Friday, May 29, 2015

Abigail - A Woman of Good Understanding

Abigail - A Woman of Good Understanding

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12

She was married to an unreasonable man. The Bible describes him as churlish and evil. His rage and foolish decisions gave him dangerous enemies.

When she heard that her husband's enemy was headed to their home with murderous plans, she acted immediately. Gathering a large quantity of food and loading it onto donkeys, she headed into the wilderness to confront the enemy. Her peace offering and humble entreaty for her husband's life halted their advance and avoided bloodshed.

You can read the whole story in 1 Samuel 25. The short edition is that David asked Nabal for some food in exchange for protecting Nabal's sheep. Nabal's derisive refusal so angered David that he planned to kill Nabal and his household. Abigail's quick action to bring David food averted the violence. A few days later, God ended Nabal's life.

Was it right for Abigail to take her husband's possessions and offer them to David without Nabal's permission? I don't recommend emptying your husband's bank account and buying a huge quantity of food to give away. But the Bible says that Abigail was “a woman of good understanding” (1 Samuel 25:3), and David blessed her for preventing his revenge. We can learn from Abigail how to do good to the undeserving.

Most women in Abigail's position, married to an evil man, would have lashed out in anger or withdrawn in bitterness. But in Abigail, we see neither. She could have hoped that David would make her husband suffer as he had made others suffer. But in Abigail's example we see the New Testament commands to “do good to them which hate you” (Luke 6:27) and to “overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

I know nothing about marriage to a cruel man. My husband loves me better than I deserve. But he is also human, and like me, he isn't perfect. What do I do when I get annoyed at his habits? What is my reaction when he is working late yet again? How quickly do I hold a grudge at some small offense? Do I show respect to my husband always, or only when I decide he deserves it? Do I wait until my needs are met until I seek to meet his needs?

I have found that loving my husband sometimes means choosing to do good even when I don't feel like it. Instead of having a pity party when I'm left alone with the children on another Saturday, I can make his favorite dessert and thank him for working hard for his family. Choosing to do good changes my attitude. Resentment fades when I look for ways to bless him.

Abigail did good for a man who was unworthy. I can follow her example by doing good to my husband, all the time, every day, all the days of my life.


  1. Over the years, I've had many conversations with women of different ages,backgrounds and opinions around this story. It's a very challenging story for sure, and many of the women that I've had the privilege of ministering to, are agonized and crying when this comes up. I remain challenged by it myself. From my own experience and theirs, I can conclude that this Bible we cherish, is surely a 'living' Bible, and speaks to each seeker individually. The story of Abigail means different things to me at different times of my life, and in different circumstances. Somehow...always a comfort to me, and to those whom I relate it to. Amazing Grace! If you are suffering with a truly difficult, disagreeable, possibly tyranical husband, know that God does know all about that kind of suffering and he cares. Read about Abigail and take it to our Lord in prayer, and wait for his comfort, because it will come. Thank you again Gina, for the challenge to us all!

  2. These posts are very encouraging...and challenging also. Thank you for sharing them.

  3. Rereading this story is often that good "shaking" that we sometimes need. I know that when I feel like I am feeling put upon,it is a good reminder how good things truly are! I am thankful for a Godly husband,but still have some of those moments. Thank you for your thought provoking posts!

  4. We just recently studied Abigail in our Bible study group and it is interesting to hear how people respond from where they are in life. The responses said much about each of us and our relationships! It is an interesting story and I agree with Grandma Ruth that there is a lesson there that speaks to us wherever we are in our lives!

  5. So glad this story is in the Bible - so much we can all learn from it, even if we are happily married.

  6. This post really blessed me. Not because I'm married to a cruel man. My husband is a man of character who is kind and long suffering. Of course, even with that, it sometimes seems like marriage really is the commitment to annoy one special person for the rest of your life. :) Anyway, you've inspired me to look for a way to bless my husband this week. I'm going to think of one and then keep it in my pocket for when a case of resentment rises up. Bless you and thanks!


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