Thursday, May 30, 2013

Abigail the Industrious and Intelligent


By Brenda Black

Abigail has to be one of the coolest women to ever live! She was smart, resourceful and prepared like a Proverbs 31 woman long before that chapter was written. Abigail was kind and clever. She was humble yet in charge. Abigail even kept a king from walking out of the will of God. Ladies, if you're looking for a role model, may I suggest Abigail the Industrious and Intelligent.
Her heroic story of common sense is found in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 25.

“One of Nabal's young men informed Abigail, Nabal's wife: 'Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them. The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren't harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep. Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!'” (1 Sam. 25:14-17)

Before the story continues, let's pause and consider one reason for Abigail's sensibility. She had to be! The man she married lacked tact, as well as intelligence. His own servants sized him up to be a “worthless fool.” If it is true that opposites attract, that may explain this polarized couple – a hot head and a kind heart; one who hoarded and one who gave; one who listened to nobody and one who heard the plea of a servant.

In the heat of the moment, clear headed Abigail knew just what to do. “Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she said to her male servants, 'Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you.' But she did not tell her husband Nabal.” (1 Sam. 25:18-19)

Okay, stop the donkey! How many of you are thinking, “Who has that much food at the ready?” My thoughts exactly. The fact that Abigail the Industrious has stockpiled enough food for an army is phenomenal. This was long before refrigeration, shrink wrap or any modern-day convenience. Sure she had the help of an apparently gigantic entourage of servants, but somebody had to be in charge. Abigail ruled that pantry with a cast iron fist!

“When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. She fell at his feet and said, 'The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name: His name is Nabal, and stupidity is all he knows. I, your servant, didn't see my lord's young men whom you sent. Now my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live, it is the Lord who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord's battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you.” (1Sam. 25:23-28)

Abigail the Intelligent saved lives and spared David another sinful slide away from the center of God's will. She called on courage and practiced great communication skills. She humbly honored David. She sacrificially assumed her husband's guilt. She wisely isolated Nabal from the innocent that would have been slain because of his sin. She stopped a catastrophe. She declared a prophecy. She fed an army. Just all in a day's work for this woman. Yes, Abigail has to be one of the coolest women who ever lived!

 Nabal was called harsh and evil. Abigail was deemed intelligent and beautiful. The world could use a lot more Abigails and far fewer Nabals. Which are you?

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