GOD’S WOMAN OF THE MONTH: ABIGAIL
I Samuel Chapter 25
THEME FOR THE MONTH: PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY
"...and she was a woman of understanding, and of a beautiful countenance..." I Samuel 25:3b
Abigail, meaning “my father’s joy”, enters scripture with the proclamation that she is a woman of understanding. She is noted by name, and more importantly, her character is one that is pleasing to God. She is the Father’s joy. Abigail can teach us how to turn less than wonderful circumstances and situations into blessed opportunities.
We know that marriages during ancient times were primarily arranged. Or, Abigail could have been the bounty from a war. No matter the reason, Abigail found herself married to a drunken, brutish and foolish man. Notice that Abigail did not spend her time arguing with a drunk. She didn’t attempt to show him his ways. Abigail had understanding.
Perhaps, Dale Carnegie, a modern day speaker and life coach took a page out of the life of Abigail when he said, “Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? You can’t win an argument, because if you lose, you lose it, and if you win it, you lose it. Why? You will feel fine, but, what about him? You have made him feel inferior, you hurt his pride, insult his intelligence, his judgment, and his self-respect, and he’ll resent your triumph. That will make him strike back, but it will never make him want to change his mind. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Abigail understood to only share her thoughts with someone who would agree with righteousness – that could and would help her.
Abigail teaches us how to protect our community. She teaches us to assess who it is that has the community at heart? Who desires to protect the community? Who is it attempting to save the children from ignorance? Who is seeking to insure that children and families have enough food and clothing? Who is it that really is doing the work to bring order and harmony to our land? Abigail tells us to note them. She infers that those who are blessing the community should be kept so that the community can prosper.
She reminds those who are called as leaders to remember their calling. She quickly reminds persons in authority that they are builders and not destroyers. Abigail teaches us that we can no longer participate in name-calling and mud-slinging politics. We must be about true change. Look, David, God has something better for you than revenge. Stick to His plan. Don’t get caught up in Nabal’s foolish actions.
Next, Abigail teaches us to go and support those who are interested in the plight of our communities. She knows to affirm those who are concerned. She doesn’t wait until the whole community is desolate. She doesn’t sit at home shaking her head as the community goes to hell in a basket. She is proactive. Abigail takes her substance and volunteers to help those who are making a difference. She knows that talking about conditions will not change the conditions – you have to make a move. She joins in with those who have a proven plan of safety for the community. Working for the safety of others may be your bridge into providing a safer tomorrow for yourself.
Mainly, Abigail teaches us to prepare for possible opportunities. Even in the midst of some horrible conditions expect a good and clear path. Even in abusive situations make ready to move into something better. Although things are not now wonderful at home, believe that you are the “Father’s JOY.” If someone is dis’sing you, believe that God wants and will promote and elevate you. God promises to make your enemy your footstool. You are part of God’s community. Relax. Angels are prepared to battle on behalf of our community. Relax. Watch for your opportunity to step up – and be sure to help others as you.
copyright 2011 Deborah L. Shumake