|David, Abigail, and Nabal|
|Written by Ben Winslett|
|Monday, 10 February 2014 11:45|
Elder Keith Ellis posted an informative status update to his facebook page this morning from Ephesians 5 on the role of husbands to love and lead their wives as the spiritual head of the home. One comment he made I found especially interesting is as follows:
"Men are not to abuse their authority in the relationship by enslaving their wives. Just as our Lord is gracious towards His bride, the church, so should husbands love their wives.
Women are to submit to their husbands in The Lord. Wisdom and discernment are sometimes needed to know when the husbands authority oversteps the bounds of what is godly and right in the sight of God. In such cases the wife should not comply."
I couldn't agree with this more. A wife is indeed to submit to her husband, but a husband who abuses his role should not expect to be followed. If Jesus is our pattern for a husband (and He is) then there is no room for tyranny, abuse, or manipulation in the home.
David, Abigail, and Nabal
Elder Ellis' post reminded me of the story of David, Abigail, and Nabal in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 25 (interestingly enough, my studies as of late have been in 1 Samuel and the life of David with this morning's study being 1 Samuel 25!). To summarize, David's men had been of assistance to Nabal's sheep shearers who were very appreciative of the help. Quoting one of Nabal's servants, David and his men had been "as a wall" unto them, presumably as protection of men and preservation of the sheep. David, because of this, sent messengers to Nabal to ask for relief.
Unfortunately, Nabal was impossible to deal with. As one of his servants said, "he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him." He rejected the offer of David's young messengers and sent them back empty handed. Abigail, Nabal's wife, acted on her own and without Nabal's approval (I would go as far as to say she disobeyed Nabal's instruction) and took David and his men two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep, five measures of corn, a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. Quite the feast! Nabal had forbidden this but she did it anyway.
But look at what she does next! Once she arrived to David (who was already planning to avenge himself on Nabal), she begged him to "let this iniquity be" on HER to the sparing of her foolish husband, Nabal. She interceded for Nabal and this deferred David's wrath. David's resolution was to leave this in God's hands and be satisfied with God's judgment on the matter. Her final plea was that when the Lord raises up David as ruler, that he remember her.
The rest of the story
So how does our story end? David's wrath was subdued. Abigail returned to her husband who was throwing a drunken party fit for a king. After Nabal was sober, Abigail informed him of all that transpired. Upon hearing the news, Nabal's "heart died within him, and he became as a stone." After Nabal was dead, David returned to Abigail and took her to be his wife.
Abigail is a great example womanhood. Yes, she disobeyed Nabal by blessing God's servant David, but she also interceded on his behalf. Ladies, first of all you are not slaves. At the same time, you are in the unique position to intercede on your husband's behalf even if he is foolish. In short, never let an oppressive husband turn you into a rebel. Abigail did technically disobey, but she was no rebel. Even in her disobedience she had both God's will and her husband's well being in mind. Ideally, your goal should be to minister to your husband so he can improve, if possible.
In the end, David sought no vengeance and left it to the Lord, to Whom it belongs. Abigail disobeyed her husband by obeying God while at the same time seeking to protect her husband. Nabal met his end for his foolish actions by God, our Judge. Abigail was blessed of God to receive a new husband, and this one a true king!
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:33|