Abigail (Part 2) – The Godly Woman (VII)

I Sam.25.

When her husband had abruptly sent David’s servants away, and she knows from the servant’s report what has taken place, Abigail knows she has little time. Her response to this escalating drama (I Samuel 25:14-17), is remarkably reminiscent of Rebekah’s, in Genesis 27:41-46: when unnecessary domestic bloodshed is threatening which the male head of the household is blissfully unaware of, his godly wife must take action.

Furthermore, v.18-19, is reminiscent of Gen.32; 6-7, 13-21: Jacob’s decision to placate Esau, who he has heard is coming, with “400 men.” Jacob and Abigail both understood, that “a gift in secret subdues anger, and a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath” (Prov.21:14).

Within a space of hours, Abigail has prepared her donkeys, left home, and met up with David and his war-party of 400 (v.13). She had prepared a substantial gift for him and his men (v.18). In this, she is like the wise woman of Proverbs 9:1-2, who “has prepared her food, she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.” But just as importantly, she has also prepared her thoughts, for an absolutely critical intercessory mission. The life of many innocent people of her household now depends on her success.

Matthew Henry points out over 8 verses, Abigail makes 10 specific points in her appeal to David:

1)      12 times she respectfully refers to him, as “My lord.” This is a sharp contrast to Nabal’s contemptuous attitude: “Who is David?” (v.10)

2)      She takes the blame for the poor treatment of David’s messengers, upon herself. “On me alone, my lord, be the blame” (v.24).

3)      She excuses her husband’s fault by attributing it to his natural weakness (v.25).

4)      She pleads her own ignorance in what has taken place (v.25).

5)      She separates herself in attitude, from Nabal (v.26).

6)      She indicates (by inference), that the gift she has brought is for those who were sent away by Nabal, as a means of placating them (v.27).

7)      She asks for forgiveness, and commends David, for “fighting the battles of the Lord” (v.28).

8)      She expresses hope that David will soon be king over Israel (v.30).

9)      She proposes that a peaceable outcome to this offence, will be so much better than to “shed blood without cause” (v.31).

10)   She asks that he remember her, when God has dealt well with him (v.31).

Some men like Nabal in their folly can’t be helped, whatever their wives do for them. This man was a clear illustration, that “he who returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house” (Prov.17:13). The last words Nabal heard in this life, were from his wise and responsible wife (v.37). Abigail is vindicated for her initiative and prudence, firstly by the Lord when Nabal dies, and secondly by David, who commended her for her “discernment” (v.33), and ultimately married her.


Abigail in her brave initiative, lived out Biblical practice, as “she looked well to the ways of her household” (Prov.31:27). She showed that she had a true servant’s heart towards those she cared for (v.41). This gem of a woman is a picture of the greater son of David, Jesus Christ, in His intercession before the throne of an aggrieved, just and righteous God for sinful, weak, defenceless people (Heb.7:24-25). But she is perhaps best of all, a classic example of what a great and responsible woman can do, as she cares for those under her charge, with a view to protecting and providing for them.

Will you follow her example?

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