Biblical Ishshah (Woman): Abigail-- An Example of Wisdom, Beauty, and Intelligence

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.” 1 Sam 25: 32-33

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!

Are You in Denial?

As often as I open my email, Facebook, Twitter, or other account I hear women versing the promises of God. Sometimes I feel wholly encouraged. At other times, I feel entirely concerned.

Encouraged, because what an amazing God we serve that He has given us His promises to cling to when our hearts would otherwise be overwhelmed. How many of us have clung tightly to the promises in His Word while being battered in the midst of a storm? Those promises were our beacon of hope that helped us hold on!

Concerned, because too many people cease to comprehend that every promise of God is founded on a condition of obedience. When we neglect to speak about the conditions of obedience, we are like children trying to sustain good health off Cotton Candy! We want our impulses and the sweet promises. We want to claim them no matter what we are doing with our lives. It is the “best of both worlds” mentality, which Christ and His apostles warned had no part in Him!

They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.” Titus 1:16

My dear friends, you do not want to be one who denies God by your deeds and lack of obedience to His Word. This is the wrong type of denial for those who claim to be Christians.

Yet we are called to be in denial! “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.””

What is it to deny ourselves? It is a moment by moment choice to deny our selfish flesh and surrender our lives to Christ for His glory. It is deliberately choosing to make Jesus the LORD (Master) of your life. If Christ is truly Lord, then His character should be more and more emulated by you.

I am not calling you to beat yourself up here, because none of us have achieved perfection and will not until we are face to face with Christ. Yet, we are to be growing in His grace. Step back and look at the last year of your life, graph it out in your mind's eye. Are you becoming more like Christ and less controlled by the lusts of your flesh. Do you see an overall increasing in the fruit of the spirit?

The Word of God makes reveals to us the deeds that we practice if controlled by our flesh:

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal 5:19-21

Yet if we are abiding in Christ, His spirit will be prevailing more and more against the flesh. Thus, we will produce more fruit of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23

If the fruit is increasing in your life, you do well. If not, then it is time to cry out to the Lord to intervene. I would also suggest you find some godly, same-gender siblings for the sake of accountability. There is nothing like a sister who reminds me to put my eyes back on Christ and not my circumstances or selfish desires.

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.” Ps 119:37

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2

May we press on together toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! Blessings to you!