1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:20-21
Today’s Old Testament passage is about a resourceful woman. I love resourceful women, especially as portrayed in the Bible. I strive to be a resourceful woman and take an eager interest when the Bible depicts stories of women who change history, however big or small, by divergent thinking. I love how the Bible describes Abigail – “discerning and beautiful” (1 Sam. 25:3). Somehow, she is married to Nabal, who is “harsh and badly behaved.” When David’s men come to Nabal and ask for some basic provisions, in return for the protection they’ve been offering his shepherds during shearing season, Nabal (who definitely knows who David is), responds by questioning David’s lineage and insulting his men.
When David hears of this, his anger is kindled and he gathers 400 of his fighting men, with plans to wipe out everyone connected with Nabal’s house. Before he can get there, though, Abigail hears of her husband’s ungrateful and foolish behavior and she concocts a plan to save the day. She meets David before he can start waging war and presents him with gifts and begs that there be no bloodshed. Soothed by her complimentary (1 Sam. 25:28-31) and rational words, David’s hand is stayed and he goes away pacified. Later, when Abigail tells Nabal that she took a lot of his provisions and saved the household, he has some kind of stroke or heart attack and, ten days later, dies. David then comes back and claims Abigail as his wife. A happy ending for everyone.
I have always loved how the Bible represents women. In the New Testament, they are among Jesus' earliest and most faithful followers – they are the first to believe in the resurrection – and they are listed as Jesus’ financial supporters. In Paul’s writings, Phoebe is listed a leader in the Roman church, and Lydia is one of the first converts in Asia. In the Old Testament, we’ve already seen many stories in which women are the heroes – Rahab with the spies, Jael with her tent peg, Deborah in battle against King Jabin. These women are strong and resourceful and God uses them to bring good to those around them.
We can now add Abigail to the list. She knows her husband is acting shamefully and so she takes matters into her own hands and uses her discernment and quick thinking to protect those in her household and keep David from sin. Her resourcefulness and good ideas bring good to those around her.
May we be like these women!
- Esther McCurry
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