Seven Characteristics of a Abigail a Godly Woman.
The text we shall examine today is 1Samuel 25 taken from the New Living Bible.
The Death of Samuel
1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.
Nabal Angers David
Then David moved down to the wilderness of Maon. 2 There was a wealthy man from Maon who owned property near the town of Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and it was sheep-shearing time. 3 This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings.
V.3 “…Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman…”
Characteristic number one. Abigail was sensible and that is a lasting quality which does not fade. She was beautiful not only to the eyes, but on the inside as well and that beauty does not fade away like the flower of youth.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Nabal in Hebrew means Fool and Caleb means Dog. So you can easily contrast the sensible and beautiful Abigail with the crude and mean Fool from the House of Dog.
4 When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: 6 “Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! 7 I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. 8 Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.” 9 David’s young men gave this message to Nabal in David’s name, and they waited for a reply.
10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?”
12 So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. 13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment.
It is true that David was on the run from Saul and thus he was considered an outlaw, but only a fool would insult and provoke David. This was a clear insult that David would not tolerate.
14 Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he screamed insults at them. 15 These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us. 16 In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep. 17 You need to know this and figure out what to do, for there is going to be trouble for our master and his whole family. He’s so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!”
18 Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys 19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.
V.18-19 “Abigail wasted no time… But she didn’t tell her husband Nadal what she was doing.”
Characteristic number two. Abigail was Wise and Prudent. Wise in the fact that she listened to the servants, recognized the danger the fool had put the whole family in and prudent that she took the proper precautions. And also Wise enough to not let the Fool stop her.
A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3.
20 As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had just been saying, “A lot of good it did to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness, and nothing he owned was lost or stolen. But he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God strike me and kill me if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!”
This danger was real and not imagined. We can get into such a state of worry about things we have no ability to change or take prudent action about. It is a serene person who changes things they can and learns to let go and let God deal with the rest.
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the young men you sent.
Characteristic number three. Loyal to her husband even though he was a Fool.
V.24-25 “I accept all blame in this matter…But I never even saw the young men you sent.”
She was not to blame, but she intercedes for her foolish husband and suggests that if she’d have known she would have not have let his men go away empty handed. And that David’s anger might not have been arroused.
26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, since the LORD has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The LORD will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the LORD’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life.
Characteristics number four. Speaks the wisdom of God.
V.26 “…Since the LORD has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands…”
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. Romans 12:19
Characteristic number five. A practical woman.
V.27 “And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men.”
Being very practical she obtained the proper gift, had it loaded on the donkeys and brought it to David herself.
Characteristic number six and seven. She intercedes for her husband and she was a woman of humility.
V.28 “Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way…”
Continues to take the blame real or imagined, asks for forgiveness and continues to speak the wisdom of God.
29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the LORD has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the LORD has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”
Still speaking the wisdom of God and the sure word of prophecy.
V.31 “And when the LORD has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant.”
32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.”
David recognizes the word of God that was given to him by the mouth of Abigail and that is a characteristic that all men of God need to posess to be able to live a Godly life. The LORD had stayed his hand from revenge and sin.
36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the LORD struck him, and he died.
“The LORD says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’ Deuteronomy 32:34-35
I am a man who has been blessed with such a sensible, beautiful, wise, prudent, humble spiritual woman of integrity and I thank my God every day for her. To all the husbands who might say, “Well not everyone’s wife is like that.” I reply, “Love her as Christ loves the Church. The Way of Agape Love is not easy and it’s not for sissies.”
Dear Lord, may we all purchase eye salve and allow You to open our eyes to be able to see the woman You gave us. To see them for the true beauty they are. To listen to them and heed the sure word of God that comes from them. To understand that as the weaker vessel we need to be strong, but allow them to be our helpmeet which You have given us. To the women who read this May you continue to grow in the Grace of God which gives Peace. That smae peace that allowed Abigail to go out to meet David and his 400 armed men who were thirsting for blood and vengeance. And may we all meet our own challenges today and everyday knowing that it is You who avenges, You who judges and You who forgives.
May the One God be with you all the days of your lives. May His Grace give us Peace in the middle of the storm, which we call home.