Monday, December 9, 2013

Abigail - Cause Of Joy

      I recently started reading a book I borrowed from my Dad's collection of books titled "The Women Of The Bible". It goes through all the women in the Bible in alphabetical order. I have only gone through a few names and I am already under such great conviction. If you can get your hands on this book I definitely recommend it. It is quite straight forward, but I am really enjoying it! This book kind of helps to open up the Bible more, instead of just reading a name of a woman in genealogy or a few chapters; it reveals such virtue and character some of these women had. So it's a good possibility my next few blogs may contain different women of the Bible. Hey, you can't help but to speak the things you see and hear! ;)
     The woman from the bible who has really wowed me with her character came after reading and studying about a woman named Abigail, found in 1Samuel 25: 1-42. I've read the story of Nabal, Abigail and David many times, but usually the focus has been on David or wicked Nabal, she was JUST the wife of 1 and then the other eventually.
     Abigail's name means 'Father of Joy' or 'Cause of Joy'. As many I'm sure have read before, she was married to a man named Nabal he is described as 'churlish and evil in his doings'. He obviously lacked the finer qualities his wife possessed. He was mean, selfish, often drunk, stubborn and ill-tempered. She lived in a miserable house. Abigail is said to be 'a woman of good understanding, and a beautiful countenance' as the book says she had "brains and beauty". "A beautiful woman with a beautiful mind is surely one of God's masterpieces." She had an all encompassing love and deep relationship with God, and although she had such a unhappy home life she was a trophy of grace for her Lord. Any woman can be an Abigail but so few women are willing to obey and cooperate with God in every area He requires.
     After Nabal treated David's servants rudely, David was coming to kill Nabal's entire household. Abigail heard of what had happened, and quickly took the necessary provisions for David and his men and rode quickly to meet David.  As I said before, from what the Bible tells us about Nabal he was quite disagreeable to say the least. There were probably many times Abigail served as peacemaker between him and neighbors he had offended due to his ill-mannered and churlish ways.
    Once Abigail arrived and brought the food and drink, she fell down before David. "She revealed her wisdom falling at Davids feet and acknowledging his accusations of what her foolish husband had done." She didn't try to argue away her husbands deeds, but admitted her husband was a fool. Abigail tactfully used her words to sway David's just wrath at the right time and in the right way. **We can never underestimate just how powerful our words can be, said in the right time and place. Neighbors knew well  Abigail's drunken and ill-tempered husband, but patiently she made amends for his wrong doings countless times.
      Once Abigail knew her trip to David was a success she returned to her drunken wicked husband, and resumed her unpleasant life. Abigail did not seek to leave her godless husband, but stayed a loyal wife and the protector of her worthless husband. Her life was hard and she may often have been beaten, insulted, and treated rudely but she remained with Nabal and was faithful to him. "Abigail manifested a love stronger than death." She was delivered 10 days after her return when her husband suffered a divine stroke. Death came as a blessing and Abigail had no tears or regrets. Amid such horrible suffering she fulfilled her marriage vows. This sad story turned into a 'fairytale' when she married David who equally loved the Lord, and would become the King of Israel. Abigail came from an unhappy life but continued to trust God and He rewarded her in His timing! Later David and Abigail had a son whom they named Chileab, or Daniel. Daniel means 'God Is My Judge', perhaps because of the Lord's divine vindication in her own life.


Abigail was certainly not perfect, but we can see from the Bible's account that she had a close walk with God. It was evident in the way she handled every situation. In that day arranged/man made marriages were common, there is speculation this was Abigail's reason for being married to Nabal. She was forced into such an unhappy life, but she certainly lived up to her name and brought joy wherever she went. Joy that emanated from her came in different forms: peacemaker, protector of her worthless husband, friend, wisdom, kindness, and proved to also be a faithful wife, along with many more. If nothing else what impresses me more than anything about Abigail is her situation didn't dictate her attitude, she found joy in HER Lord! In the same way our joy should come from the Lord and time spent with Him, not from our life's circumstances. She walked in and out of difficult circumstances but because of the wisdom she had she brought joy, and handled each situation in just the right way.

**There seem to be so many different situations we find ourselves where people are just mean and ill-tempered like Nabal, or upset like David was; there are only certain ways each area can be handled. Do we possess the Godly wisdom to know how to handle each? We each possess the same Source Abigail had, but we often don't handle situations in the right way because we have not spent time understanding and knowing the true Source of Joy.

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