Abigail said: "Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him.'"
I Samuel 25: 25, King James Version
"She Knew What She Had Married"
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice."
Ephesians 4: 31, N.I.V.
What if I had been married to someone like Nabal, how would I have acted?
Would his nasty behavior have caused me to become bitter, angry or resentful?
"Resentment opens no door and breeds no courage."
"Resentment is an evil so costly to our peace that we should find it more cheap to forgive even were it not more right."
The above quote is a profound one in my opinion. What's more, the advice given in this brief sentence is perfectly laid out in Abigail's almost unbelievable response to a very volatile situation.
She willingly accepted the blame for a mess she did not create and then rather than worry about who was in the right or who was in the wrong, Abigail, with a spirit of humbleness and meekness, bowed before a hostile David asking for permission to speak.
But here's where things really get interesting. When Abigail started to talk, she had plenty to say!
I don't know what I thought might come out of her mouth. Since David was a handsome, athletic man with a tender, soft side, I might have thought the first thing she'd do is compliment him. Well, she did do this -- later on and for a different reason.
Instead, the first words Abigail said to David were blunt and to the point.
In common everyday language she said, "I know my husband is a bum!" I don't know too many women, who when meeting the future king of their country, would have the first words out of their mouth be derogatory ones about their lousy husband. In fact, the words Abigail used were, "he's a son of Belial" and "folly is with him." Frankly, she summed up Nabal's life quite well with those two descriptive phrases.
This is one of those times when we as God's daughters need to underline a text. Abigail was married to an unholy, unkind man and she knew it. And it wasn't a pleasant experience, especially for her! Unfortunately, things haven't changed much through the years, for God's girls, too frequently marry Nabals, even in the 21st Century, sad to say.
In the case of Abigail, it is very likely hers was an arranged marriage since many marriages were at that time. What's more, often the marriages had a financial motivation at their core. Abigail's dad may have liked the idea of his daughter marrying a wealthy man. And it could have been possible Abigail's family had their own wealth and when the families combined forces, it gave everyone more clout.
Whatever the reason, one thing is quite certain, since women were viewed as possessions, first of their dads, then of their husbands. Most likely Abigail had little choice in who she was attached to. Here's where things could have gotten very sticky.
Once you feel you have been duped into a situation which leaves you locked in a prison not of your own making, it's easy for traits like anger, resentment and bitterness to begin to pop up like bulbs in the spring.
But we don't find even a tinge of resentment in Abigail's response. We don't find her regaling David with the mistreatment she'd had by Nabal. She didn't give David a litany of complaints, instead she completely swept him off guard by saying to David, "I know what I am married to."
Just like Jael who did not approve of her husband's friends, Abigail made it clear to David she did not approve of Nabal's behavior. While Abigail was willing to take the blame, she also laid out to David the fact she wasn't a push-over. She understood her husband and she didn't condone his boorish behavior.
Tomorrow we'll take a look at how Abigail's words affected David. And we'll begin to understand that rather than becoming resentful and angry regarding the situation she found herself in, Abigail made a choice to let kindness and meekness rule her life, despite the fact she knew what she was married to.
I encourage you to take extra time to read the Affirmation today. It is an anonymous poem written in 1350 called "True Love." If, like Abigail, you know what or who you are married to and your life isn't what you dreamed it would be, there is a "True Love" you can cling to that will keep your heart soft and never let the toxin of resentment poison the well of a gentle spirit.
"Resentment is a communicable disease and should be quarantined."
"All other love is like the moon
That waxeth or waneth as flower in plain
As flower that blooms and fadeth soon,
As day that showereth and ends in rain.
All other love begins with bliss,
In weeping and woe makes its ending;
No love there is that's our whole bliss
But that which rests on heaven's King.
His love is fresh and ever green
And ever full without waning;
His love makes sweet and gives no pain,
His love is endless, enduring.
All other love I flee for Thee;
Tell me, tell me where Thou liest;
‘I shall be found, but more in Christ.'"
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
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