hearts!

The example of Abigail has moved me to compose the following poem.

A SOFT ANSWER 
By Luci Y. Partain

Words, words, words…
What are words for?
You are what you think about all day long,
And your words “spill the beans!”

For words disclose the hidden man.
The heart filled with jealousy
Drowns in harsh and unkind words 
And drives friends apart!

Soft words quench the raging fire,
Before it grows!
But the seeds of anger stir it up,
And cause a great fall.

Your friend can hear you better,
If you speak with a gentle voice.
For understanding and loving kindness
Are a strain of music,
Worthy of the harps above!

Diamonds and precious jewels
Cannot compare with the soulful beauty
That lights the face with grace and meekness of heart.
Let the words of my mouth be soft, my Lord,
And let them be a balm that heals,
Answers that forgive, instead of swords
That pierce the heart!

Let my words be like honey, my Lord,
Sweet to the hurting heart,
Soothing oil to the boiling anger.
O that my words may be soft, my Lord,
Not harsh, bruising the wounded soul.

For to speak gently, is far better, 
And to rule by love, than humiliation. 
 For harsh words may mar
The good I might do here!

Love doth whisper low
The vows that bind true friendship;
The voice of affection is kind.
So let me speak gently to both young and old,
For they have enough to bear --
As they walk their anxious path
Doing the best they can!

Let me speak gently and grieve not 
The care-worn heart;
For the sands of life are nearly spent,
Let me speak gently to the poor, 
And silence the harsh tone;
For their burden is already heavy, 
With few kind words to comfort them!

Let me speak gently to the erring, for we know
Perchance unkindness made them so;
O that I may win them back again!

Let me speak gently! 
For He who gave His life
Brought healing to my stubborn heart,
And said to me, 'Peace, be still.'

Let me speak gently! -- 'tis a little thing
Discarded in the heart's deep well;
For the good, the joy may bring,
Eternity shall tell. 

Oh, may you gently speak soft words
With all the ones you meet?
May Jesus' kind and gentle words,
Calm and rule the angry heart.
For anger will only break the heart,
But the fragrance of our words  
Will spread as the sweetness of a rose!


May the LORD help us to have Abigail's insight that we may avoid conflict among ourselves and others and sow blessings instead.

Luci