Reach, the women’s ministry at [nlcf] will be talking about women of courage throughout the semester. Our woman of courage for the week is Abigail from 1 Samuel 25.
Abigail was married to Nabal. Nabal means fool and he did a good job of living up to his name. Abigail found herself stuck in a marriage that she did not choose and did not want to be in. I don’t know how long this good woman had to live with a man that was constantly embarrassing her with his rudeness and drunkenness, but I imagine that it felt like eternity at times. I’m sure she wanted to run at times. I’m sure she laid there at night thinking, “why did my parents think this was a good idea?” She probably called out to God, “Why, Why, Why?” But we see even in the midst of a dreaded life, she didn’t run. She stood loyal and firm.
It takes courage to keep going when things around you seem hopeless or like they are falling apart. It takes courage to not give up and throw in the towel when so many others around are doing just that or when they are encouraging you to do so.
Psalm 27:14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is wait patiently.
David and his 600 men were in the hills of Carmel. Nabal’s servants/shepherds were in the same area. David and his men were like a protective wall for Nabal’s servants and sheep (3000 sheep, 1000 goats – verse 7). They never harmed them or took anything from them. So when David heard that it was sheep shearing time (a time of feasting and hospitality) and he and his men were low on supplies, he sent 10 of his men to ask Nabal for some supplies.
Nabal’s response was rude and extremely inhospitable (verse 10). Now David was not only hungry, he became angry too. So, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail. “You’d better think fast, for there is going to be trouble for our master and his whole family. He is so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!” (vs. 17)
The “fast thought” in most modern day women’s minds would be, “now is my chance, I’m getting the heck out of here. I will never have to deal with him again!”
That is not what she thought. Her fast thinking went far beyond saving herself (you can often tell a persons character by their fast thinking and even more so by their fast reactions). She was so loyal to her God and to her household that her fast thinking enabled her to gather a lot of food to feed an army of angry and hungry men.
Deut: 6:31 Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid of them! The Lord you God will go ahead of you. HE will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Josh 1:9 I command you- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you Wherever you go.
What I love about this story is that we see two different types of courage in one beautiful woman. First we see the courage to stand strong, to anchor down, to not give up when all you want to do is run away. And then we see the courage to move quickly and face a potential enemy with wisdom. In time, she moved from enemy to friend, and from friend to the wife of David.
– Kati Williams