Abigail and David
This morning as I was reading 1 Samuel I came to the story of David and Abigail. I’ve never heard or read this particular story but as soon as I did this morning I knew that God must have included it for more than just providing more details to the story of King David’s life. I am certain that God made sure this story would be prominent so that all the women seeking His wisdom would read this story about Abigail and hopefully absorb all of what God is aiming to teach women, specifically wives. I think that this story is just as much about Abigail as it is about David.
So please, if you haven’t already, turn in your Bible to 1 Samuel 25 and read the chapter thoroughly. Highlight key passages and verses, look for patterns, read the text over and over again, and pray about it. Then come back and read this post.
Wives Obey Your Husbands
Two years ago, when I married the love of my life, I wanted the word Obey to be in my wedding vows. I know that many women do not include this and our society today balks at the idea of women being charged to obey men inside or outside of marriage. I for one felt that if God thought it was important enough to put in the Bible, then I definitely wanted it included in my wedding vows. So we went with the traditional and obey was right smack in the middle of our vows.
But my focus today is not on God’s call for wives to be obedient but on the few circumstances when God would call a woman to be disobedient to her husband. You read that right, there are certain instances in which God will call a woman to be disobedient to her husband. Abigail’s story is a prime example of such a scenario and not only do I think this story is useful and applicable but it is beautifully written and deeply moving as well.
Now ladies, no where in this post will I ever advocate for a wife’s disrespect of her husband. Please keep in mind that the parallels I am drawing are between Abigail and Christian women today. Not between her husband and mine, or anyone else’s for that matter. This passage calls Abigail’s husband a fool and I for one would never use that term to describe my husband. Not only is he extremely intelligent, but He is also wise in so many ways, and very, very humble and discerning. With that in mind I can definitely say that there are instances where He or I makes a mistake or makes a questionable choice or judgement on something.
You see, husbands are human and therefore fallible just like we are. I believe that God gives our husband’s wisdom to lead their wives when they are about to make, or sometimes do make, foolish mistakes. I also believe that when wives see their husbands either make mistakes, or when they make bad spiritual judgement calls God allows wives to be disobedient in order to follow His leading. I believe that this is the only time a wife should be disobedient, but if she is, and its because she is trying to remain true to the Lord, He will bless her and quite possibly her family as well.
Wholly Disobedient vs Holy Disobedience
In Abigail’s case, her disobedience was in response to her husband’s foolishness regarding his treatment of God’s chosen King of Israel; David. The passage indicates that as well as being beautiful, Abigail was discerning. (Verse 3) After finding out that her husband had mistreated David and dishonored God, Abigail “makes haste” to remedy the situation.
Abigail prepared food and supplies for David and his men, took them to David, and pleaded for mercy at his feet on behalf of her family and herself. Now I think its safe to assume that Abigail’s husband would definitely not have been pleased with her handling of this situation seeing as he had just turned David’s men away without so much as a scrap of food or drink of water for his horses.
We read on in the passage and come to verse 21 where we that David is planning on killing Abigail’s husband and his whole family. The only thing that stops him is Abigail’s plea. Her act of Holy Disobedience. Abigail makes the following plea to David,
“Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord (she is referring to David here) a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord, shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord Your God.” Verse 28
This chapter repeatedly shows her wisdom, discernment, and even her humility in the midst of her disobedience and also after, as she returns home to her husband to find him partying and binge drinking and carrying on. I don’t know about you but if I found out that my husband had not only put his life, but my life, and the lives of all our family in danger foolishly I would probably be extremely angry. Not to mention how furious I would be if I came home from a day of frantically trying to fix that mistake of his to find him drinking and carrying on with his friends as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I don’t think mad could even begin to cover it honestly. So I can only imagine how Abigail felt. But the passage made it clear that instead of flipping a lid, which she had every right to do, Abigail did not breathe a word to her husband of what she had done. She wasn’t hiding it from him mind you, but she was wise in that she knew that the time to tell him wasn’t while he was drinking and not in his right mind. She was humble and patient in that she did not scream at him or carry on about how foolish he was in front of his friends. I believe that even then, Abigail had respect for her husband and knew her duty as a wife was to approach him privately about all that had transpired.
She Waited Until the Next Morning
Imagine how hard that must have been ladies. I don’t think I would have had the strength. I don’t think any of us do really, I believe only God inspires that kind of patience and humility.
Sadly, Nabal, Abigail’s husband never had the chance to atone for his foolishness and mistake. The Bible makes it clear that when Abigail told him all that had happened, “his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.” vs. 37
But even in spite of this sad turn of events, God honored Abigail. David it seems, was very impressed by her and her attributes and decided to take her as his wife. I imagine she was blown away when his servants came to give her the news. Once again however, we see Abigail embody all the lovely characteristics of a godly woman, humility in particular.
“When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” She arose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your maidservant is a maid to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” Verses 40 and 41
A Servant’s Heart
A maid to wash the feet of her lord’s servants?? A maid? I don’t know about you but I have never washed my husband’s feet. Nor have I ever thought about doing so. Here again we see Abigail’s beautiful servant’s heart. I simply cannot think of another woman I want to be like right now.
For these reasons I am so convinced that this story is just as much Abigail’s as it is David’s. Honestly, I think this is a story for every woman. Abigail, a beautiful woman; godly, discerning, humble, respectful, with a servant’s heart to boot. I only pray I can grow to develop all these characteristics. I pray that if ever I am faced with the hard choice of having to disobey my husband in order to honor the Lord I will make that choice as she did, with faith, wisdom, and humility.
You see ladies, God never calls us to be wholly disobedient, but sometimes we are called to Holy Disobedience.