Abigail’s story is a short but powerful one. She was a beautiful, wise, and virtuous woman. She was the wife of Nabal. His name portrayed his character “Nabal; for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him…” (I Samuel 25:25 WEB). Her actions teach us how we as women can be honorable and humble of spirit.
1 Samuel 25:3 Now the name of the man was #Nabal and the name of his wife #Abigail. This woman was intelligent and had a beautiful face, but the man was surly and evil in his doings (WEB).
David and 600 of his men were camped out around Nabal’s property. They watched over Nabal’s sheep and his shepherds so that no harm came to them (v7). David was honorable in his actions and his requests for provisions from Nabal.
I Samuel 25:4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 Tell him, ‘Long life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7 Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds have now been with us, and we didn’t harm them, neither was there anything missing from them, all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore, let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come on a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand, to your servants, and to your son David.’”
The story continues with Nabal's refusal to supply food for David and his men who were on the run from King Saul (v 10-11). We can see from the next part of the story that Nabal did not return the honor bestowed upon him. Instead Nabal’s response was impolite, insulting, rude, and selfish. These are not good characteristics to have in your life. If you want the blessings of God in your life you will allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in your life. (See Galatians 5).
I Samuel 25:10-11 Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days. 11 Shall I then take my bread, my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I don’t know where they come from?”
Nabal’s greedy words ushered in his own demise. Let this be a warning to us all, we create the world we live in. The Scripture teaches us that the power of life and death is in our tongue. This is the perfect example of the power we have been given. The power we have over our own lives can either create or destroy, as we see here with Nabal’s words. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.” Be sure to use your power wisely.
Abigail had the presence of mind, the wisdom, and the understanding that David was more than a vagabond, more than a fugitive. He was going to be a king. Perhaps she knew his story. Perhaps she knew the prophecies about David. Regardless, this wise, discerning, generous and righteous woman honored David as she acted swiftly to prepare a huge meal of five sheep, 200 loaves of bread, wine, and she was even thoughtful enough to bring dessert to them (v18). Abigail had a servant’s heart which lead her to prepare such a feast for David and his men and deliver it to them. Her humble and sincere request from David was to put the blame on her for Nabal’s refusal of David’s request and to spare her husband. She honored David once again through her humble and respectful words, (v 28-31).
Would you take the blame for an action you were not responsible for to save another’s life? The Scripture teaches us in John 15:13 that “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” How different were the responses of Nabal and Abigail? They were totally the opposite, weren’t they?
“For Yahweh will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord fights Yahweh’s battles. Evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Though men may rise up to pursue you, and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. He will sling out the souls of your enemies, as from the hollow of a sling. 30 It will come to pass, when Yahweh has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31 that this shall be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahweh has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
David not only heard her but also granted her request (v 35). He spared Nabal and his household. This Scripture parallels with Isaiah 65:24, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” This is what the Lord does for us, He gives us his ear, then He answers us while we are still asking!
Abigail did not let Nabal know what she was doing at the time. She did tell him the next morning after he had sobered up. His response? He went into a rage. Nabal's “heart died within him, and he became as a stone” (v. 37). We must always be careful and dutiful to help God’s chosen ones any time we get the opportunity to do so.
Abigail was blessed 1,000-fold for her generosity, her humility, and her respect towards David. When David got news of the death of Nabal he sent for her to become his wife (v40). Abigail became the 3rd wife of David before he became a king.
Although Abigail’s story is short, there are many lessons the Lord gives us through her story. I will share three more of them.
Touching on one more aspect of Abigail’s life, she was married to a mean-spirited and evil man who was a drunkard. The Lord had a plan to move Abigail to safety. You should also pray and consider getting help if you are in a relationship that is abusive. Don’t stay because you think you can change them, or because you think they will get better. Only God can change the heart of another. Find a place of safety where you can flourish and become the woman God created you to be. You deserve to live in peace and abundance.
What other life lessons did you get from this post? I would love to hear what you come up with.
Cindy Hyde, MA is a published author, blogger, media personality, ordained minister, pastoral counselor, certified professional life coach, and CEO and founder of The East Texas Healing Center. Over the course of her career, Cindy has become known as a trusted partner among those who are serious about overcoming life’s struggles, walking in victory, and living successfully. She currently lives in Nacogdoches, TX with her husband Michael and their spoiled poodle Quincy. cindyhyde.com, fb.me/cindyhyde, @cindyhyde,
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Cindy Hyde, MAEd specializes in soul care. She is an author, teacher, Ordained Minister, Pastoral Counselor, Professional Life Coach, wife, mother, grandmother and CEO/Founder of The East Texas Healing Center (a hospital for the soul).