David, son of Jesse, in the Bible is not perfect but he does have virtue. In the previous post, I wrote about Saul’s humility and how it led to his overcompensating for his poor self-esteem. Here, we see David’s virtue:
“When the Lord has done for my master all the good things he has promised you, and has installed you as Israel’s leader, don’t let this be a blot or burden on my master’s conscience, that you shed blood needlessly or that my master took vengeance into his own hands. When the Lord has done good things for my master, please remember your servant.” David said to Abigail, “Bless the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! And bless you and your good judgment for preventing me from shedding blood and taking vengeance into my own hands today!”
The scene here is when Abigail, the wife of Nabal, goes to David to dissuade him from seeking revenge on Nabal for slighting his honor. David asked for the customary payment to a Bedouin tribe for protecting and guarding Nabal’s flocks while they were in the wilderness. Nabal refuses to pay, which in that culture says that he believes David is worthless, a thief, and not to be trusted. David had decided to avenge his honor by going to Nabal’s camp and killing him along with any other male there. Abigail approached David to stop him from this course of action.
When confronted with this reminder that vengeance belongs to the Lord, David admits he was wrong. This is all the more startling when you remember that the rebuke came from a woman in an extremely patriarchal culture. David’s virtue was a humility that was healthy. He could admit when he was wrong and take correction from anyone. David did not need to prove himself to others as Saul did because he knew the Lord was with him. And when David traveled on a trajectory that was contrary to what the Lord desired, he repented.
When we make mistakes, we must have the same kind of virtue David did, a humility that will allow us to admit we are wrong and seek forgiveness from the Lord, as well as those whom we wronged.