Summary: Abigail is a woman of great wisdom. She is used of God to head off a coming conflict between her husband, Nabal, and David.
“Abigail: A Hidden Hero”
I. Let’s take a look at some background information to properly set the stage for Abigail’s story.
A. The prophet Samuel has anointed David King of Israel, but the crown is still sitting on the head of his jealousy adversary Saul.
1. David’s face is appearing in all the post offices in the nation as he tops Saul’s most wanted list.
2. David and his army of misfits numbering around 600 are on the run moving from hideout to hideout.
3. David and his mighty men move to the wilderness of Paran.
B. David and his men begin policing the area protecting the farmers and their flock in hopes of being able to scratch out a living.
1. No contracts are signed but they work hard to protect the farms in the area.
2. At shearing time the farmers would gather the sheep to shave off their profits.
3. The farmers would also share food and profits with volunteer police to pay them for their services.
4. The villain in our story is a tight fisted miser by the name of Nabal who refused to pay.
II. Time to get acquainted with the main characters of our story.
A. Nabal’s reputation like his vast herd, spread throughout the countryside.
1. His own servants considered him to be worthless.
2. Even his name speaks volumes about him since it means fool.
3. Nabal was self willed, greedy and angry; you would expect him to be married to someone much like himself.
4. However, his wife Abigail is very much the opposite.
B. Abigail is a woman who is as wise as her husband is a fool.
1. Abigail as we will see displays the rare quality of discernment.
2. Discernment is the ability to read people and situations and act according to what’s best.
3. A discerning person must be approachable, realistic, well organized and trustworthy.
4. All of these traits shine beautifully in Abigail’s character.
C. Then we have David, a person who really needs little introduction.
1. David and his men are forced to live in the wilderness in tents.
2. Definitely not the kingly life he imagined when Samuel anointed him king over Israel.
3. David is hungry, dirty and tired; he literally feels like a hunted animal.
4. Now consider Nabal’s blatant selfishness hitting David’s short fuse of frustration head on.
III. Natural conflicts and their discerning solutions.
A. The conflict between a wife and her husband.
1. Imagine if you will, Abigail’s life with Nabal; two people who are complete opposites.
2. Nabal reacts with prideful emotion; Abigail responds with God-centered discernment.
3. He thinks of only himself, she considers everyone involved.
4. Fortunately for Nabal, Abigail stays with him regardless.
B. The development of conflict between David and Nabal.
1. It’s shearing time and David sends ten of his men to collect their well-deserved payment from Nabal for services rendered.
2. Having sent the message to Nabal the ten men wait patiently for his response.
3. Nabal thinks nothing snubbing David and insulting his men.
4. David’s short fuse is lit and his anger burns against Nabal.
5. Meanwhile back at the ranch a loyal servant let’s Abigail know of Nabal’s foolish actions.
C. Abigail begins to try to head of the conflict with David.
1. Abigail could have thought, “Wow, God works in mysterious ways, I hope my husbands passing will be quick and painless.
2. Abigail considers the consequence of David’s rash actions.
3. Abigail prepares a feast for David’s men and then rides off to intercept them.
4. Not only does Abigail show discernment she shows great courage.
D. The results of Abigail’s use of discernment.
1. Abigail shows great diplomacy and tact.
a. She calls herself David’s maidservant six times.
b. She calls David my lord, fourteen times.
2. She shows humility by interceding on the behalf of her husband without excusing his foolishness.
3. With her gift in hand, she affirms her loyalty to David and to his best interests.
4. She displays her faith in God by taking care of the future king of Israel.
5. David realizes that Abigail has just saved him from making a terrible mistake.
6. Abigail realizes that she had just saved her husbands neck and she would receive no word of thanks, she would have to trust God for her reward.
7. The Lord vindicates both Abigail and David when struck Nabal down.
8. We have a story of courage and grace that ends romantically with Abigail becoming David’s wife.
IV. Learning the value of discernment for our own lives.
A. Abigail may be one of Scripture’s lesser lights, but without her actions one of Scriptures greater lights, David may have been dimmed forever.
1. Abigail receives a great reward for her faith, courage and discernment.