God uses obedient and willing women mightily in His kingdom. This is often taught that only if a woman is in total subjection to her husband, even if he is not walking in God's will and obedience and 1 Peter 3 is quoted as the proof according to the rendering of those using it to make their point.
However, our Bible weaves together beautifully to illustrate basic principles which sometimes seem contradictory, but truly are not. It requires wisdom to pull all aspects together and watch them flow in harmony. Some either cannot or will not show this bigger picture of women and leave out these important truths.
Abigail, was known as a wise woman, of intelligence and beauty. She was married to a man named Nabal which means “folly or fool.” I guess this was a case of opposites attract and definitely a spiritual mismatch.
Nabal's own servants said he was worthless. Take note as to why Nabal is known as worthless to them, because no one can speak to him. Now as we read this chapter we realize indeed they spoke to him, but he was not a man of good reasoning and refused input from others. He was also known as harsh and evil in his dealings with others. This harsh can also be translated as hard, stubborn, or obstinate. The word given as evil can also be translated as bad, disagreeable, unkind, and unpleasant. Dealings literally means his acts, deeds, and practices. You get the picture?
A man like this is usually abusive with power over his family and employees. Abuse may be in one spectrum or many, encompassing mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual abuse.
King David is out in the fields and a feast day has arrived. He seeks from Nabal a gift in exchange for the fact he and his men have been good to Nabal's servants and flocks and even offered them a wall of protection. Nabal being a greedy man refuses and spurns David.
Fortunately, even Nabal and Abigail's servants have perceived that Abigail is wise and intelligent. So they secretly come to Abigail and tell her of the foolish decision of Nabal. Abigail immediately acts on this and goes fully against her husband's will, even behind his back, because she discerns that her husband is not obedient to God. She is wise enough to know that she cannot reason with Nabal, so she moves forward without his knowledge or permission.
In haste she goes to King David with many gifts and pleads for his mercy. She is bold and exercises one of her spiritual gifts and begins to prophecy over David. What she speaks is truth given from God. This is a woman who is surrendered to our Lord!
David had his mind made up to kill Nabal and all his household before Abigail came and spoke wisdom and prophesied over him. David, who was unlike Nabal, listens to Abigail's wise counsel and heeds it, realizing God has revealed His will through this woman.
“Then David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand. "Nevertheless, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one male." So David received from her hand what she had brought him and said to her, "Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and granted your request."”
Abigail returns home to find Nabal throwing himself a feast fit for a king and he was drunk. Abigail in her wisdom decides now it not the time to share with him what she has done. The next day she tells Nabal all and the Bible says his heart died within him and became as stone. This appears not to be physical but rather emotional and spiritual, since God has yet to strike Nabal dead. Can you imagine how Nabal probably treated Abigail in those 10 days following since his heart was now like stone? Then the Lord struck Nabal dead.
When David heard Nabal was dead he blessed the Lord. Not only that, but he sent a marriage proposal to Abigail.
Abigail is one of my favorite women in the Bible, because she chose the fear of the Lord and to walk in obedience to Him in contrast to what most of us are taught today! Yet, she is blessed with the titles of wise, discerning, intelligent and beautiful!
Father God, in the Name of Jesus, please help each of my sisters and me to choose to walk in obedience to You and Your plans. Let us reflect Your wisdom, discernment, intelligence, and beauty. Help each of us to live out our lives longing to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant!” AMEN!