Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, August 2, 2015
“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.” (1 Samuel 25:3).
This week, we will focus on a seldom-mentioned woman; her name was Abigail. As our theme text highlights, there was a stark contrast between Abigail and her husband, Nabal. She was a beautiful looking woman, whose character was equally lovely. She was a sensible and discerning woman, but her husband was evil, rude, stubborn, and ill-mannered. In fact, Nabal’s name actually can be translated, “fool.” If you read the entire story of Nabal and Abigail, you will notice that his name certainly suits him (more about that later this week).
Ladies! What do you do if you wake up every day with an evil, rude, stubborn, and ill-mannered husband? Does the Lord require you to submit (different from being oppressed) to a man who does not love you like Christ loves the church? Let that question settle in. I am not crazy enough to offer my own advice on this, because I do realize that this is a complicated question that many God-fearing women have to answer daily, on their knees in prayer. If you or someone you know needs encouragement and power on this point, notice what your All-Powerful God (blessed be His name), has to say about it: “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” (1 Peter 3:1–5, NLT).
Notice here what the Bible is not saying: It is not saying that men have the right or authority to be evil towards our wives. The Scripture does not say that wives are to do anything contrary to the Word in order to satisfy the whims of an evil husband. The Scripture is not saying that you should endanger you lives with violent men. However, the Lord your God, ladies, is saying that if you should find yourself in the situation of lovely Abigail, He is able to so perfect your character, like so many other holy woman in the past, that you could be the one to lead him to Christ. It’s amazing to me how many men and oppressed women actually think that women cannot fully represent God, simply because they are women. Yet, this is a prime example of the fact that God has given wives who are under trial with their husbands, a ministry cut directly from the cloth of Jesus’ ministry. He was patient under the fiercest trials at the hands of those who were supposed to have loved Him most. When they reviled Him, He did not return the favor. When they scorned Him, He advocated their forgiveness. When they falsely accused Him of wrongdoing, He let the Father judge between them. The same power that was available to Jesus is available to us today.
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, there are so many women out there who want to live holy lives, but their husbands make it difficult for them. Will you please strengthen these daughters of yours? Will you give them the same beautiful character qualities that you gave Abigail? Will you help them lead those men to you, and assume their rightful positions as priests of their homes? Please keep your daughters safe. In the name of Jesus, amen.