When we think of types 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, a man whose name fittingly means “fool”, and he responded to David’s kindness by insulting him. David was so angry, he told his men, “Strap on your swords!” (v. 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” (v. 18).
[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” (v. 27).
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.
“On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be!” (v. 24).
Like Jesus bore our iniquity: Isaiah 53:11b For He shall bear their iniquities.
Third, Abigail asked for Nabal’s forgiveness.
“Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant” (v. 28)
Like Jesus asks to see us forgiven: Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Fourth, 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!” (v. 32).
Like the Father accepts the Son as an Intercessor: 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Fifth, 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!” (v. 34).
Like Jesus turned away God’s wrath: 1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sixth, Abigail established peace between David and Nabal.
“Go up in peace to your house” (v. 35a).
Without Abigail there would have’ve been judgment on Nabal, but Abigail established peace between David and Nabal.
Like Jesus established peace between us and God: Colossians 1:20b [Jesus] made peace through the blood of [the] cross.
Seventh, David was pleased with Abigail’s character.
“See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person” (v. 35b).
Like God is pleased with Jesus’ character: Matthew 3:17 a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
This account makes Abigail a wonderful type of Christ in turning away the wrath of God that is against us for our foolishness: 1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- Do you see any other ways Abigail looks like Christ?
- Would you share your favorite type of Christ in the Old Testament?
Leave your answer(s) in the comments section!