Today I am honored to have my talented friend Cynthia writing for me. Cynthia blogs at The Hippie Housewife about faith, parenting, and intentional living. She writes beautifully and full of grace and easily ranks on my list of "favorite people ever." I hope you'll enjoy what she shares here today!
My name is Abigail, and I fear for my life.
My husband, stubborn and foolish man that he is, has insulted David and his men. These men have shown us nothing but kindness and protection, and yet he refused to give them even the barest of provisions in return! Now there are four hundred men coming this way to kill us. If not for the warning of one of our servants, I would have known nothing of this until the men were already upon us.
But, praise be to the LORD, the young man did tell me, and now it us upon me to save our home and our lives.
* * *
Two hundred loaves. Two skins of wine. Five prepared sheep. Five seahs of parched grain. One hundred clusters of raisins. Two hundred cakes of figs. All of this I have had laid on donkeys, and now I follow the donkeys down the mountain to meet this man who is coming to seek his revenge.
* * *
I can see him now. Leaving my donkey, I run to him and fall at his feet. I plead with him to hear my words as I ask him to disregard my husband's foolishness - foolish by name, foolish by nature! - and accept instead the gifts I have brought. I remind him that is the LORD who takes away life and the LORD who saves, hoping against all hope that he will restrain himself from vengeful bloodshed. May his enemies be to him as my foolish husband! For he is fighting the battles of the LORD, and his life shall be bundled in the care of the LORD. I ask that when the LORD has fulfilled His promise and appointed this man to be ruler over Israel, he will remember me and the way I protected his conscience from the guilt of having taken the LORD's work into his own hands.
I fall silent and await his answer.
"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!"
I let out the breath I didn't realize I was holding. He continues.
"Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! For as surely as the LORD lives, not one male would have been left alive had you not hurried to come and meet me. I accept your gift. Now go in peace to your house. I have heard your request and I will obey it."
Retold from 1 Samuel 25
Courage and intelligence. Discernment and initiative. Humility and wisdom. These were the qualities that saved Abigail, Nabal, and their household from death at the hand of David and his men.
With discernment, she did what needed to be done.
In wisdom, she concealed her plan from Nabal.
In courage, she traveled to meet David.
With humble grace and tact, she appealed to him to stay his hand.
In faith, she took his mercy for granted and asked that he remember her when he became ruler over Israel.
All of this Abigail did despite a difficult life married to a drunken fool who was known for being stubborn and harsh. Rather than allow her circumstances to get the best of her, she remained wise, humble, and faithful to God. She was honest about her lot in life, acknowledging her husband's foolishness before David, but she did not allow it to destroy her nature by becoming bitter and vengeful. She lived with integrity in the situation she had been placed in.
In the end, her wisdom and courage won the heart of David, who took her as his wife after Nabal's death.
Had she become an angry and bitter person, she would have been ineffectual and unable to follow God's leading. Had she become vengeful, she would have allowed David to carry through with his intentions instead of saving him from the guilt his actions would have brought upon him. Had she used her station in life as an excuse for inaction, not one man in her household would have been left alive.
But instead Abigail remained near to God, open to His leading and ready to do His work. Crediting Him for having sent her to stay David's vengeful hand, Abigail brought glory to God through her decisive action.
Abigail's life was marked by wisdom and usefulness. May it be so with us as well.
This is part of an ongoing series of posts on women and female imagery in the Bible. Click the "FeminineFridays" tab for more!