Beauty, Brains, and a BlessingDavid said to Abigail, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement 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.”1 Samuel 25:32-34
For context, read 1 Samuel 25
There once was an intelligent and beautiful woman who was married to a fool. In fact, her husband’s name actually meant “fool”. Meet Abigail and Nabal.
Now, David had 600 men in the wilderness who had helped guard and protect Nabal’s flocks and shepherds. Nabal was rich. 1 Samuel 25:2
says that he had 1,000 goats and 3,000 sheep. But he was not generous and he was certainly not kind. When David understandably asked Nabal to show him and his men hospitality in return for the security David had provided for him, Nabal insulted them and refused to provide anything for David and his men despite his abundant wealth. Nabal was selfish and rude.
It made David angry. So angry that he rallied his troops and set out to slaughter all of Nabal’s men. Now, a servant had told Abigail what had happened and thankfully, she was much wiser than her husband. She thought on her feet and quickly gathered generous provisions for David and his men. She rode out to meet David herself and issued a sincere apology for her husband’s insolent behavior.
A few things stand out in Abigail’s apology. First, she made no excuses for his behavior. She called him what he was-a fool. Second, she gave the LORD credit, instead of herself, for keeping David from avenging himself. If David had acted impulsively out of revenge, he would have been guilty of shedding innocent blood. Nabal’s actions were foolish, selfish, and rude but they weren’t criminal. Abigail wisely intervenes in order to prevent her household from being slaughtered but also points out to David that God had rescued him from his own potential folly. Third, Abigail must have been a woman of great faith. She reminded David of the promises that God had made to him. She reminded him that he would be a lasting dynasty and that God would bring him success and would protect him. Finally, Abigail makes one request for herself. She asked him that when, not if, the LORD grants David success, that he would remember her.
David wisely listened to her. He even praised God for her intervention and “good judgement” or else he would have murdered Nabal’s men in his hasty anger.
When Abigail returned home, she noticed that Nabal was drunk. Further exercising good judgement, she refrains from telling Nabal about her encounter with David until he is sober. When she does tell him, he suffers from a stroke and dies 10 days later. When David heard that Nabal died, he remembered her one request. He didn’t just remember her and offer to take care of her. He asked her to be his wife!
The WORD about women in the story of Abigail shows how God can use godly women to offer wise counsel to the men in their lives. It is obvious that Abigail was walking closely with the LORD and that it was He who granted her the wisdom to successfully negotiate peace, protect her household, offer encouragement to the future king, and secure herself future provision. Abigail wasn’t just beautiful, she was smart because she sought the LORD’s wisdom. And when she put her intelligence into action, she was a blessing to those around her. ReflectHow can you be an “Abigail” to the men in your life? How can you be prepared to be a woman capable of offering wise counsel and a cool head in tense situations? PrayLord, I want to be a woman of wisdom like Abigail. Give me the wisdom I need to be a peacemaker and a blessing. Amen.