Oh friend, you are in for a treat today! So grab your cup (Mmm, coffee…) and let’s begin our journey with Abigail, an amazing lady!
Abigail’s name means source of delight and boy, was she ever! She is described as “an intelligent and beautiful woman” (1 Sam 25: 3) and I love that intelligence comes before beauty. Her husband however, was quite the opposite of her. Nabal was “surly and mean” (1 Sam 25: 3) or as the King James version states “churlish and evil.” Oh, and his name means fool. Nice.
David (as in the future king of Israel) was in Nabal’s area, and sent some men to request some food and provisions. Now, some quick background for ya. David was moving around a lot, trying to stay ahead of King Saul’s men because Saul wasn’t so happy that David had been appointed to be the next king, so of course, he was out to get him. While on the go, he’d encounter shepherds and flocks of sheep from different households and would offer protection from bandits or wild animals as they roamed the countryside. In return, hospitality suggested providing them with food and water and provisions as needed as a sort of payment.
So, David sends some of his guys to ask Nabal for some food, reminding them it’s a festive time and they took care of the shepherds and Nabal’s possessions. And Nabal, churlish (I love that word!) and mean as ever says, “No! Who do you think you are? Why should I?” Quite the charmer, Nabal. So the men go back to David and relay the message. And then what do you expect from 2 hot tempered men? Yup, David orders, “Put on your swords!” (1 Sam 25:12) Looks to me what we have is about to be a big ole fight.
Well, one of Nabal’s servants goes straight to our “intelligent and beautiful” Abigail and tells her the whole thing. David, who had been very good to Nabal’s men, asked for food, Nabal insulted David, and now “disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household.” (1 Sam 25: 17)
Why would this servant take such a crisis to Abigail, a mere woman? Aha! Clearly this servant respected her intelligence, quick thinking, wisdom, and confidence to seek her counsel. Had she perhaps diffused other crises started by her churlish husband? Possibly…probably would be my guess. And this servant knew that Abigail was brilliant enough to find a solution.
Yup, Abigail was the brains in this relationship. And we’re just scratching the surface…
(1 Samuel 25)