A WISE AND UNDERSTANDING WOMAN
The people (characters in the story) in I Sam. 25:3-42 are Nabal - foolish and wicked; Abigail - joy of the father, and David - anointed King of Israel. The following is a verse by verse explanation of this story.
V 3. We meet Nabal, rough and evil descendant of Caleb, and Abigail, woman of good understanding and beautiful. Probably father chose Nabal for her.
V 4. David needs provisions and hears of Nabal's sheep shearing (custom to have a celebration at shearing time).
V 5. Sends envoy to request food; David humbles himself.
V 6. Salute him warmly, respectfully and peacefully.
V 7. Recount our protection over you and your flocks.
V 8. Send whatever you have.
V 9. David's men obey.
V 10-11. Nabal reviles David and refuses to send food ignoring David's protection. Nabal does not follow area custom of receiving guests and showing gratitude.
V 12. Men return empty-handed and recount their experience.
V 13. David loses his head and becomes angry enough to shed innocent blood. Rejection, bitterness and rebellion against God's decree happened very quickly. Willing to involve 400 men in his sin.
V 14. A faithful servant (even the servants knew Abigail to be wiser than Nabal) reports the incident correctly.
V 15-16. Reports David's kindness and protection.
V 17. Gave advice to Abigail. Abigail not too proud to consider advice from servant; both the servant and Abigail knew the house was in grave danger because Nabal did not act according to custom.
V 18. Abigail made haste. David asked for whatever they had. She sends the best and more than was asked: 200 loaves, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep already dressed, 5 measures parched grain, 100 cluster raisins and 200 cakes of figs.
Abigail did not have to take time to fast or pray - she was on target with God and completely understood her husband. Did not consider her life. David might have attacked and not talked. Only the men's lives were in danger, not hers.
Did not consider herself as separate from her husband. Had full understanding of marriage relation and responsibility. If she hated her husband she could have just waited until David killed him.
V 19-22. Husband was mean even when not drunk. Wisdom - didn't tell him when he was drunk. Courageous - "If you do right, and let nothing terrify you, not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you" (I Peter
3:6). Desire to appease enemy quickly (Luke 14:32). Didn't look for someone else to assume her duty. Motive was to protect and defend family and servants, not to disobey. (Husbands and wives had joint interest in their worldly possessions when used for common good - not to waste or spend recklessly.
Reckless use is to defraud the family.) Sounds good even for today. Aim was to prevent destruction from reaching family and household, and destroying it.
V 23. Humble and respectful approach to David - hasted off donkey (respectful custom to high-rank people) and fell on her face. Fearless - David could have killed her when she approached.
V 24. Took guilt of husband on herself. Husband and wife are one flesh. Asked permission to speak.
V 25. Apologized for husband - explains type of husband he is without being bitter against him.
V 26. Reminded David very gently of the curse of shedding innocent blood.
V 27-28. Allayed David's resentment by wise and humble speech. Endeavored to bring David out of his passionate rage for revenge and reminded David of the cost of revenge.
V 29. Reminded David of his anointing to be king, his safety in God, and God's sure house for David as a reward for David's fighting God's battles. You'll have no staggering grief over getting revenge.
V 30-31. Reminds David of God's long-term plan for David. Don't waste life on a man like Nabal.
V 32. David blesses God for sending Abigail.
V 33-35. He recognizes her wisdom. He accepts her apology and gifts.
V 36. Abigail reports all to husband when he is over drunk spree.
V 37. He becomes paralyzed - his heart died.
V 38. Ten days later he is dead.
V 39. Hearing of Nabal's death, David sends for Abigail to be his wife.
V 40 - 42. God's reward to Abigail for her right attitudes and motives before Him.
IMPORTANT ATTITUDES AND MOTIVES WE LEARN FROM ABIGAIL
1. Understand God's idea of the married state.
2. Consider ourselves one with mate even if we do not agree with them in al things.
3. Never let rejection, bitterness or rebellion come into you because of your circumstances.
4. Recognize mate's weaknesses; part of being a help mate. Defend the home and marriage from all enemies.
5. Let wisdom guide your actions.
6. Always be prayed up and ready because of the weakened condition of the family unit due to unsaved mate.
7. Don't look for some way out or someone else for your joy. Be humble, respectful and full of forgiveness.
8. Always give best to God.
9. Serve the husband and family out of obedience to God's commandments.
10. Walk humbly with your God and before mankind.