There’s a quote from The Two Towers that I love. Sam tells Faramir, “You have shown your quality, sir — the very highest.” I believe that’s true of Abigail, too.
After Abigail advised David to ignore Nabal’s foolish behavior because it was in his best interest, how did David respond?
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. ” (1 Sam 25: 32, 33)
What a blessing it is to have a friend who can give wise counsel that keeps us from sinning.
Crisis averted, saving not only her household, (including her lunk of a husband,) but she also kept David from doing something that would taint his life. And receiving such gratitude from the future leader of Israel, Abigail must have been smiling all the way home.
Abigail again shows her worth back at the ranch.
Once home, she goes to talk to Nabal to tell him what she did. She doesn’t hesitate, she knows she must tell him and goes straight to him. (I think I’d want to bask in the praise I’d just receive a little longer before ‘fessing up to Nabal. But that’s me!) But Nabal, in the middle of a celebration, is drunk, so this clearly isn’t the best time to tell him for so many reasons.
The next morning, Abigail sits down with a now sober Nabal and informs him of her actions. And you’ll never guess what happens! “His heart failed him and he became like stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.” (1 Sam 25: 37, 38) Perhaps a heart attack? Maybe a stroke? Whatever happened, he’s gone. The Lord vindicated. The Lord avenged and repaid. God took care of Abigail.
God always takes care of us, but that doesn’t mean life will be easy, nor will the all people in our lives be delightful. Things get tricky and messy because imperfect humans are involved. Abigail is a wonderful example of wisdom in the face of disaster. She was in an unfortunate situation and a difficult marriage. But Abigail wasn’t looking for a way out, she kept looking to God for strength and wisdom. And she didn’t shrink back from doing what was right in God’s eyes.
Abigail sought to glorify God in all she did. She honored God with her attitude as a humble peacemaker, with her actions in bringing the food for David and his men, in her boldness and wise counsel to the future king of Israel, and in a difficult marriage by first honoring God but also honoring her husband by being honest with him.
In a time of crisis for her household, God’s wisdom shined through Abigail in every single step. There are so many moments in this story I think — I can’t believe she just did that(!) because never once did she take a shortcut or avoid a difficult confrontation.
It makes me wonder: Will I do the same when disaster strikes? Am I seeking to glorify God in every step of my life, even now, without such a crisis?
(1 Samuel 25)