There are certain people who stand out to us as heroes and role models. We admire them, we want to learn from them, we want to emulate them. And, we find them in all walks of life. There’s the soldiers on the battlefield that selflessly protect us, there’s firefighters, there’s police, and there’s the bystanders that rush in to rescue someone from peril. To us they are normal, common, ordinary people that within a moment of an ordinary day, perform some extraordinary feat. Then after all is said and one, they usually disappear again into the background.
And, today I became aware of a new hero to add to my list. That’s not to say that I had not heard of this hero before, after all I’ve read her story in 1 Samuel 25 more than once (you may want to take a few minutes to read this story). It’s just that this time, I took the opportunity to learn about her story. This story between David, the soon to be King of Israel and Abigail, the wife of a brash, selfish, and arrogant fool has much to teach me/us.
Oh, I would like to be like Abigail. She’s wise, beautiful, diligent, reasonable, resourceful, humble, courageous, decisive. She sounds like the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman, that woman who is impossibly perfect, the one that I fall so short of, yet strive to be. And, no doubt Abigail has had practice in exhibiting all those character traits in the past. She’s obviously lived with Nabel as his wife long enough that their servants are comfortable coming to her with problems that are created by her husband. So, I think we can add in another adjective to describe Abigail – perseverance.
When presented with this perilous situation Abigail doesn’t get angry, she doesn’t lash out, but she acts, and her actions demonstrates a wise and godly character. She humbly reminds David of the destiny that God has for him as the future King. She takes him back to the last time that David had a slingshot in his hand and through courage and with God, David a little guy takes down the might giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17). She appeals to him with wisdom and grace, and she brings David back to his senses. And, I love that David’s heart is in tune enough to listen to Abigail and to God, so that he doesn’t let his anger at Nabal get control of him. Through the wisdom of Abigail, David averts doing something that would endanger his future kingdom, and worse yet endanger his relationship with God and others
Oh how very far I am away from the character of Abigail. I believe that am one whose initial instinct is to act the exact opposite way! I think that I would strike out. Perhaps I would not even act angry, perhaps I would be unable to act at all. Perhaps I would not have a shred of courage, knowing that certain peril was going to happen to those people I love, to those people who look to me for protection. I really don’t know for sure.
I believe that where the effects of fear paralyzes us and stops us in our tracks, courage has the opposite effect; courage moves us forward. And I know that I can’t move forward alone. The only sure way that I can move forward in difficult situations is to take the situations that I face, especially the challenging ones, directly to God first. And then I always need to keep looking to my Abba Father for guidance in all matters – to establish a constant vertical connection with God. The longer that I walk with Him leads me to trust that He will give me the wisdom, humility, courage, and grace to respond in a manner that reflects His desires and His character – the kind that Abigail exhibits.