Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.” I Sam 25:17 (NIV)
Abigail lived in a time when a woman wasn’t formally educated and was never superior to a man, especially a husband. She lived with her husband, “a mean and surly man,” as he was known. Her opinion wasn’t considered. Her words weren’t counted. How easy it would have been for her to hear her servant’s report and to wring her hands in despair! Her Nabal had done it again! Now he’d offended this David, the King’s trusted leader of the army. Nabal had refused David’s request for supplies while his troops were hungry (and after David had honored him), and now David was coming to kill all their men.
Abigail lost no time. (verse 18) This beautiful woman was also intelligent, decisive, and confident. She quickly loaded up food and set out to alleviate both the men’s hunger and their wrath at injustice. As David spied the arrival of animals laden with food, he also glimpsed Abigail for the first time, a determined woman bowing at his feet, offering all Nabal had refused. She delivered food, honor, and humility to this anointed future-king.
He listened to her astute assessment and opinion of his character and his calling. He also heard words of wisdom from a woman who feared God.
Her words and actions assuaged his anger and even prompted him to praise God for saving him through Abigail’s initiative.
“May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.” I Samuel 25: 33-34 (NIV)
Women of integrity are confident in who they serve and quick at observation,
Women of integrity are decisive and won’t waste time on fruitless conversation.
Women of integrity are quick to hold men to their calling,
Women of integrity help keep God’s chosen from falling.
Abigail made atonement for her husband’s mistakes while only speaking the truth about her husband. She honored the anointed future king with his requested food to preserve the physical strength of his troops and words of wisdom and honor to preserve the integrity of David’s calling. She was wise enough to understand the position to which God called her, and humble enough to realize when God called her to a different role as her days progressed. She not only thought it over, as the servant suggested, she quickly devised a plan that honored God and saved both men’s lives and the integrity of the future king’s reputation. A powerful woman indeed.
Make a mental timeline of the various roles Abigail played: wife to a “mean and surly man”, a woman of faith saving her people, and a woman marrying a future king.
Now overlay that timeline with a graph measuring her humility. Once people taste power, many often refuse to relinquish it. Is this how Abigail apparently responded?
What motivated her to respond as she did?
What motivates you?
Please feel free to share your thoughts on Abigail’s motivations. Hearing a different point of view helps us each to learn to better think outside the box.
Thanks for reading! Please return by Monday, May 2, for the next post.