Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Five Righteous Women

Lesson 7: Abigail Displays Courage and Wisdom

(Scripture to Read: 1 Samuel 1:19–2:10)

We know that people's names in Bible times often reflected their character – which makes us wonder what Nabal's parents must have been thinking when they named him "fool"! But by his own wife's admission, Nabal was properly named, for in scorning David's request for supplies Nabal foolishly put himself and his entire household at deadly risk.

It was now over 100 years since the events of 1 Samuel 1-2, and Samuel had died. David and his men were on the run from King Saul. Armed men would often protect a wealthy person's flocks in those days, and receive something for it. This was what David had done for Nabal in Maon, a desert area eight miles south of Hebron. But Nabal insulted David and sent his men away empty-handed. When Abigail, Nabal's wife, learned of his foolish act, she rushed out to David with supplies and begged him not to take vengeance on her husband and have his murder on his conscience. David saw the wisdom of Abigail's plea, and left Nabal to the Lord. Abigail had won the day, and David soon won her in marriage.

Study Questions

  1. What possible reason could Nabal have for turning down David's reasonable request for supplies for him and his men (v. 3 may give you a hint)?
  2. What approach did Abigail use to show David he did not want to stain his future with the murder of Nabal (see vv. 28-31)?
  3. David was impressed by Abigail's "good judgment" (v. 33) and accepted her gift. What potential tragedy for Nabal's household did her wisdom prevent (v. 34)?
  4. Nabal apparently had a stroke and died when he heard what David had planned. Why did the Lord judge Nabal so severely (see v. 39)?

Something to Think About

All of us need people of courage and wisdom around us to help guide us in making good and God-honoring decisions.

It is also important that we listen to these people, even when their counsel is not what we may want to hear. Thank the Lord today for the "Abigails" in your life, and take their advice to heart in your decision-making.