Monday, March 9, 2015

Abigail-- A Virtuous Woman

As a new wife myself, I find that the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is often on my mind. Not that one has to be married to be a virtuous woman (we know of many a single, virtuous woman!), but I've just been thinking on it more... and man, it sure is hard!

I thought that maybe I would take a few weeks to write about some of the women who inspire me from the Bible. It is uplifting for me to see that they go through struggles that all women face, sometimes they stumble, but in the end they remain virtuous. 

I would say that the woman who inspires me the most from the Bible is Abigail, so I'm going to start with her. I would suggest that you start by reading 1 Samuel 25. 

Abigail was faithful

How difficult it must have been for Abigail to be married to such an unspiritual man. Yet instead of losing her faith, she remains the example of faith to God. We don't know what the circumstances were that led to Abigail's marriage to Nabal-- whether it be a foolish choice of youth, an arranged marriage, or simply that Nabal had grown more foolish over the years. Regardless, Abigail did not let her faithless husband change her fervor for God's will.

Abigail was humble

Despite being the wife of a very rich man, Abigail bows herself down to young David, a poor man and a fugitive. Yet she knew who David was and who David was to become. More than that, she knew the God David served and she was willing to do whatever she could to remind him that killing Nabal was not a godly thing to do. 

She could have called him out for acting wickedly or foolishly, but she doesn't. She begs forgiveness from him even though she had done no wrong. 

She watches over the affairs of her household and
 does not eat the bread of idleness - Proverbs 31:27

Abigail was a hard worker

Just like the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Abigail doesn't wait for someone else to do the hard work. She saw that her household was in danger and she does what is needed to protect it. She is willing to do something that was "beneath" her role as a nobleman's wife.

She sets about her work vigorously; 
her arms are strong for her tasks -Proverbs 31:17

Abigail gave openly

Though Nabal refused to give up anything to David and his men, Abigail was more than willing to openly give to David. Not only because of the work he had done for her household, but because she was generous. She knew that everything Nabal had collected was not theirs to keep-- it had been given by God and therefore should be used to do God's work.

She opens her arms to the poor and
 extends her hands to the needy -Proverbs 31:20

Sadly, Nabal was not the righteous companion a woman like Abigail would have wanted. God had a better plan for her-- because of her faith, humility, and desire for His work. We have so much to learn from this wonderful woman!

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