The name Abigail means “Her father’s joy” or “fountain of joy”. The story of Abigail and her husband is found in 1 Samuel ch 25 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. “Proverbs 31:30 Abigail had both beauty and understanding. She feared God which is evident in all her dealings and actions. Abigail was the wife of a very rich man named Nabal. Nabal means “fool” or “senseless”. He was of the house of Caleb and had great possessions which included three thousand sheep and three thousand goats. He was from Carmel which was a town near Maon. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. “Proverbs 31:30 David and his men had gone to the Wilderness of Paran, probably to get away from King Saul. One day David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask him for a gift of food and water in return for the protection they had given to Nabal. Nabal being the kind of man that he was answered David’s men rudely. He made it clear that he was unwilling to share any of his provisions with David’s men.
David was angry and sent 400 of his men to punish Nabal and his household. Nabal’s beautiful and discreet wife Abigail learned of the plight of her husband and the plot by David to kill the entire household of Nabal. Abigail wasted no time and got food ready to take to David and his men. She got ready a feast fit for a king..200 loaves of bread, 2 bottles of wine, 5 sheep ready dressed, 5 measures of parched corn, a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs. Abigail sent her servant ahead of her and she followed. When she saw David, she lighted off the ass, fell before David on her face and bowed herself to the ground, and took upon herself the iniquity of her husband and asked for forgiveness. To make a long story short, David not only forgave her but also received the food that she had brought and turned away from his plan of destroying Nabal and his household.
Abigail had acted on her own but now the time had come for her to tell her husband. However, Nabal was busy with a feast in his house and he was very drunk. She told him about David the next morning when the effects of the wine had gone out of him. When Nabal heard about what David intended to do, his heart became like a stone. The scriptures tell us that 10 days later the Lord smote him. Very soon David asked Abigail to become his wife and she readily agreed.
This is a very interesting story but there are valuable lessons to learn from Abigail:
- She was a woman of good understanding. “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman without understanding. “Proverbs 11:22. Because of her wisdom and understanding she was able to act quickly and prevent the destruction of her household. 2. When the young man told Abigail about David’s intentions to kill Nabal and his household, she wasted no time.
- 1 Samuel 25:18 says that Abigail made haste to prepare a sumptuous meal for David and his men and thus appeased the anger of David. “A prudent man (or woman) foresees evil …” Proverbs 27:12 3. She took the iniquity of her husband on herself. “Upon me my Lord, upon me let this iniquity be.” 1 Samuel 25:24. Abigail reminds us of Moses in Exodus 32:32 which says. “Yet now if thou will forgive their sin and if not blot me, I pray thee out of thy book which thou has written.” 4. I have wondered about what kind of marriage Abigail had with Nabal. She was a woman of great understanding and her husband was rude, mean and evil in his ways. She still cared about Nabal and therefore she took that quick action of saving Nabal and his household. She did not walk out of her marriage but God in His time smote Nabal and Abigail became David’s wife. 5. Abigail’s great humility is noteworthy. In 1 Samuel 25:23,24 we read that she fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. We also see her humility when David asked her to be his wife. “ And she arose and bowed herself on her face to the earth and said , Behold let thy handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord .” 1 Samuel 25:41 God exalted Abigail and she became the wife of the future king of Israel. In life’s difficult and fearful situations, we can ask God for wisdom to do the right things. And after having done our best, we can wait for God to bring about deliverance just as He did for Abigail.
By Mercy Samuel