Abigail – A Godly Example

The story of Abigail is one that shows us an example of Godliness. Her story is told in 1 Samuel 25. She was the wife of Nabal, who the Bible describes as “churlish ( cruel ) and evil in his doings”. But Abigail was not like her husband. She is described as “a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance”. The story in this chapter shows us exactly how true that is. David was on the run from Saul, who was trying to kill him. David had a lot of followers and they provided for themselves by protecting landowners from robbers in exchange for food and supplies. One of the flocks that they protected was owned by Nabal. When shearing time came, David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask for food in exchange for the protection that they had provided. Nabal, being evil, refused to provide for them and sent them away. When they told David what had happened, David became angry and prepared to attack Nabal. Surely, everyone in the household of Nabal would have been killed by the next morning.

Now enters Abigail. One of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her what had happened between Nabal and David’s men.  Of course, Abigail knew what kind of man her husband was and wasn’t surprised. But she knew what the right thing to do was. She acted “in haste” the bible says, and loaded up food and rode with the supplies to David’s camp. She threw herself at David’s feet and told him to lay the blame for the situation on her instead of on Nabal. She asked David not to shed blood, but to accept the provision that she had brought. She asked that David allow God to judge Nabal. David praised her, and told her that he had accepted her gift and no harm would come to Nabal by David’s hand.

The next day, when Abigail told Nabal what had happened, the bible said that his heart died within him and he became as a stone. We don’t know exactly, but perhaps he had a stroke or a heart attack. We do know that it was a judgment of God and that 10 days later, Nabal died. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he praised God for preventing him from taking vengeance on Nabal. He also sent messengers to Abigail, asking her to come and be David’s wife. The bible says that Abigail “hasted” and went with David’s men and became his wife.

Abigail knew that what Nabal had done was wrong. She knew that David’s men deserved to be blessed and repaid. She also knew that it would be wrong for David to take revenge. She was willing to let God judge the wrongdoing of her husband. She was willing to take the fault of her husband on herself and to stand before David and ask forgiveness. In spite of her husband’s lack of character, she remained faithful to him while he lived. She was a woman of great character and God blessed her by making her David’s wife.