(... should have been David's only wife)

s a leader, the wife you marry will have a big influence on your abilities to lead, no matter what you are leading.

  1. Church statistics on marriage show that some day, 1/2 of you will someday be sitting in your easy-chair at home, wishing you would have paid more attention today.
  2. Who you marry has a huge impact on what you become.
  3. Nehemiah 13:25 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations there was no king like him, who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless pagan women caused even him to sin.
  4. Be careful who you marry
  5. How did Solomon get into so much trouble in marriage?
  6. The first thing he did when he became king was to kill a few people (his father's enemies)
    • Then marry a pagan woman. In a deal with Pharaoh the king of Egypt.
    • His first decision for a wife was based on logic
    • Most of his later decisions would be based on lust
  7. How could a person who loves the living God turn away to pagan, lifeless gods?
    1. A woman can do that to you.
    2. It happened to all of Israel (God warned them over and over)
    3. It happened to Solomon (the wisest king on earth)
    4. And to David
  8. Solomon's troubles were mostly caused by his wives
  9. Where did he learn this behavior?
    1. 1 Kings 3:3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David,
  10. He learned it from his father
  11. All of David's troubles, after he became king (except possibly one) could be traced to his wives
    1. He had sons, from all the different marriages, who raped his relative, killed his other son, chased him out of office, rebelled against him, slept with his wives, he had a wife who disrespected him (Michal), and then the whole sorry state of affairs with Bathsheba
  12. David should have stuck with one wife, because a wife can be a big help to you, or she can be a big hindrance.
  13. In fact, David met the perfect woman and she is a good model for our search for a wife.
    1. I, however, have married a woman just like the one we are going to look at here.

1 Samuel 25:2-38

2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance;

There is a good place to start, a wise woman and beautiful.

but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. And he was of the house of Caleb.

She was a good woman married to a mean man.

4 When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: 'Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! 7 Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.' " 9 So when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited.

David sent his men for a handout from Nabal because he and his men had protected Nabal's men and sheep.

10 Then Nabal answered David's servants, and said, "Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master.

Nabal takes the side of Saul, he is a rich and powerful man so he sides with who he can relate to.

11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?" 12 So David's young men turned on their heels and went back;

Obviously David's men were none to happy about this, and they must have been embarrassed by the way they were treated.

and they came and told him all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, "Every man gird on his sword." So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies.

Could there be any question why David's men loved him? He was disrespected, but his men were even more shamed because they directly made the request. They must have been talking about what David would do when they returned to camp with Nabal's reply. David's response was quick and decisive.

14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel that one cannot speak to him."

The servants knew who to talk to about this. If Abigail was a wise woman and married to such a harsh man she would have learned how to deal with him, and how to keep him out of as much trouble as she could. This was undoubtedly not the first time she had attempted to get Nabal out of a mess. And the servants knew she was the one that could do it.

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her servants, "Go on before me; see, I am coming after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

She didn't tell Nabal of course because he was not smart enough to know he was in trouble, or he was too mean to care. And she sent the food in front of her to soften up David before she got to him.

20 So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, "Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light."

23 Now when Abigail saw David, she hastened to dismount from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground.

She knew how to show respect and when to do it.

I am not saying that you should find a woman that will bow to you. I am saying you better make sure the woman you are attracted to respects you and shows you respect. Does she know how to show respect to others? You better find that out.

24 So she fell at his feet and said: "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be!

She took responsibility. That would surely get his attention. People that mess up so rarely take responsibility for their own actions.

And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.

She now had his full attention. Notice how she did that. With tact and diplomacy, not with demands to be heard. She is doing effective communication.

25 Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him.

Now she creates the distance between her and Nabal so that David does not think she is only Nabal's spokesman on this matter. So David does not think that Nabal sent her here.

But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, since the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal.

She is persuading him to not take revenge on her household. Notice how she is doing it. She is using the technique she had to use when dealing with Nabal. He was a cruel man so to get through to him she had to be tactful.

27 And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the LORD will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.

She is gently pointing out that to take revenge would be evil.

29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling. 30 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel,

She has stated that she sides with David, as opposed to Nabal, whose chose an alliance with Saul. And she is acknowledging God's call on David's life and reminding him to live up to it.

31 that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant."

Again she tells David that to take revenge on Nabal and her household would cause him grief. But she tells him that in a way that an angry man could hear. She deals with David with caution and communicates with him in a way he can hear her message. She has proven her wisdom and that she knows how to show respect.

This is the kind of woman any leader would want. As men we are going to make mistakes. How those mistakes are pointed out to us makes a big difference.

What would have happened if she came to David and said "you are not going to kill anyone in my household today"?

What would have happened if she said "God will not forgive you if you take revenge"?

What would have happened if she said "David you should be ashamed of yourself, now go back to where you came from"?

Abigail knew how to handle David. She knew how to communicate and was blessed with a great deal of wisdom.

32 Then David said to Abigail: "Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 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. 34 For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal." 35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, "Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person."

36 Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light. 37 So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. 38 Then it came about, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.

So Abigail waited until the right time to tell Nabal she had saved him again. He has a stroke, dies 10 days later and David ends up marrying her. She should have been David's only wife, she would have kept him out of all kinds of trouble.

No matter what you are going to lead, your home-life will affect you. It affected the greatest men in the Bible, it affected David and Solomon.

We have seen that a pagan wife can turn a man's heart away from God. But also a wife whether a pagan or a Christian will have an influence to that degree on your life. Just because a woman is a Christian does not mean she will be helpful to you.

So I suggest you look for the qualities that matter in a woman. Wisdom, respect and the ability to communicate in a way that can be heard.

Wisdom, because we, as men, need all we can get.

Respect, because without it, love dies. (as does communication)

Communication, because we know there are certain ways of talking to a man that guarantee he will do the opposite of what he is asked.

The qualities Abigail possesd are the most important: Wisdom, respect and the ability to communicate.