More and more folks today lack tact, manners, and care of others. Just recently we ate at a nicer restaurant, and the lady at the next table was clipping her nails and they were flying at us!! I also got a hate text, and a few rude phone calls! Shocking, I know. Things like this happen to all of us, but it’s how we handle these situations that shows our maturity level. We can’t control how others act, but we can control how we respond!
I admire Abigail since she was a woman who did not let the inappropriate behavior of other influence her Godly behavior. So let’s emulate some of Abigail’s character traits:
(the entire story is in I Samuel chapter 25)
David and his men protected Nabal’s sheep so that not a sheep was lost. Later David and his men helped with the shearing.
David then sent messengers requesting provisions for himself and men. Nabal answered the messengers insultingly and sent them away empty-handed. David, angered by such ingratitude, gathered his 400 warriors and set out to destroy Nabal. Enter into the story, Abigail, Nabal’s wife, who not only gave David the food, but also begged for Nabal’s life.
1 Samuel 25:10,14 And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.
Abigail was generous.
1 Samuel 25:18Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
Abigail was humble.
Sometimes when we are around difficult personalities, we can start to think a bit too highly of ourselves. We ALL have personality defects!
1 Samuel 25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
Abigail had good understanding and a beautiful countenance.
Good understanding, or good discernment comes from your relationship with the Lord. A beautiful countenance comes from a beautiful inside. I once saw a film where a man saw people as they were on the inside. It taught him about real beauty
1 Samuel 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance:
Abigail was a joy to her father.
The name Abigail means, “the father’s joy.” The Bible does not say what kind of parent her father was. Regardless of the past relationship we have had with our father, building that relationship today will please the Lord, and bring blessings to our lives. No other relationship is more important to a women. A woman’s relationship with her earthly father affects every other relationship we have.
-Encourage your children to have a great relationship with their father, whether or not they are in the home.
Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
-Give honor to your father.
Ephesians 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
-Honor with your words, deeds, actions, and prayers. A nice word for honor is value, esteem, or respect.
Abigail balanced out her husbands poor behavior.
Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Everyone has assets and liabilities. Everyone has a friend, family member or co-worker who does not have a positive disposition. Face the fact you will NOT change your loved one. Instead compensate, and live by example, with love. Lead your friend on to better behavior.
Abigail did not let others dictate her attitude.
The Bible tells us that Nabal was churlish and evil - “churlish” means rude; surly; austere; sullen; rough in temper; unfeeling; uncivil; selfish; narrow-minded; avaricious; unpliant; unyielding; cross-grained; harsh; unmanageable; obstinate.... (Get the picture?!)
I Samuel 25:3 ...but the man was churlish and evil in his doings;...
Nabal was called the son of the devil, and did not have the ability to be reasoned with.
1 Samuel 25:17 Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
Nabal was rude and inappropriate.
I Samuel 25:3 ...and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance:... Sounds like Abigail was the exact opposite of her husband!
Abigail was a peacemaker.
1 Samuel 25:28 I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
1 Samuel 25:24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
All in all, Abigail was a peacemaker. She was willing to do what it took to keep the peace between her husband and David. She was even willing to take the blame and apologize.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
The Lord has a special blessing for peacemakers.
Although I may no be able to control the behavior patterns of others, I can strive to control myself. I can be more like Abigail.