by Clarence E. Macartney

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Chariots of Fire (18 of 18)
The Soul's Advocate-Abigail
Clarence E. Macartney
1 Samuel 25:29

Springtime in Palestine. "The winter is past, the
rains are over and gone; the flowers appear on the
earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and
the voice of the turtle is heard in the land." There
was a softness in the air, the indefinable breath of
nature's revirescence. The valleys and hills were
green with the new grass. But here and there were
patches of white in the midst of the green-not snow
still lingering on the hillside, but flocks of sheep
being led to the shearing ground. We shall visit this
one flock of three thousand sheep. Not only sheep were
gathered here, but goats and cattle and asses and
camels. Multitudes of children, too, and the women
with their picturesque headdresses of vivid blue,
yellow, and red. The fires were burning where the oxen
were spitted and roasted for the feast, for sheep
shearing was a time of social joy and rejoicing, of
eating and making merry, and of giving and receiving
gifts-just like the old-time harvest homes and barn-
raisings in America.

The sheep were first washed in the pool and then led
up to the shearing platforms, where you could see the
flash of the shearing knives and hear the bleating of
the sheep. As one by one the sheep of this flock of
three thousand were sheared and sent away, the heaps
of white wool rose higher and higher. Seated under a
pavilion was the lord and master of this domain. His
name was Nabal, a degenerate descendant of the great
family of Caleb, Joshua's heroic companion. Nabal was
called a "great" man-not great, however, in
personality and moral character, but merely great in
the number of his flocks and herds. But his most
valuable possession, although Nabal did not appreciate
or realize it, was his beautiful and accomplished
wife, Abigail. This beautiful woman was married to the
hard-drinking churl and boor Nabal. ...

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