“And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Abigail was scrambling. She knew that if she didn’t come up with something really good and right on the spot her husband, possibly her older children, and most of the servants under her care were toast. When she heard word that David was coming for war, she put together a generous gift, road out to meet him well before he arrived, and made her pitch.
And what a pitch she made. Her words were eloquent and gracious. She showed herself to be every bit as discerning as the text introduced her as being back in v. 3. This last part of her speech, though is the most important part. Look with me at what she does here.
She points forward to David’s future. She said, “I know you’re going to become king. You’re going to have a long and happy rule. And when you get to the end of your days, you’ll be able to look back and not regret killing a bunch of people who didn’t really deserve it.” In other words, she sat before him this question to consider before he did what he was about to do: Is this something you’ll look back on and regret later? Or, perhaps to put that another way: What do you want to remember fifty years from now?
This was a path-changing question for David, and it can be a powerful one in our own lives too. When you are about to make a big decision, or perhaps to do something you have a sneaking suspicion you shouldn’t do, put it in these terms: When I’m in my 80s or 90s looking back on my life, is this something I’m going to remember fondly or regret? Is this something that’ll be an unnecessary burden I’ll have to carry when I’m already tired from life? Better yet: Is this something that could keep me from being able to look back on my life in my 80s or 90s?
Actions or words which are going to leave you with regret later are not the ones you want to pursue now. A few moments of thought can help you discern which are which before you do them. What kind of a legacy do you want to have? Make the choices now that will leave you able to enjoy it later.