Black Women in the Bible.
1 Sam 25:2-3
2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
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: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
She was a woman of charm, beauty and poise. Possessing both good understanding and a beautiful countenance. Abigail had in the confines of her adorable physique, both winsomeness and wisdom. Someone said, she had brains as well as beauty, looks to kill and wit to defy. She was loveliness and intelligence walking hand in hand.
Her intelligence emphasized her physical attractiveness. Indeed this was one of God’s greatest creations, a beautiful woman with a beautiful mind.
Added to here charm and wisdom was the characteristic of personal piety. She knew God, and although she lived in an ugly unhappy home, she remained steadfast in her belief and trust in Him. One author says writing of Abigail “She possessed in harmonious combination these two qualities which are valuable to everyone one, but which are essential to one who has to manage men. - The tact of a wise wife and the religious principle of a good woman. Eugenia Price who writes of Abigail as “A woman with God’s own poise” says that “only God can give a woman poise like Abigail possessed, and God can only do it when a woman is willing to cooperate as Abigail cooperated with Him on every point.”
True to the significance of her own name, Abigail - which means “my father is Joy” experienced in God her Father a source of joy enabling her to be independent of the adverse, trying circumstance in her miserable home. She had implicit confidence in God and this confidence she demonstrated when forced to protect her family against the destruction shore to come because of her drunken husband. Her faith shone like diamond in the darkness of the night, Like an ornament of gold, in the crown of a king. And indeed the words of the poet captures the importance of a woman like herself in this messed up world of our:
Abigail, the splendor of your beauty demonstrates itself in your meek and gently demeanor.
Abigail, like a beacon light in the darkness of the night, your faith and confidence in God shines through.
Abigail, come grace our homes and grace our church, and let the world see what the characteristic of a Christian woman should be. Abigail.
The Bible says, she was married to a Man named Nabal, a son of Belial, a worthless man. Just the kind of guy your mother warns you never to marry. The fact that according to 2nd Chronicle 25:3 He was of the House of Caleb indicates we are dealing with a man and family of African descent, because the house of Caleb, like the tribes of Judah and Ephraim and Manhasset, were people of color.
Nabal the Bible says, was a drunkard. Though extremely rich, and at least smart enough to marry a beautiful, wise godly woman, Nabal was a constant pain in his community. After a hard days work, he would gorge himself with the liquid of death, to the detriment of his family. He is described as the man churlish and evil in his doings? I Sam 25:3. and his record proves him to be all that. Churlish means, a bear of man, harsh, rude and brutal. Destitute of the finer qualities his wife possessed, he was likewise avaricious and selfish. Rich and increased with goods and gold, he through only of his possessions and could be classed among those of whom it has been written.
The man may breath but never lives
Whoever receives but nothing gives
Creations blot, creations blank
Whom none can love and none can thank.
Along with being a drunkard, Nabal was unmanageable, stubborn and ill tempered. He bowed his knees to the gods of this world and not to the God of his ancestors who lived in the Mount of Median and called themselves Midianites. His forefathers, the Ethiopians who had mixed with the Father of the Jews Abraham to create a new clan called the Midianites, had worshipped Yahweh. When the other descendants of Abraham stood enslaved on the continent of his ancient ancestors, Caleb’s people lived in the Mount of God, and worshipped the God of the Bible. It was to Caleb’s ancestors that God directed Moses, there to find Himself an African woman, and come to know the God of the African Midianites. It was the forefathers of Caleb that had directed Moses to the Mount of God where he met the “I am within the confines of the burning bush. Moses had invited these worshipers of Yahweh to go with him to Palestine as the eyes to the Israelite people, but now Nabal acts like angel of the devil. He has strayed from the part of righteousness and took the well being of his family with him.
The story begins with David, who is totally disillusioned and discourage after the death of Samuel. Samuel kept in check the intent of the wicked King Saul who now sat upon the throne. David is now vulnerable and hungry, and sends to request of his wealthy neighbor, food to provide for the needs of his men. David though an outlaw of Saul had preserved the flocks of Nabal at no expense to their owner. Sheep owners would normally be happy to reward those helping them against losses. David’s request for supplies was therefore legitimate and in harmony with the custom of his time.
1 Samuel 25:4-
4And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. 5And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: 6And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. 7And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. 8Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. 9And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased. 10 And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. 11Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? 12So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings. 13And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
David shows his youthful inexperience. In later years he would not be so quick to act. The pressure of being on the run might have clouded his ability to think rationally, so in haste and anger he decided he was going to kill the entire family of the churlish Nabal including the beautiful Abigail, whose only sin was that she was married to a fool. Thanks however to an observant servant, David was stopped from committing an awful sin.
The Wisdom of the Servant.
14But 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.15But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields:16They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.17Now 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.
Intervention of a Godly Woman. 1 Sam 25:18-24
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.19And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.21Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.22So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.23And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,24And 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.
Having often acted as peace-maker between her intemperate husband and his neighbors, on hearing the story and how imprudently her husband had behaved, realizing that no time could be lost, with a clever woman’s wit she saw that grave consequences would surely follow the churlish refusal and the rash words which betrayed at once the jealous adherent of Saul and the bitter enemy of the powerful outlay.
Gathering together a quantity of food and wine, sufficient she thought for David’s immediate need, Abigail rode out on as ass and at to covert of a hill met David and his men - and what a momentous meeting it turned out to be. With discreet tact Abigail averted David’s just anger over Nabal’s insult to his messengers, by placing at David’s feet food for his hungry men. She also revealed her wisdom in that she fell at the feet of David, as an inferior before a superior, and acquiesced wit him in his condemnation of her brutal foolish husband.
As a Hebrew women was restricted by the customs of her time, to give counsel only in an emergency in the hour of greatest need, Abigail, had risked the displeasure of her husband whose life was threatened. This was not an impulsively act however, in going to David to plead for mercy, she followed the dictates of her disciplined will, and speaking at the opportune moment her beautiful appeal from beautiful lips captivated the heart of David.
As his own harp had appeased Saul, the musical voice of Abigail exorcised the demon of revenge, and woke the angel that was slumbering in David’s bosom. We can never gauge the effect of our words and actions upon others. The intervention of Abigail in the nick of time teaches us that when we have wisdom to impart, faith to share and help to offer, we must not hesitate to take the risk that may be involved. Abigail had often made amends for the infuriated outburst of her husband. Neighbors and friends knew her drunken husband only too well, but patiently she would pour oil over troubled waters, and when she humbly approached with a large peace offering, her calmness soothed David’s anger and gave her the position of advantage. For her peace-making mission she received the Kings benediction. Her wisdom is seen in the fact she did not attempt to check David’s turbulent feelings by argument, but won him by wise kind words. Possession heavenly intelligence, self control, common sense and vision, she exercised boundless influence over a great man and marked herself out as truly a great woman.
Abigail Speaks 1 Sam. 25:25-
25Let 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: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.26Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. 27And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. 28I 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.
VS 26. God sent her.
He was fighting the Lords Battle. Vs 28
Whose Battle are you fighting?
He would be incurring guilt.
A. God did not send David on this mission
B. David inquired of the lord in the past with he confronted Goaliah, but now he was about to wage his own war.
David responds to Good Counsel I Sam 25:32-
32And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 33And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 34For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
The Response of Nabal. - A Heart Attack. 1 Sam 25:36-
The Result of sin.
36And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
It is to the credit of this noble woman that she did not leave her godless husband or seek divorce from him, but remained a loyal wife and protector of her worthless partner. She had taken him for better of for worse, and live for her was worst that the worst. Wretched though her life was, and scorned, insulted and beaten as she may have been during Nabal’s drinking bouts, she clung to the man to whom she had sworn to be faithful, because she believed in marriage. Abigail manifested slavery stronger than death. But the hour of deliverance came ten days later. Nabal’s worthless life ended. When David hearkened to the plea of Abigail and accepted her person, he rejoiced over being kept back by her counsel form taking into his own hands God’s prerogative of justice.
When David said to Abigail, “Blessed be thy advice, he went on to confess with usual frank generosity that he had been wrong in giving way to wild, ungovernable passions. If Abigail had not interceded he would have carried out his purpose and destroyed the entire household of Nabal which massacre would have included Abigail herself. But death came as the great divorcee or arbiter, and Nabal’s wonderful wife had no tears of regret, for amid much suffering and disappointment she had fulfilled her marriage vow.