Heroines of the Bible Series - Abigail

Over the next couple of weeks, I want to take a look at the lives of great women in the Bible who made a difference in history. What’s interesting about these women is that many of them did the most mundane things that changed the course of history and blessed nations forever. So, stay with me as we learn simple life lessons from these courageous women that can change our nations for the better.


1 Sam 25:1-42 

I love the story of Abigail and David because Abigail was simply a smart woman. The story tells of how David, in his time of need, reached out to Abigail’s husband, Nabal, whom he had helped in the past:

 4 "While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. 5 So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. 6 Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! 7 Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. 8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them."

What was interesting about this request was that David felt he had sown a good seed and should at least get something in return for that. Not a ridiculous request, is it? But, for some reason best known as meanness, Abigail’s husband decided to decline the request:

10 "Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

Isn’t it just annoying when you help people, and then when they have the chance to return the favor they simply ignore you? It is little wonder that David was enraged and decided to pay back Nabal’s wickedness.

 12 "David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. 13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies."

Yep, David was enraged—mad as hell—and he was about to kill every male in Nabal’s household. But, thank God for smart wives who know when to step up and act wisely when their husbands decide to act stupidly. That’s one thing women have—intuitiveness—and one thing we should use more often. Many times, women can see the effects of an action even more clearly than their male counterparts, especially emotional reactions. Men typically think things through, while women feel. So, while Nabal was thinking about why he should not waste his food on David, whom he hardly knew, Abigail was sensing the anger that would come with her husband’s refusal.
18 "Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal... 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 25 Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. 26 And now, my lord, as surely as the LORD your God lives and as you live, since the LORD has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal."

She goes on to spend a good amount of time apologizing to David for her husband’s behavior, appealing to his sense of godliness and offering the meal her husband should have given in the first place. Her act of wisdom paid off; David relented his anger toward her household. In the end, when her husband died, David married her.

When God brings you into the life of a man, He is not just sending you there to say yes to every decision he makes, especially when it’s obviously wrong. Saying yes to your husband’s wrong decision is not an act of submission; it’s an act of foolishness. So, take on the role of a co-pilot and help your spouse make the right decision. Even when you disagree, do it wisely. You never know—you may just be saving an entire generation.

Lesson to learn: Step up and speak wisely.

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