It is a familiar experience: driving down the Interstate, you start to change lanes only to discover there is another vehicle hanging out in your blind spot. Life is like that too. We cruise lazily on, thinking all is well, until somehow we realize we have made a big mistake and did not even know it. We must not take this tendency lightly as it can prove fatal.
David was no exception. 1 Samuel 25 records what appears to be a blind spot in David’s life. Here are some lessons from this chapter about identifying and correcting our own blind spots.
Blind spots happen when we cannot see our own inconsistencies and mistakes. David is on the run from Saul, but spares his enemy twice because he is God’s anointed (1 Sam. 24, 26). In the middle of these accounts, David rashly and angrily vows to wipe out Nabal and his entire bloodline. True, Nabal was a greedy fool (even his servants and wife knew it—v. 17, 25) but David’s proposed vengeance would clearly be unjustified (v. 26, 33; Rom. 12:19).
What is so striking is that David’s conscience would not allow him to touch Saul, but his anger took over when Nabal refused to show him hospitality. Did David not see the inconsistency? Sometimes the obvious things come easy for us, but the subtle temptations become our downfall. We put up a strong defense against the big temptations, but we let our guard down for little things. The problem is that Satan is working through both.
Others can help us identify our blind spots. If our eyes cannot see reality, they can be opened by the advice and admonishment of others. Abigail indeed was “intelligent and beautiful” (v. 3) in that she humbly yet boldly approached David in his anger to save her family. The things we are oblivious to in ourselves may be (and often are) quite obvious to others.
There is much to be commended in the way Abigail approached David: haste, bravery, humility, objective honesty, generosity, a firm stance on right and wrong, and acknowledgment of the good in David. She was willing to take Nabal’s guilt on herself. She appealed to David’s desire for a clean conscience and to please God. When we have opportunity to point out faults in others, it would be prudent to follow Abigail’s example.
It takes humility to admit our blind spots and correct them. This is the real test of our character; we all have blind spots, but not all of us will respond as David did when they are pointed out. Finally realizing the dangerous track he was following, he thanked Abigail for her discernment. He saw her as a blessing from God (v. 32-34). He was even so impressed by her wisdom he asked to marry her after her husband’s death. This is a good lesson seeking a spouse: do you want someone who will help you see your flaws in an honest way?
It is hard to identify our blind spots, and even harder to admit them. Pride and self-justification are powerful motivators. But David immediately changed his course when he realized the guilt he would incur. Are you thankful for the Abigails in your life who help you see what you cannot?