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Published / updated: 17 July 2009 | Author: Dele Oke

Abigail - Women of the Bible

1 Samuel 25


Abigail was the wife of Nabal. She is described as intelligent and beautiful while Nabal was rich, mean and surly in his dealings. What a match! Abigail's name means 'father rejoices' whereas Nabal means 'fool' (1 Samuel 25:2-3, 25).

A foolish hushband
Abigail's intelligence and discernment saved her family from destruction (1 Samuel 25).

Nabal was very rich. He owned three thousand sheep and a thousand goats (1 Samuel 25:2). David had stayed in the same area where Nabal's flock were kept and made sure that no harm had come upon Nabal's possession. These were lawless days where the fittest and strongest took all (1 Samuel 25:7-8).

David had hoped that Nabal would show him generosity. Unfortunately Nabal was too dumb and arrogant to recognise David's good deeds. When David politely asked Nabal for some provision for his men Nabal returned his request with an insult and sent the men away with no food. David's fury arose and he decided to take revenge by killing Nabal (2 Samuel 25:4-13).

David's reaction was wrong. Murder was not a reasonable response to a selfish man. But these were lawless days and David had the manpower to fulfil his revenge. In steps Abigail and saves the day. Thank God for godly women.

Abigail, a wise woman
Abigail, Deborah and Priscilla (to mention a few) were some women the Bible mentions whose intellectual and spiritual capacity either saved the day or brought guidance and comfort to many people. The reality is that we all have the Spirit of Christ in us and can achieve what God has called us to do.

A resentful David was on his way to murder Nabal and his whole household while Abigail hastened to meet him. With persuasive words and a gift she prevented David from taking Nabal's life. In this situation Abigail averted the destruction that one foolish and another revengeful man were about to unleash. Only God knows how many times this has happened in day to day life.

There are many women of similar ability around today. Maybe in your home things rely on you. Or it could be your work place that people look up to you. Use your God given ability to the glory of God.

Abigail's life is a statement of fact. Wisdom belongs to us all (James 1:5). As a woman you might even find yourself in a position of leadership not by choice but simply because the other people around are not capable of doing it.

Thank God you are there to sort things out.

Abigail's story took another twist. On returning from her diplomatic mission to David she met Nabal in the middle of a party. He was well drunk. Abigail waited till the next day before telling Nabal how close he and his household had been to extinction.

The shock of the news gave Nabal a heart attack. He died ten days later (1 Samuel 25:36-38). On hearing of Nabal's death David sent Abigail a marriage proposal. Abigail became David's wife. No wonder David went on to become one of the great kings of Israel.

Behind every successful man is an Abigail.


1. How would you describe Nabal?
2. Are you more like Abigail or Nabal?
3. What does it take to be wise? (James 1:5-6)?
4. What did Nabal seem to use most of his time doing?
5. Are there things that you do that waste your time?
6. How should we use the wisdom that God gives us?