Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, two character traits that do not always go together. Many intelligent women are very plain in their appearance. But these women have been endowed with a far more lasting trait than beauty. On the other hand, many beautiful women are so worldly that the only interest they have is in themselves and their looks. The woman who has both qualities, wisdom and beauty, and uses them properly possesses a rare gift.
Abigail was both but she was married to a wicked man. Her husband, Nabal, was evil, uncouth, worldly-minded, miserly, and a drunkard. He worshipped the gods of this world: fame and fortune. He never had enough, nor was content with what he had. He lived to get more. But Abigail was faithful and when Nabal died she married David, the greatest king in history.
(1 Samuel 25:3) Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
For a woman with such a noble character as Abigail's and to be married to such a wicked man must be have been as close to unbearable as one can come to on this earth.
The women who have been spared that fate have a great deal to thank God for, even though their husbands and their homes may not be what they could or should be. Good husbands are not always appreciated. If you have a good husband thank God for him.
Despite Nabal's character, Abigail did not seek divorce, she did not leave her husband, nor did she go back to her father's house. She remained in her home, a loyal wife, and her husband's helpmeet.
How could she do this? Simple. True love is blind. It does not see or it minimizes faults in the one that is loved.
Why did she marry Nabal in the first place? He may not have always been like that. He may have changed over a period of time, or she may not have had a choice. During Old Testament times marriages were more often than not arranged by the parents. Some were agreements between neighbors or family, some were contracts involving property and possessions, some were arrangements made at the birth of the child but for whatever reason most were without the prior consent of the bride or the groom.
The story in 1 Samuel is as follows: When David was being pursued by Saul, and as he came near to Carmel, with his body guard of six hundred men, he found himself without food and provisions. David sent word to Nabal, who lived in the area, that he needed food for himself and his men. Nabal refused. David was indignant because he had previously protected Nabal's herds and shepherds. So David and four hundred of his men went to take from Nabal by force what he refused to give them.
When word reached Abigail, by way of one of her husband's servants what Nabal did, she wasted no time in putting together a plan of action. (1 Samuel 25:18-20) Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal. And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert on the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
Here was a woman who knew that her husband did wrong. She could see what was going to happen so she took steps to prevent it. She did not know if David would accept her "peace" offering for what her husband had done or not but she felt she had to give it a try.
This was a woman with courage and wisdom. She sets out to plead for the life of a man who really does not deserve any grace or mercy. But he is her husband and that is all the motivation that she needs.
Look what Abigail did when she met David. (1 Samuel 25:23-24) And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
Abigail was ready to take full responsibility for her husband's actions. (1 Sam 25:25) Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. She put the blame on herself. This was a woman with real humility. This was a woman that had a servant's heart.
David was appeased and his wrath kindled. He accepted her offering and sent her on her way. (1 Samuel 25:32-35) And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
The Bible records what happened to Nabal for his foolishness and ten days after this incident God killed him. When David found out that Nabal was dead he sent for Abigail and took her as his wife.
What can we learn from Abigail's life?
- Marriage is an institution of God and as such cannot be dissolved by man except for scriptural reasons. The Bible only recognizes three reasons for divorce.
- To marry for money, title or position may cause unhappiness. To marry a drunkard does cause unhappiness and misery. But, to marry someone who does not believe in God will cause the greatest unhappiness that a person can know.
- Abigail was a woman who knew right from wrong.
- Abigail didn't place the blame, she took the blame. She had a humble heart.
- Abigail protected her husband, her family and her household.
This one is pretty obvious and the reason that Abigail was free to marry David.
(Romans 7:2-3) For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
(1 Corinthians 7:39) The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
(1 Corinthians 7:15) But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Adultery or Fornication
(Matthew 19:9) And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
(1 Corinthians 6:16) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"
Did you hear that? "Be ye not" is not a suggestion, a recommendation or a debatable issue. IT IS A COMMAND!! You had better heed the advice that follows. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
I've said this before in my teaching but it bears repeating. IF YOU MARRY AN UNSAVED PERSON YOU ARE MARRYING A CHILD OF THE DEVIL AND YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE WITH YOUR FATHER-IN-LAW.
(Proverbs 22:3) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. Abigail was rewarded, Nabal was punished.
(1 Peter 5:5-7) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
(Proverbs 31:12) She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Abigail truly was a Proverbs 31 woman. No wonder David wanted her for his wife. She was worthy to be the wife of a king.