Today I want to encourage you through the life of a Christian woman of influence from the days of King David. If I could use one word to describe her it would be peacemaker. Maybe you are familiar with those in your life that keep the peace, maybe you are that person. If you continually find yourself dissolving arguments or helping keep matters from escalating you most likely are a modern-day Abigail. Abigail was a woman of beauty, intelligence and wealth. Her husband Nabal owned quite a bit of livestock and knew how to throw a party often to the point he didn’t think too clearly due to his intoxication.
This was a match that truly was made in heaven and not because it was filled with romance and words of affirmation, but because it served the purpose of God in helping King David prior to him ruling over Israel. You see reading Abigail’s story causes you to shake your head at how completely opposite she was over that of her husband. Her husband was rude, greedy and mean. A selfish man that intimidated people. Unapproachable and arrogant. Know anyone like that? I’ve known a few. Being in their presence automatically causes an uneasiness in your heart and you count down the minutes until you can leave. Now Abigail was quite the opposite. She was the peacemaker. She was beautiful, but also kind. She was wise in that she thought before she spoke. She also believed in God and sought wisdom.
Our story unfolds as King David sends one of his men to the house of Nabal asking for food. Nabal was in the midst of having a large celebration as it was the time of year when the sheep were shorn. Upon hearing the request Nabal not only insults King David, but flat out refuses. In a culture that prided themselves on hospitality this would be one of the biggest insults. This gesture truly infuriated King David and he wasn’t about to stand for it as he had shown kindness to Nabal’s shepherds prior to this.
The story takes a bit of a twist as one of Nabal’s servants quickly finds Abigail to tell her the story. This incidence was probably not one of the first times Abigail was relied upon to diffuse a very heated situation. After thinking things through, Abigail honors the request of King David and sends ahead of her all the gifts he had requested and then some. She then goes and humbly takes the blame for her husband's actions asking for his forgiveness and reminding him of God’s promises to make him King.
Can you imagine? Not only was she risking her life approaching King David whom at this moment could easily have terminated her life, but what would happen to her when she returned home and her husband received the word she had shared in their bounty? Upon pleading for forgiveness, the soon to be King David grants her request and she returns home. As she arrives, she notes that her husband Nabal is drunk during a celebration at their home. She again uses wisdom and decides to approach him with the news of what she had just done in the morning time. In the morning she tells him of her deeds to which he is so upset the Bible tells us he goes into somewhat of a shock or stone like pose and dies! Now that’s greed! David wastes no time swooping in and claiming Abigail as his bride.
Every story in the Bible is intentional and is there to provide us with wisdom. I believe Abigail's story provides us with some excellent tips in restraint and approaching areas that we typically might make worse or sweep under the rug. How do you handle areas of contention among those you love? Are you quick to ignore them and pretend like they aren’t there, do you rush into them and make them worse by speaking your mind before you think or are you like Abigail? God says blessed are the peacemakers for they will inherit the earth. I believe Abigail was one of those women and we can be to!
Reference:1 Samuel 25