Abigail was a woman of great wisdom, character and strength. A woman with a loving and humble spirit which endeared her to David. How she found herself in a terrible marriage with Nabal we may not know but after a careful study of her life as recorded in the book of 1 Samuel 25: 2-42, I realised that Abigail’s life and the attitude she exhibited in the situation she found herself in made a way for her such that her name will forever be mentioned among the Matriarchs of the Christian faith. Below are four salient lessons I have learned from Abigail’s attitude even in her seemingly bad marriage.
Lesson 1: Courage
Abigail was a woman of great courage. Like Esther, she risked her life to save her people. An important attribute a woman must possess is courage. Courage to face whatever obstacle or challenge that comes your way. Yes, the man or husband as positioned by God is there to protect his family. But when the man is absent due to whatever reasons, it is the woman’s place to take up the responsibility.
Nabal words and attitude to David’s request attracted danger to his household and he didn’t know or even care. Rather he got himself drunk with wine. Abigail realised the danger she and her household were in for and she quickly went ahead to tackle the problem before it was too late. She didn’t stop to think for once that the group of men she was going to meet would be drunk with rage and would not listen to whatever a woman had to say ( by the way what say had a woman in such matters then?) but Abigail chose to take the bull by the horn- and she had heaven’s backing.
What is that problem facing your family that seems like it would destroy your home? Is there no husband taking up the responsibility to deal with it? Are you a single mother or a spinster with other responsibilities placed on your shoulder? Ask God for wisdom to tackle the problem head-on and see God give you the victory in Jesus’ name.
Lesson 2: Intercession
Abigail was an intercessor; like Abraham, Moses, Job and Esther she interceded for her household. Intercession is a powerful tool that God has given us to use in helping others. When we stand in the gap for people and plead their cause for mercy, they could be saved from destruction.
Take a look at Abigail’s case. With a peace offering, she interceded not just for Nabal but also for David who would soon become her future husband. She interceded for Nabal her first husband and saved him and her household from impending massacre. Then she interceded for David by making sure he didn’t invite the wrath of God upon his head for unjustified murder of lives in so doing ensuring that God’s divine plan for David to reign on the throne comes to pass. The interesting thing is that while interceding for David then, she didn’t know that she was also securing for herself a better future to becoming the wife to the king of all Israel and Judah.
Standing in the gap for someone is not an easy task except with the heart of love. Be it a husband/father or a supervisor/boss at work who refuses to assume their responsibility, by interceding for them you could be opening for yourself, a door of great blessings you never imagined.
Lesson 3: Power in our words
Imagine someone telling a street urchin or an “area boy” as we know them here that he is the future of our nation and that God has blessed him to lead this nation to a glorious future. It sounds absurd, right? Well that’s exactly what happened in the case of Abigail and the “area father” David and his boys. She was a prophetic woman; she spoke prophetic words to David even when he was still a fugitive. The words we speak have power. The bible says that life and death lie in the power of the tongue. When you speak good words to people, you elevate them and even make them feel good about themselves. But when you speak derogatory words to them, you destroy their self-esteem and may even discourage them from attaining greater heights. In extreme cases, derogatory words could lead to people’s untimely deaths. Abigail spoke encouraging words to David. They were words that God had already spoken concerning him and he realised that if he continued on the path he was threading, God’s desire for him to become king will not come to pass. Abigail’s words reminded him of his purpose in life and he heeded to the gentle but firm reminder from God through the voice of a wise woman.
As difficult as it may seem, strive to speak encouraging words and words of life to the people around you. Every time your children or wards provoke you, bless and not curse them. When your husband or boss insults or verbally abuses you, reject the curses but still bless them. Even when you seem to have the upper hand in talking back at your husband or your subordinates are not performing up to your expectations, please don’t speak down on them. Rather speak words that will energize and encourage them to be better people and you will see that they will become what you have spoken them to be.
Abigail spoke good words to David and he became the king…and she subsequently became queen.
Lesson 4: Faithfulness & Loyalty
She was a faithful and loyal wife; she remained even so to her mean and foolish husband Nabal. Now this is one matter that many people would disagree with me. I don’t blame you if you are one of such because I used to be in that league too until God opened my eyes to some deep truths using Abigail life as a lesson. Abigail may have been married to a rich pompous fool, but that didn’t make her one too. Neither did it make her a quarrelsome wife. Rather she was the opposite of her husband. For all you know, Nabal may have kept some concubines to satisfy his sexual urges, yet still, Abigail stayed as the faithful and loyal wife. She didn’t run off leaving him to his folly, but she stayed and I am very sure she was more responsible in running the family business and sustaining the wealth Nabal was enjoying. If not for Abigail, the fool might just have squandered it all away on feasting and drinking.
How many women married to men like Nabal, can confidently say they have kept their husband’s business running despite his incompetence and still remain faithful to him? How many can boldly say that they have provided for the home when their husbands have bluntly refused to? Instead what we will have are wives who would be quick to judge their husbands with 1Timothy 5:8.
My advice would be to apply Proverbs 31: 10-31 to her life and leave 1Timothy 5:8 to God and the man.
A bad marriage is not what anyone looks forward to but par adventure anyone finds themselves in such marriages, look to Christ Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith to help draw strength from the lessons above even as we apply them to our situations; I truly believe they will go a long way in moulding us into virtuous and wise women of our generation.
Warning!: Even as you try to apply the lessons above to your situation, should you be a victim of physical abuse (spousal battering), please for the interest of your children and for the safety of your life, it is best you seek counselling and should your life be at stake, please leave that home (I am not advocating divorce) to a safe place until the atmosphere is conducive and your spouse has received deliverance.