Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Walking with God – Day 9

Walking with God in wisdom: Abigail

Bible text(s)

13Happy is anyone who becomes wise — who gains understanding.

Proverbs 3:13GNBOpen in Bible reader

16Wisdom offers you long life, as well as wealth and honour.

Proverbs 3:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

14A man can inherit a house and money from his parents, but only the LORD can give him a sensible wife.

Proverbs 19:14GNBOpen in Bible reader

We all do foolish things at times, which we regret, but when we recognise our mistakes and try not to repeat them, this enhances our understanding, which grows into wisdom with maturity. The Bible speaks much about the value of wisdom and today we reflect on its importance in the actions of Abigail and her husband, Nabal, in an encounter with David before he was crowned king.

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways. A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them” (Proverbs 14:1-3). We see how these words in Proverbs play out in the life of Nabal, who had the reputation of being a fool and that of Abigail, whose wise words and quick actions save him, when through anger and pride he refuses to help David (1 Samuel 25:14-20).

Although Nabal was a wealthy man, he grudged giving David and his men food after they had shown him kindness by watching over his shepherds at Carmel. Instead, he denied knowing David and sent them away. This rude treatment provoked David’s anger and would have led to him destroying Nabal, but for Abigail’s quick action. After hearing what had happened, Abigail realised the danger caused by Nabal’s ingratitude and angry words, and defused the situation by going to speak humbly and persuasively to David. She took donkeys, generously loaded with provisions, to present to him for himself and his men’s needs. Her actions averted a disaster. “David said to Abigail, ‘Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.’” (1 Samuel 25:32-33)

Abigail’s wisdom enabled her to see the big picture and to competently promote peace, which saved her husband and all the males belonging to him. God was able to work through her attitude, but he later struck down Nabal who had no thought for anyone else, who had been in a drunken state when Abigail had returned home successfully from her mission. Abigail later became David’s wife.

Wise people cultivate desirable character traits through their willingness to learn. Discretion, discernment, self-control and humility develop in them, and establish their good reputation; but a foolish person is unwilling to change his mind set and causes his own downfall. By repeating mistakes, refusing to acknowledge arrogance and pride, and blaming God and others for our problems, we create unenviable lives for ourselves. Humility conquers foolishness and the willingness to embrace the wisdom of God through his word, enriches life.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.21.9
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