Updated: Jan 26, 2020
1 Samuel 25:1-42
Abigail, a wise and brave peacemaker, is in a difficult place, being married to Nabal who is not a man of good character. Nabal’s refusal to adhere to David’s request for provisions completely went against the social customs of this time. Hospitality toward travelers was expected, especially under circumstances like this, where David and his men had protected Nabal’s assets, contributing to his wealth. His refusal shows his greed and lack of moral compass. We are told in verse 3 that Abigail, unlike her husband, possesses wisdom and character. The way the servant speaks to Abigail, in verses 14-17, shows us that others were aware of this. The servant recognized Abigail as perhaps the only person who was in a position to prevent the attack. When Abigail heard about the way her husband responded to David’s messengers, she recognized the potential consequences and acted quickly. Abigail must have had a catering staff at her disposal to pull off getting that amount of food together for David and his army. She bravely and humbly went to meet with David herself to diffuse the contentious situation. She understood that it was not just her husband’s life in danger, but the lives of his entire staff. Knowing her husband, she decided to not let him know her plan, a decision that saved hundreds of lives. We can assume by the events that happen next that Abigail prayed and sought God’s wisdom in this. David recognized that Abigail was sent by God to prevent the bloodshed that was about to occur. When Nabal died of a heart attack after hearing about his wife’s actions, David takes Abigail to be his wife. This is a blessing to Abigail, since living as a widow during that time was extremely difficult. The Lord provided for His daughter.
This lesson was hard for me to write because unfortunately, I expect that some of you reading this book may be in a similar situation, living with a difficult husband. My heart goes out to you and I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom in how to best handle your tough circumstances. I hope that you have someone in your life you can go to, a pastor, a trusted mentor and friend, or a professional counselor. If not, I urge you to find one. Even if we are not married to someone like Nabal, our husbands, like us, are human. There are times when their emotions are high which causes them to act irrationally or inappropriately. In these times we may be in a position to be a calming influence and help them see things more reasonably. (My husband and I are both very emotional people. My hope is that at any given time at least one of us will be thinking rationally. This doesn’t always happen.) There may even be times where, like Abigail, we need to intervene on their behalf. Tread lightly in this area. Examine your reasons why you feel like you need to intervene. Is it because your husband is doing something illegal or unbiblical or is it simply because you disagree with him? I am not advocating going behind your husband’s back. If it falls into the illegal or unbiblical territory, and you have tried talking to your husband to no avail, I urge you to stay in prayer and seek wise counsel. Every situation is unique and I am not in a position to give blanket advice here. What we can all glean from Abigail’s story is the power of a woman seeking peace. The character she showed, using her influence wisely, saved many lives. We will have opportunities throughout our lives where we are in a position to be a peacemaker, whether it be among family and friends or in our place of work, even within the church. If you find yourself in the middle of a tense situation where you may have influence, pray for how you might be able to sow seeds of peace.
1. Do you think Abigail was justified in going behind her husband’s back? Why?
2. Has there ever been a time where you have felt the need to intervene on your husband’s behalf? How did you handle the situation?
3. What can you do today to be a positive influence on your husband and those around you?
4. Are you in a situation right now where God could use you as a peacemaker? How can you help spread peace?