At first introduction to Abigail in Scripture, we find her in 1Samuel 25. She is described as a very rich man, Nabal’s wife. She is said to be intelligent and beautiful in appearance. Note that her brains are mentioned before her beauty. Then we learn about David and Nabal’s interaction (David protects Nabal’s sheep and shepherds, Nabal does not care and is rude to David’s men when they come to ask for food and water).
It is at verse 14 that Abigail is put into the plot line. One of Nabal’s men, explains David’s kindness to Abigail and Nabal’s response to David’s men. Even more so, the young man explains that Nabal’s actions will bring forth deadly consequences on his household. So, one of the first things that amazes me is that Abigail has gained the respect of Nabal’s shepherds that upon realizing that Nabal has nearly signed their death warrant, they immediately went to Abigail hoping that she would intervene. Reminds me of our good sis Esther, put in position for such a time as this.
So what does Abigail do? She immediately springs into action. She doesn’t wait and pray for a response, which is always a good thing but some things do not have time for us to wait it out. Abigail exercises discernment (which David praises in v 33).
She brings more than what David asked for. David asked for bread and water. Abigail brings 200 loaves of bread, 2 jugs of wine, 5 measures of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She goes above and beyond. That’s like knowing what the tithe is but you do more than tithe, you bring an abundant offering as well.
Now here’s why it's great that she springs right into action; as she’s heading into the mountain where David is, he meets her on his descent down. Had she waited to talk to her husband, had she waited to pray, all the men in her household would have died. Sis, use your discernment. It is given to you for a reason. It can often be the difference between life and death like it was for Abigail. And here’s the thing, she would have lived even if she had done nothing. David's only intention was to kill the men in her household. (V. 22). Do what you know is right whether it benefits you or not. Abigail did what was right and it blessed her husband and he didn’t even know it.
She acknowledged her husband’s folly and humbled herself before David to spare her husband’s life and that of their household. As a wife, we are called to loyalty but not blindness. Abigail was loyal, not blind and she made no excuses or justifications. Don’t make excuses or justify anyone's - even your husband’s - evil or sinful behavior. Even if you are simply intervening in prayer for him to God, call the sin what it is and pray that God intervenes and God takes control of the situation.
As the chapter ends, David spares her household and Abigail goes home to Nabal having a huge feast completely ignorant that he just barely escaped death. And Abigail doesn’t say anything immediately letting him enjoy his feast and drunken stupor. But the next morning she informs him of everything, and “his heart died within him” (v. 37 NASB). That’s likely what we would call a heart attack these days and 10 days later God strikes him and he dies.
End result: David asks Abigail to be his wife and she accepts it so humbly. Declaring that she is but a maid to wash the feet of David’s servants (v 41 NASB). That’s some humility, you’re proposed to and you immediately take the position of servant. How many of us go into marriage with the attitude to serve? So often we get married and immediately take a position of entitlement.
Final Takeaway: Sis, God will always prevail. You just have to trust Him and let Him be God (i.e. take the issue to God and leave it there, don't go back picking it up because you didn’t get the response you wanted or God didn’t respond quick enough). Be humble. Your humility will take you places that your ego and pride can’t even see let alone travel to. Seek discernment, both Proverbs (chapter 2) and Psalms ( chapter 119) make it clear discernment comes from the LORD. As you seek discernment and exercise discernment you will find yourself trusting God more and be a lifeline to yourself and those around you.