Abigail was married to Nabal, a wealthy rancher whose name meant "fool." He had thousands of goats and sheep on his vast property. When David’s men were camped next to Nabal’s land, they protected his livestock from would-be thieves & invaders, and none of Nabal’s animals were missing or harmed because of the protection that David and his men willingly offered. When sheep-sheering time came around, David asked for appropriate compensation from Nabal. Despite the testimony of his herdsmen & shepherds, Nabal said no, insulting future king David and greatly angering him. David was so angry, in fact, that he intended to kill Nabal and his entire household for his response.
One of the household servants intervened, sharing with Abigail what had happened. This perceptive servant advised Abigail to appease David, as certain disaster was headed to their household because of the folly of their master. Very quickly Abigail gathered up bread, wine, grain, dressed sheep, raisins, and figs, and loaded them on donkeys to take to David and his men. She sent her servants on ahead, but wisely did not tell her husband Nabal.
With great dignity, humility and diplomacy, Abigail greeted David just as he was about to embark on the slaughter of her husband & his household. Her sweet words were like balm, appeasing his angered soul. Bowing low, she humbly asked David to ignore Nabal, assuring him that she had not seen the men that he’d sent. Her concern was for David, and she made an appeal to his values for justice & mercy. She boldly prophesied about his legacy, revealing the favorable view that she had of him. She reminded him that the ruthless king Saul had sought to take David’s life, and that to kill Nabal and his household would put him in the same category as his persecutor. Advising him that killing Nabal would also be politically unwise, she appealed to his wisdom & commented on his future reign as king. David recognized her intelligence & saw wisdom in her argument, accepting her counsel and praising God for her!
Upon her return, Abigail found her husband drunk at his own feast. The next day, when he was sober, she told him everything. At hearing what had almost happened, he had a stroke, dying 10 days later. When David learned the news of Nabal’s demise, he promptly proposed to Abigail, making her his wife.
HIDING NO MORE
Abigail’s story is an incredibly timely message for men and women of today. She was a powerful woman who chose not to hide behind traditions or religious ideas about a woman’s place, despite being married to a man that the Bible describes as "harsh and evil in his dealings." Instead, she embraced her truest self, allowing her beauty, intelligence, and boldness to be seen in all its glory. She offers us a potent reminder that powerful women need not hide their strength to be acceptable or appealing to others. God placed a story inside each one of us, and we do a disservice to the world if we keep it to ourselves. Your testimony will set others free, but you must share it. When we hide the beauty of our power, strength, and courage under tradition, fear, or trying to please others, we are limiting God’s glory and our own unique destiny.
POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE
I love the following quote by author Marianne Williamson about living from a place of strength.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
What would your life look like if you knew how powerful you are, and you courageously lived from that place? In shining your light, you give glory to God. So let your light shine! You are powerful beyond measure, and the world will be blessed by your strength. Ask yourself today, "How can my life today be a testimony of lending my strength to others, showing honor, grace and love to everyone I encounter?" We are all stronger together.
IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN YOU COULD ASK OR THINK"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." Ephesians 3.20
Abigail probably never imagined that she would become the wife of a king after saving the lives of her entire household. Beyond receiving the things she asked and hoped for, Abigail received from God immeasurably more than even her dreams dared to touch.
Where do your biggest dreams have borders?
What is the most extravagant thing you could ask God for today?
His Word reminds us that He is able to do immeasurably more than even that. Let your heart come alive with hope right now that the God of Abigail is your God, too. He is able to take even your scariest moments of conflict and risk and turn them into a story that is better than you could have dreamt of writing yourself. It's time to dream bigger.
What would your life look like if you knew how powerful you are? What would happen if you courageously lived from that place? In shining your light, you give glory to God. You are powerful beyond measure, and the world will be blessed by your strength.
Ask yourself today, "How can my life today be a testimony of lending my strength to others, showing honor, grace and love to everyone I encounter?" You never know how God will partner with you to bring peace, breakthrough, and life to the places that need it most.
Let Abigail's story increase your faith, remind you who you are called to be, and draw you close to the heart of God. You are stronger than you think you are. You are called to be a peacemaker. You bring breakthrough to every situation. You are a champion who fights for what she believes in. You will see how God can do immeasurably more than you could ask or think. Just like Abigail, you will have a miraculous end to your story.
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Written by Anne E. BallardSources: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.