Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Blessing Like Abigail

Then David said to Abigail: ‘Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.”  (1 Samuel 25:32-33)

Are you a blessing to the people you come into contact with each day? Am I? How wonderful it would be if what David said of Abigail here could be said by those around us! I know I certainly want to be a blessing to those around me, but I’m afraid that far too often I fall short of the example that Abigail set many years ago.

A little context for those who might not be so familiar with the story… David is on the run from King Saul when he comes across the land of Nabal and asks for assistance. Nabal is very wealthy and could easily afford to spare some provisions for David and his men. It would have been only right for Nabal to help David, since David and his men had offered protection to Nabal’s servants and flocks while they were in the fields. More than that, David is the anointed of God. Nabal, however, is a very foolish man and rudely refuses to give any provisions. As a result of his foolishness, Nabal almost brings death upon himself and all of his men. Thankfully, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, is a great deal wiser than he is. When she is made aware of the situation, she sends out provisions for David and his men and goes before David herself to plead for mercy. In this display of great wisdom and humility, she spares the lives of her husband (though he is struck down by God a few days later) and his men, as well as sparing David from taking vengeance for himself. No wonder David said what he did! Abigail truly was a blessing to every one she came in contact with that day!

So now I must ask myself again: Am I a blessing to the people I encounter each day?

Am I a blessing to my husband? Do I use wisdom in my dealings both with him and for his sake? Do I look for opportunities to better serve him in our relationship? And if he is struggling with any personal weakness, do I help create an atmosphere that would encourage growth and improvement, or do I act in such a way to push him further down that path? Unlike Abigail, I have been blessed with a wonderful husband who daily seeks and works to become more the man that God wants him to be. Do I follow with all humility and submissiveness in these pursuits? If Abigail could humbly serve a foolish man like Nabal, surely I can serve a good and godly man like my husband! So do I?

Am I a blessing to those who rely on me? When the lives of Nabal’s men were on the line, they knew that they could safely trust in Abigail to save them. This tells me that she had proven herself to be wise, trustworthy, and compassionate to those men in times before. And she didn’t let them down when the stakes were so high. But what about me? At any point in my life, there have been people whose well-being or success depended on my choices and my actions. It might have been a partner on a school project, an employer, my Bible class students and their parents, those I worship with… and now there’s a little boy we are expecting to be born in less than three months. I have had any number of people put their trust in me to do what is right and to act in their best interests. Have I been worthy of this trust?

Am I a blessing to those who hear me speak? David clearly saw the wisdom of Abigail’s words and followed them, recognizing them for the blessing that they were. I think here of the Proverbs 31 woman who, “opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness” (v. 26). Each day brings a multitude of opportunities for me to express my opinion, whether vocally in-person or digitally through such things as email, Facebook, and this blog. These opportunities are only going to increase exponentially when I have a little child with me in the house all day. The question at the end of the day is, and will continue to be: Are those who heard me speak today any better for having done so? Or am I simply piling up idle words that will stand as a record of foolishness against me in judgment (Matthew 12:36-37)?

Am I a blessing to God? And do I bring others to give praise to God? This is the most important of them all, isn’t it? I would hope that every day of my existence would be a blessing and source of joy to God, but I know that there are so many days that I fall short of this. This saddens me, but it should also serve as a driving force for me to do better the next day (or the next hour, or even the next minute). In fact, every additional breath I take is another opportunity to step up and be the servant of God that He desires me to be. And this is what will enable me to be a blessing to all those I mentioned before – my words, actions, and example drawing them nearer to God as I draw nearer to Him myself.

We aren’t told very much at all about the rest of the days of Abigail’s life, but we know that on this day she was a true blessing to all around her. May I commit myself to have more days like the one we see from Abigail here. May I live such that I will be a blessing to all around me. And may God be praised for each and every moment that He gives me in this life to do so.

Thanks for stopping by!


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.