1 Samuel 25:3 introduces us to Abigail and her husband. “His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”
Other than the above, we aren’t told much about Abigail, as she is mentioned in connection with David during a time where he was running from King Saul, who was out to kill him.
As the story goes, David had been camping near Nabal’s flocks and noticed it was sheep shearing time. As 1 Samuel 25:15-16 describes, David had respectfully kept his distance, even protectively watching over Nabal’s men and sheep, so he sent a messenger to ask him if he might share his harvest with David and his men.
But in response, Nabal hurled insults at David, who became infuriated and planned to slaughter him and all his men. A servant who overheard David’s plan, rushed to Abigail saying, “Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him” (1 Samuel 25:17).
Knowing she couldn’t change Nabal’s mind, Abigail acted quickly by preparing an extravagant amount of supplies for David and his men. “Then she told her servants, ‘Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.’ But she did not tell her husband Nabal” (1 Samuel 25:19).
What Happened Next?
In seeing David, Abigail knew what to do. “She fell at this feet and said: ‘Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him” (1 Samuel 25:24-26).
Abigail risked her life to do what was right, knowing she would face Nabal’s anger for honoring God by serving David. Yet, was it okay for Abigail to even say the things she did about her husband? Was she defaming his name or merely speaking the truth in the situation?
Instead of making excuses for her husband, Abigail explained how she didn’t see or hear his men’s request, then appealed to David’s faith and integrity by praising him for not committing bloodshed and taking revenge with his own hands.
In response, “David said to Abigail, ‘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.’ Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, ‘Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request’” (1 Samuel 25:32-35).
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