To Be An “Abigail”

In the lesson last week, (Nabalism), we studied 1 Samuel 25.   It told about a wealthy man whose name was Nabal.  We took at look at his foolish ways and how his foolish choices impacted not only him, but those around him.  We also studied 6 “Nabalisms” or foolish ways of thinking in order to identify them so that we could search ourselves to see where we may be falling short and can begin to ask God to help us purge the foolish ways or “Nabalisms” in ourselves and become wise children of the Most High.  In the lesson for this week, let us take a look further into the chapter and take a closer look at Nabal’s wife, Abigail, and her wisdom.  We will see how her choices also impacted herself and those around her as well, but in a much more positive way than did Nabal’s actions.

Handout: To Be An “Abigail”

 Last week we learned about Nabal and how he was churlish, mean, and was ungrateful even when David and his men provided a generous and noble service for him by watching over as well as protecting his flocks and servants night and day during sheep shearing time.  Later, when David’s men go to Nabal requesting kindness for their services rendered, Nabal responds in a very rude and insulting manner making David absolutely furious.  When we left the story last week, David and his men have their swords strapped to their sides, ready for battle, and vengeance.  David is planning on killing Nabal and every male person in his house.  Nabal’s life as well as all the lives of the males in his house are in jeopardy.  However, Nabal has a wife, who is not only a wise, beautiful woman, but is also an intelligent intercessor in which the servants trust.  Let us continue in the chapter and see just what happens. 

1 Samuel 25:14
14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.  15But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:  16They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.  17Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
 18Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.  19And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. 20And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
When the servant saw what was happening, and how Nabal had treated David and his men, he was very concerned and they took the matter to Abigail.  This says a lot for her character.  Perhaps in the past, she has had to be a mediator in that for Nabal because he acts so foolishly in regard to others.  We don’t know for certain, but we do know that this servant trusts Abigail and that he can talk freely with her about what is going on so that she can try to step up and do the right thing in order to save the house from the destruction that is sure to come.  She surely behaved herself wisely and had lived a life before the servants and all in her household that was full of integrity, wisdom, and showing a love for God and all that is good. 
Notice Abigail doesn’t lose her cool.  She knows that there is trouble coming, but she keeps herself calm and she doesn’t waste any time worrying.  Instead, she begins to get food prepared for David and his men, something her husband should have done.  Abigail doesn’t stand around complaining or whining about Nabal’s actions, she doesn’t go to him and tell him how foolish he is.  She is discreet, and she works quickly knowing that she doesn’t have the time to waste on such foolish things.  A very wise choice on her part.  So we see that she has the prepared food and she is off to intercept David and his men who are coming and ready for war.  This is a very bold move for a woman in any day, but especially in that day when women were not considered as equals.  She was to stay in her place so to speak and for her to go out to intercept these angry warriors, not really knowing what will happen most definitely shows her trust in the Lord to take care of the situation.
 21Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.  22So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.  
David is still furious and he is planning to kill every male person belonging to and with Nabal, including Nabal himself.  He has just basically said that it has been useless; he has been doing good and just gotten evil in return.  Have you ever felt that way?  Have you ever felt that you keep doing good and doing the right thing but it seems that bad things keep happening or that you can’t get your head above waters?  David was feeling this way.  Remember now that David and these men are warriors; they are no strangers to blood shed and battle.  How will Abigail ease his anger and what will happen when she tries to smooth things over?  I’m certain the whole trip, the devil was right in her ear, telling her to turn back, that she will not make a difference.  Still Abigail knows in whom she believes and she continues forward.  Hallelujah.  (Blessed are the peace makers.)
23And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,  24And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.  25Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
Abigail didn’t have time to prepare some “speech”.  David would have seen right through that anyway, instead, in all humility, she just begins to speak sincerely from her heart with the Lord directing her words and what to say because God knew what would cause David to stop, listen, and he knew what would appease David’s anger so that he could begin to think clearly and wisely once more as he had always done in the past.  Abigail has asked David to please disregard Nabal and his actions because he is a foolish person and she lets David know that she was unaware that his men had even been to Nabal, in other words that had she known, she would have made provisions for them earlier.  Abigail continues to speak and David continues to listen, wise choices made by both of them.  (Do you speak when God tells you to speak? Do you make time to listen to the counsel of others, seeking God on their words, and do you seek God and listen to his voice?)
 26Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.  27And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.  28I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.  29Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
Abigail shows great strength, courage, and boldness here as well as much wisdom.  She is very aware of who David is and she has paid attention to what has been happening.  She reminds him that thus far, he has behaved himself wisely and followed the Lord; she reminds him that he doesn’t want to stop now.  She asks him to please forgive this incident and to take the food that she has brought for himself and his men.  Notice verses 28 and 29, she reminds David of his victories in battles and how the Lord has always been with him and helped him have those victories by obedience to God’s voice.  She says, David, even though someone is trying to kill you, (Saul) God has protected you and will continue, you can trust Him to fight all your battles as well as this one.  By saying this, Abigail lets David know that she understands what has been happening and that God will take care of his enemies and that contrary to how he feels now, his goodness and kindness is not useless, and God will honor him in due time.  In verse 29 we see how Abigail also very brilliantly reminds David of his battle with Goliath and how the victory was his from God when he trusted the Lord.  She says but the lives of your enemies God will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling, this is so clever, beautiful, and effective, no doubt God was directing her words.  Praise Him!
 30And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;  31That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
Abigail continues by reminding David that God has chosen him to be King, and one day it shall come to pass and that he really doesn’t want to have the guilt of killing Nabal and all his men, simply because he is angry.  She again reminds him to let the Lord take care of it and when the Lord brings him success, to not forget her.  Remember me, Abigail says, and in due time David, you can praise God to know that He has avenged you and you do not have to do it at your own hand and have it on your conscience.  Child of God, we too can trust God to fight our battles and bring us to victory when we obey and surrender to Him.  Thank You Father.  Let’s read on to find out how David will respond to her.
32And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:  33And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.  34For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.  35So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
David behaves wisely once more by listening to her counsel knowing that her words were the words of God’s voice through her.  He praises her for her good judgment.  He accepts her gifts and praises the Lord for sending her his way.  He is thankful that she was there to stop him from making a foolish decision in his anger and keeping his hand from evil doing.  He tells her to go in peace and that no harm will come to her or Nabal from his hand, and that he has granted her request.  Abigail showed wonderful judgment and negotiation skills in this time talking to David and he is quiet impressed with her tact and wisdom.  We will see just how impressed he is as we read further.
 36And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.  37But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.  38And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
Abigail returns home only to find her clueless husband having a party and very drunk.  Oh foolish Nabal, he has no idea what his beautiful wife has just done for him.  He just has his fun but his days are numbered and he doesn’t even realize it yet.  (Be sure your sins will find you out.)  Abigail is wise enough to know that there is no point in trying to discuss anything with him while he is drunk, so she just peacefully waits till morning when he is sober.  She tells him all that has happened and the hand of God strikes Nabal.  A little over a week later, the Lord takes Nabal out.  There is no record of Nabal being remorseful or sorrowful for his foolish ways.  Just as Abigail had said to David, God did avenge him and did fight his battles for him, and he will fight for all his children!  The victory is ours through Christ!
 39And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.  40And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.  
David heard about what happened to Nabal, and he praises the Lord for keeping him from a rash and foolish angry mistake and he praises the Lord for avenging him.  He also was so taken with Abigail and her wisdom and good judgment that he sends servants to her asking her to become his wife.  He would now be responsible and take care of her and provide for her now that Nabal is gone.  God as well as David remembered her.  When we trust and obey the Lord, God will remember and honor that always.
41And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.  42And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.  43David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.  44But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.
In all of this, Abigail still shows humility and grace as she bows her face to the ground and she is willing to serve David and his servants.  She again, wastes no time but makes haste and goes to David and becomes his wife.  There isn’t much more in the Bible about Abigail.  Reading in later chapters we see where she goes along with David and at one point is captured by David’s enemies but the Lord makes a way for David to rescue her.  (1 Samuel 30)
Abigail in this incident is a wonderful example of how we as children of the Most High, should conduct ourselves in all things be you male or female.  Let us take a look back at the characteristics of Abigail so that we can apply them to our own lives seeking God for guidance in becoming wiser servants.  As we review, apply these characteristics to your own walk with God.  Ask yourself if you obtain these qualities and if you are uncertain ask of the Lord who knows you better than you know yourself.  He will lead each one in what steps to take in how he wants each one to be for his glory.

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must trust the Lord.  Do you fully trust Him? 

Psalms 5:11 “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must live with wisdom and integrity. 

Proverbs 8:11 “For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”
Proverbs 11: 3 “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must not be a sluggard or lazy, one must be quick to obey God in all things.

Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must have humility before the Lord.

Proverbs 15:33 “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.”
Proverbs 22:4 “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.”
Proverbs 29:23 “A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
Psalms 10:17 “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:”

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must be a peacemaker.

Psalms 34:13 “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Peace making something that you will need to really seek the Lord and obey his voice.  Many confuse Peace making with peace keeping.  Peace makers and Peace keepers are two very different things.  Peace keepers are codependent.  Peace keepers sit by and will continue in unhealthy situations and relationships in order not to cause a scene.  Peace keepers have a false idea of peace. 
A peace maker is interested in true peace and will obey the Lord and will do what he directs in order to bring true peace.  A peace maker pursues true peace that comes from the Father.

  1. To be an “Abigail” one must have courage that comes from God.  True courage comes only from the Father.

Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee?  Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Psalm 31:24 “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
These are just a few of the important characteristics that Abigail portrayed.  Of course we must not compare ourselves to others, we must be who God created us to be.  God will never help you be someone else.  He will only help you be the best “you” that you can be.  However, these are principles that every child of God male or female should try to live by.  This record of Abigail is in God’s word to show us how God honors those that honor and obey him and his words.  Oh how much more peaceful, and joyful the lives of God’s children will be and continue to be when we humble ourselves before him.  Let us strive to please our Father so that his light can shine through us to a lost and dying world.  So that his truth and hope shines bright to those who have lost hope.  Oh to be an “Abigail” for the glory, honor, of God Almighty to which all is due.  Father please help your children.  Praise His Holy name.

Reminder:  Remember to love and serve others in the attitude of Christ Jesus.

Dear Righteous Heavenly Father,
Again we come to you in praise of who you are.  Each day that passes we see just how much we need you.  Each day that passes we see how helpless we are without you.  Father we thank you for all that you are to us, you are life.  We praise you that you are mindful of us and that you love us with a love that we will never understand, but we are thankful.  Father we thank you for protecting us and for providing for us each and every day and for keeping your hand upon each and every life.  Father we ask that you help us to apply the principles of your word to our lives.  We ask that you help us see ourselves as you see us and that you show us the areas in our lives in which we lack.  We ask that you help us to make amends for those areas and for you to show us what to do and help us to obey you knowing that your ways are best and that we can live victorious when we strive to walk in your ways. 
Father give us wisdom and understanding and discernment.  Give us good judgment and help us to always wait upon you and to pursue peace, true peace that only comes from you.  Thank you for your love, mercy, grace, and your undying goodness.  Help us to be mirrors reflecting your love to those around us.  Father we pray for this ministry that you will help us to reach the utmost parts of the world with your truth.  We ask that you protect, and bless all those that come to read, learn, and those that teach the message of you.  We ask that you help us to continue on for you and to become prayer warriors and good soldiers in this war of good and evil in these end times.  Thank you for always hearing and answering our cries.  In the name of Jesus we ask and pray…AMEN!

God Bless You!
March 1, 2009