JUDY W. HOWARD

Author and Publisher

Women in History

Women in History

For Women’s History Month I like to highlight a woman from the Bible from whom women can draw strength and/or encouragement.

This month I am taking a look at Abigail.

Abigail was the wife of Nabal. (1 Samuel 25). Nabal was very rich. The Bible says that Abigail was discerning and beautiful, but Nabal was harsh and badly behaved.  The story goes on to say that King David became aware of Nabal’s wealth and that he could afford to provide his army with a meal. He sent his young messenger to Nabal to greet him courteously and petition him for food for the men, particularly since David’s men had allowed Nabal’s workers to do their work in peace.

However, when Nabal received the message from David, he became indignant and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” (1 Samuel 25:10,11 ESV).

I should point out at this juncture that the translation of Nabal’s name is “fool.” 

So, David’s men returned and told David what Nabal had said. David was furious!  He prepared his men to kill all of Nabal’s household and his servants.

Thankfully, one of Nabal’s young men told the incident to Abigail, Nabal’s wife.  When she heard of it, she immediately jumped into action. She had the servants prepare a feast for David and his men, and sent them on to David – without her husband’s knowledge.

She herself jumped on a horse and rode furiously to meet up with David to appease his anger. She apologized for the foolish behavior of her husband, and humbly implored him to accept her gifts.  With that, David relented and her entire household was saved from being slaughtered.

For Us Today

How many Abigails do we have out there?  How many women are married to foolish husbands? I believe it may be many, and it is to you that I now speak.  It is sometimes necessary to step in and save a situation which your husband has messed up. God won’t be mad at you. Just as we sometimes have to clean up a household mess, we must also be bold enough to clean up other messes. It is often necessary to correct situations caused by your husband without mentioning it to him. He may not verbally thank you for it, but he will surely be grateful when his life is spared in one way or another.

I salute the Old Testament Abigail and all the Abigails out there who have had to stay quiet and do the right thing to keep a marriage alive. I salute your strength and courage.  I salute your discernment and willingness to follow God whether your husband did or not.  I salute you for raising your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord! I salute you for setting a Godly example for them.

I have heard many stories of women who have persevered, despite opposition, and remained faithful to God and church – returning home to abuse.  There is reward coming.  If we continue with the Biblical story, we see that David never forgot Abigail’s action.  Upon the sudden death of Nabal, David took her as his wife and she became queen.

God does not sleep. He is our vindicator. Keep on doing right, and your faithfulness will be rewarded.