Home / Faith / Abigail – A Woman Of Virtue

Abigail – A Woman Of Virtue

Proverbs 31:10 ‘Who can find a virtuous wife, her worth is far above rubies.’

We meet Abigail in 1 Samuel 25:14-43. Though it is but a brief glimpse of her, we can harvest so much wisdom about how to behave with virtue and excellence. And especially so when we find ourselves in a difficult situation, brought about by the folly of another.

There is no doubt that Abigail was familiar with the foolishness of her husband. His reckless behavior and torrent of hurtful words railed at David’s men and directed at David personally, would have come as no surprise to Nabal’s wife. Grievous yes, frustrating definitely, but a surprise, no.

However, Abigail, unlike her husband, was no fool. Her behavior, proceeding Nabal’s viscous attack on David’s men, proved that she was a woman of virtue and excellence. David, highly incensed by Nabal’s torrent of abuse, commanded four hundred of his men to strap on their sword and head with him to attack Nabal at Carmel, with the intention of not leaving Nabal nor one of his men alive. It is here that we meet Abigail.

Proverbs 3:27-28 ‘Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.”

Abigail, on being told by one of Nabals’ men, how his master had rudely rebuked David’s men, did not waste a moment. She acted promptly. Scripture tells us that Abigail ‘made haste’ and prepared loaves of bread, skins of wine, dressed and prepared sheep, clusters of raisins, cakes of figs and parched grain, then loaded them immediately onto donkeys and set out to appease David. There is a time to wait, but also a time to act, and Abigail knew the difference.

How often do we miss opportunities that can bring about a result for good because we procrastinate, and do not seize the moment when it is right there before us. Abigail could not afford to wait and took herself off immediately to rectify a situation that could have had fatal results. Like Abigail, is there an opportunity right now where we need to be determined and intentional, and carry through the good work we set out to do? If we wait to make right what wrong needs to be rectified, it may be too late.

Proverbs 11: 24 ‘There is one that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is one that withholdeth more than is meet, and it tendeth to poverty.’

Abigail acted generously. She did not bring a meager offering of food to David, but loaded up not one, but a number of donkeys with supplies for David and his men. Her task was of critical importance, so she ensured that in order to pacify David’s raging heart she needed to go over and beyond. Abigail knew that a ‘gift opens the way for the giver’ (Proverbs 18:16) Abigail scattered generously and it resulted in a great blessing for both David and herself. And yet Nabal withheld, and it led to poverty of soul and eventually his death.

When we find ourselves in a situation where we need to win the favour of another, and perhaps subdue rage, then it is time to be generous. In not holding back what we can offer, we may find, as Abigail did, that our gift will open the way for reconciliation and forgiveness.

1 Samuel 25:19 ‘And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.’

There is a time to keep silent and a time to speak. Abigail knew the difference. In refusing to confide in her husband, Abigail showed her lack of confidence in him; she could not trust how he would respond. When we have a job to do that is difficult, and involves perhaps offending or upsetting another, timing is everything. We need to listen to the Spirit’s leading, act with wisdom, and perhaps let go of telling others until we have done the deed, so to speak.

Furthermore, Abigail was discerning. She knew that David was God’s choice to rule over the nation of Israel. For she said to David in 1 Samuel 25:28, ‘For the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all these days.’

In view of Abigail’s insight into the LORD’s selection of David, her choice to go against her husband’s wishes seems to indicate that Abigail obeys God rather than men. We too must adhere to the instruction in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men.” There will be times when we have clear instruction to follow a particular action that will be difficult and raise the objection of others. But despite the opposition we encounter, like Abigail, we must set our heart and be courageous enough to put God and His command to us before all else and anyone else.

1 Samuel 25:23 ‘And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.’

And finally, Abigail was humble. This verse is a beautiful picture of Abigail’s broken and contrite heart, before the one she knew to be God’s anointed King. However, not only Abigail’s posture was humble, but her words also proved that she had a willing servant heart.

1 Samuel 25:24 ‘Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be; and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.’

What is shocking is that Abigail was not at fault yet was willing to take the blame. There is not a spot of pride or arrogance in her. Doesn’t this remind us of our dear Savior? Never to blame, but willing take the blame of others. Pride and self-exultation are never as great as a broken and contrite heart. When we find ourselves in the most trying and testing of circumstances, let’s humble ourselves. For it is only then that our dear LORD will exalt us in due time.

Who then can find a virtuous and excellent woman? Let us look to the woman, Abigail.  A woman praised by David and extolled as a most blessed and discerning woman, who later, upon the sudden death of Nabal, became his wife.

Heavenly Father, thank You for including this beautiful story of grace in the Scriptures. Thank You for the wisdom I can glean from reflecting upon her generosity, wisdom and humility. May I grow in these qualities to become a person of virtue and excellence before you, LORD.  Amen.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

Check Also

Doing The Right Thing At The Right Time

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to ...

One comment

  1. Great job with this article in content and message overall!
    I really enjoyed it, great reminders for us all.
    God Bless you~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *