1 Samuel 24:32, NKJV - Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!
Abigail is one of very few women in the Bible who was greatly praised upon introduction. Verse 3 tells us that “she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance” – a stark contrast of Nabal, her husband, who was “harsh and evil”.
When David sent his messengers to present a noble request to him, Nabal responded with an insult. It could not be true that Nabal didn’t know who David was, as we see later on in the passage that his wife, Abigail, knew David’s whole story. He simply did not want to share what he had, even if it concerned men who showed him good beforehand (verse 4-8). Even Nabal’s servants knew that he was a difficult man to deal with (verse 14).
Abigail was his complete opposite. When she heard the whole story, she wasted no time in proving humility and grace before Israel’s future king. She was a woman who can make her own decisions and she made one that preserved the head of her wicked husband for just a few more days before the Lord pronounced His judgment on Nabal.
She sent ahead of her a train of gifts, but Abigail knew that none of it can compensate for the insults Nabal spat in the face of David and his men. Her humility was evident and urgent. The moment she saw David, she got off her donkey and bowed down. She asked for permission to speak instead of rattling her tongue (as many women, including myself, are more inclined to do).
Abigail proved what Proverbs 31:12 says about the noble wife: in reminding David that what he was about to do (unleashing bloodshed in Nabal’s household) isn’t who God has him cut out to be, Abigail brought him “good, not harm”. We already know that apart from his warring skills, David’s kind heart was one of his greatest assets. Had he put his hands on Nabal, David was most likely to regret it in the end. Abigail urged David to think about the consequences and reminded him that there are things better left to God.
When David had calmed down, Abigail went back to her husband and waited until he was sober to talk. She stayed with him 10 days until Nabal came to his own death. Only then did David ask for her hand in marriage.
Her response to David’s servants was just as remarkable, though not as long, as her speech for David. She bowed down to them and offered her service. Verse 41: “Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” What great humility from someone about to become a queen!