Sermons

Summary: Abigail shows us real courage for real life

COURAGE TO STAND

1 Samuel 25:18 -19, 23-31, 39-42

February 20, 2000

Morning Service

Introduction

I. The story of Ruby Bridges

II. What is the largest problem facing the church of today?

A. Possible answers

1. Is it a lack of belief in God? - No

2. Is it a lack of ability to do God’s work? - No

3. Is it a lack of people in God’s church? - No

B. Final solution

1. The largest problem facing the church today is none of these things. It is a lack of courage to do that which God has called and enables us to do.

2. Why is courage the problem? Why do we need courage so badly?

3. Courage is the power that it takes to be a strong Christian and to build a strong church

4. The problem arises when christians and churches do not have the courage to follow God wherever He leads them. Thus they end up doing only what is safe and acceptable and go nowhere for God

5. This morning I would like to look at one model of Biblical courage. Abigail reveals a great deal about what we can do when we do the right thing. I want to teach you the Abigail principle: Do what God wants you to do no matter what the cost

Body

I. Abigail’s Courageous Action (18-19)

A. Abigail understood the dangerous situation

1. Who was Abigail?

a.) Basic facts

1.) Abigail was married to a shrewd man

2.) Abigail had wealth (from her husband)

3.) Abigail manged the house and likely much of the business

b.) Personal facts

1.) Abigail was both beautiful and intelligent

2.) Abigail was respected and trusted by her husbands servants

2. The situation was explained to Abigail

a.) The servant comes to Abigail

1.) This reveals the deep trust they had in Abigail

2.) It shows a high level of concern about the situation

b.) The situation is explained

1.) David had protected Nabal’s property

* David’s small military force kept bandits and thieves away from Nabal’s lands

* David had treated Nabal’s servants with dignity and respect

2.) Nabal had returned evil for good

* David made a request for food and Nabal refused the request

* Nabal not only refused the request but his statements were insulting

* The servants expected David to respond with force against Nabal

B. Abigail goes into action

1. Abigail acts immediately

a.) Abigail went straight to her task

b.) Time was crucial - David could already be on the way

2. Abigail acts with wisdom

a.) Abigail gathers a large amount of food

1.) She needs enought to feed the large group

2.) Abigail takes more food than was requested

* David is already offended

* The amount of food will reveal her goodwill

b.) Abigail does not tell Nabal

1.) Nabal would have stopped her

2.) Her actions would carry a penalty

* Nabal could respond with force & kill her

* Nabal could divorce her and leave her with nothing

II. Abigail’s Courageous Attitude

A. Abigail boldly approached David

1. Abigail was very bold

a.) Abigail might be killed in the process

b.) Abigail will be totally vulnerable in the face of David’s vengence

2. Abigail takes the blame for Nabal’s offense

a.) Abigail takes Nabal’s place before David

1.) This places Abigail in extreme danger

2.) This allows her the opportunity to speak

b.) Abigail recognized Nabal’s foolish behavior

1.) Abigail literally calls her husband a fool

2.) Abigail takes the opportunity to state that she was unaware of David’s request

B. Abigail makes three requests

1. Accept the gift

a.) This request was to reveal a return of favor rather than offense

b.) Abigail does this because David is already offended and may not accept the gift

2. Forgive the offense - Two reasons

a.) Abigail would have been seen as stepping out of her place - forgiveness for coming into David’s presence

b.) Abigail needed to ask forgiveness for Nabal because she came in his place

c.) Abigail is asking David to spare Nabal’s life - allow God to be the judge

3. Remember your servant

a.) Abigail had announced her confidence in God making David into more of a success

b.) Abigail is asking for favor from David in the future

1.) Abigail has honored God and David by her actions and her courage

2.) Abigail will be widowed - If God avenges David with Nabal

* Abigail will need someone to interceed for her

* Abigail will need a promise of protection

III. Abigail’s Courageous Advancement (39-42)

A. Abigail is freed from Nabal

1. Abigail returns home

a.) Abigail sees that Nabal is drunk

b.) Abigail does not tell Nabal what she has done

2. Abigail gives Nabal the news

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