Nabal & Abigail The Wise Woman & Her Foolish Husband
Photo by Thomas AE on Unsplash
Their names tell the story: Abigail: “my father is joy, gives joy” and Nabal: “fool, senseless.” Can you see it? The beautiful, happy, young woman filled with the joy of her Father married to an older, selfish, foolish man.
In I Samuel 25:3 we are told that “[Abigail] was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.”
The expansion that Nabal was a Calebite is not a justification of his actions but rather, a contradiction. Let me explain what I mean. Caleb is one of those persons who stand out in the Old Testament. Of the twelve spies that were sent into Canaan, he was one of the two who encouraged the Israelites to take the land because God had given it to them (Numbers 13:30).
He’s also the same Caleb who, in Joshua 14:12 said:
“Give me this mountain … if the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive [the Anakims] out.”
All this to say that for Nabal to be described as “surly and mean” is a direct contradiction of everything that Caleb stood for.
On to the story … I can only imagine how Abigail must have felt being married to this unhappy man. I believe he must have hurt her feelings many times, but praise God she was able to hold on to her optimism and her faith so that we can have this testimony today:
Nabal & Abigail’s Message
David sent his messengers with greetings to Nabal, explaining that he and his men had assisted and protected Nabal’s herdsmen while they were in the field. All he wanted was some food to feed his men. After all, had it not been for his protection there would probably have been no sheep to shear.
Nabal’s response was cheeky to say the least. “Who is this David? Lots of men have run away from their masters (I Samuel 25:10).”
Related: Quit Like King David
Nabal’s story reads like a “what not to do”.
Don’t be disrespectful.
Don’t be rude.
Don’t get too caught up with the sense of your own importance.
Abigail, on the other hand, is the poster girl of doing things the right way. She saved the day when Nabal’s harsh words nearly result in the destruction of the entire household. She was also instrumental in getting David to recognize that his actions were not in keeping with his identity in Christ.
Abigail was the personification of the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s industrious, smart, thinks quickly on her feet and is a credit to her husband (even when he doesn’t realize it).
Because she was such a help to David, after her husband’s death, he asked her to be his wife. In a very short time, she was living in a palace. God had taken her from being the wife of a fool to becoming the wife of a king.
Lord, there are sometimes when I find myself in situations I’d rather not be. I ask that You will use me even then because I am submitting myself to Your purpose. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
How have you seen God’s hand in your life? How has He used difficult situations for His glory?