Abigail is one of my favorite women of the Bible. (After all, I named my third born after her!)
I am struck by Abigail for the following reasons: 1) Abigail’s lousy situation; 2) Abigail’s brave response; and 3) God’s ultimate provision.
1) Abigail’s lousy situation.
Abigail is smart and beautiful, but she’s (unfortunately) married to a jerk. Samuel describes it like this.
“She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband [Nabal] was surly and mean in all his dealings.” (v.3)
We can assume that Nabal was likewise a jerk to Abigail. Was he always a jerk, or did he turn mean after they married? We’ll never know. What we do know is that she was stuck in a bad situation that was about to get worse.
Nabal was so stubborn and stingy that he wouldn’t even compensate David for protecting his property. This angered David, who vowed he would not “leave one male alive of all who belong to him!” (v. 22)
In other words, destruction would soon descend on the house of Nabal. One of Nabal’s servants warned Abigail the evening before David’s army would attack, pleading with her to take action.
What’s a woman to do when her husband won’t respond to the voice of reason, and she knows her household is about to be destroyed?
2) Abigail’s brave response.
“Abigail lost no time.” (v. 18) She takes matters into her own hands. While Nabal is unaware and drunk, she packs up food and gifts and rides on her donkey to meet David.
She puts herself in harm’s way – she pleads for peace when David and his men are ready to fight.
And she doesn’t just act. She takes responsibility for her entire household.
“My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name – his name is Fool and folly goes with him.” (v. 25)
Notice what Abigail doesn’t do.
She doesn’t make excuses for Nabal or pretend that everything is “fine.” She also doesn’t say, “There’s nothing I can do, my household is doomed.”
She also doesn’t try try to harm Nabal. Don’t think it didn’t cross her mind! Maybe she thought about poisoning him in his sleep. She doesn’t even plead to God, “Strike my husband dead!”
Instead, she influences the situation for good. She looks at where she can make a difference. She acts swiftly and decisively.
3) God’s ultimate provision.
Did Abigail honor God with her actions? I think she did. She acted with grace and honor and left the results to God.
God likewise honored Abigail.
After Abigail saved the day (and Nabal sobered up) she went back and told Nabal what had happened. He had a heart attack. Ten days later, he died.
You guessed it, when David learned of Nabal’s death, he “sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife.” (v. 40)
Did Abigail live happily ever after? I don’t know exactly. But I do know that God provided for her in her time of need.
I don’t know your situation. It might be lousy. But learn from Abigail and use your influence for good. Instead of an attitude that says, I’m stuck, there’s nothing I can do, Abigail teaches us that, even in the midst of what appears to be a hopeless situation, we can act in faith. Instead of being stuck, we can be strong.