When we think of types and shadows of Jesus, the Bronze Serpent (John 3:14), manna (John 6:51), rock in the wilderness (1 Cor 10:4), or certain individuals like Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon probably come to mind. But Abigail? Probably not, but she should!
Jesus is our propitiation. Since this isn’t a word we use often here’s a simple definition: a gift, offering or sacrifice meant to turn away the wrath of an offended individual. The closest English words would be appeasing, expiating, placating, pacifying, or satisfying.
Here are two examples of propitiation in the Old Testament to give you an idea what it looks like:
- In 1 Samuel 6:1-6 the Philistines wanted to return the ark to Israel, but they knew God was angry so they offered Him five golden tumors and five golden rats to hopefully turn away His wrath.
- In 2 Samuel 21:1-6 seven men were sacrificed to turn away the wrath of the Gibeonites.
Another example of propitiation takes place in 1 Samuel 25. David helped Nabal, he responded to David’s kindness by insulting him. David was so angry, he told his men:
“Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.1 Samuel 25:13
Enter Abigail as a type of Christ in turning away David’s wrath…
First, Abigail provided an offering on Nabal’s behalf.
Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.1 Samuel 25:18 & 27
[She told David] “And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.”
Like Jesus provided an offering on our behalf: Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Second, Abigail sought to bear Nabal’s iniquity.
She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. “1 Samuel 25:24
Similarly, Jesus bore our iniquity:
For He shall bear their iniquities.Isaiah 53:11b
To learn more about types and shadows, watch this message I delivered as a guest preacher about Jonah revealing Jesus…
Third, Abigail’s actions defeated the “devil.”
Nabal is a picture of the devil:
Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he.1 Samuel 25:25
The Hebrew word for “scoundrel” is bĕliya`al, which is why the King James Version says, “Belial.” This is a name for the devil in the New Testament:
And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?2 Corinthians 6:15
Nabal died after he learned about Abigail’s intercession:
In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.1 Samuel 25:37-38
Similarly, Jesus’ intercession on the cross resulted in Satan’s defeat:
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it, that is the cross.Colossians 2:15
Fourth, Abigail asked for Nabal’s forgiveness.
Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live.1 Samuel 25:28
Like Jesus asks to see us forgiven:
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”Luke 22:34
Fifth, David accepted Abigail as an intercessor.
David said to Abigail, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!”1 Samuel 25:32
Like the Father accepts the Son as an Intercessor:
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.1 Timothy 2:5
Sixth, Abigail turned away David’s wrath.
David said, “Unless you had hurried and come to meet me, by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!”1 Samuel 25:34
Like Jesus turned away God’s wrath:
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:9
Nabal’s name name means “fool.” Our disobedience is also foolish. Just as Abigail turned away the wrath of David from a fool, Jesus turns away the wrath of God that’s against us because of our foolishness.
Seventh, Abigail established peace between David and Nabal.
David said, “Go up in peace to your house.”1 Samuel 25:35a
Without Abigail there would have been judgment on Nabal, but Abigail established peace between he and David.
Like Jesus established peace between us and God:
[Jesus] made peace through the blood of [the] cross.Colossians 1:20b
Eighth, David was pleased with Abigail’s character.
David said, “See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person.”1 Samuel 25:35b
Like God is pleased with Jesus’ character:
A voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:17
Ninth, Abigail was elevated to a position of honor.
When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.”1 Samuel 25:40
After Abigail’s work, she became David’s wife. She sat next to him as Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.
Discussion Questions to Answer in the Comments Section
- Do you see any other ways Abigail looks like Christ?
- Would you share your favorite type of Christ in the Old Testament?