As I read the narrator’s description of her, I knew she was a woman of great integrity. It was clear that her incredible reputation was well known in the land. This account forced me to consider my own reputation. Is it a good one? For what am I known for? One of my regular prayers is to be seen as a woman who is full of tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, wisdom, and patience. These are the very qualities this woman was known for. And I hoped I would be, too. This post is for When You Need To Let Your Fruit Prove Your Reputation. PS – get the downloadable worksheets for this post at the end…
I dove into my study of 1 Samuel 25 – a chapter I had not ever read before. And, honestly, I really did not know this story. As I read the account of Abigail, Nabal, and David, I was moved by the narrator’s description of Abigail. She really must have been quite the woman! Not only was she spoken highly of, she had the fruit to prove it! I think that is key. People will say what they will – but it is our fruit that will prove those statements true or false.
A Reputation of Integrity
The narrator of 1 Samuel 25 speaks favorably about Abigail. He describes her as discerning and beautiful. Her husband, on the other hand, is cast in a bad light. He is described as harsh and badly behaved. I find it interesting that Abigail can be seen as someone with integrity and her husband viewed as a jerk. This tells me that in a marriage, us women can live a Godly life that honors God in spite of how our husbands behave.
Friends, don’t believe the lie that your badly behaved hubby means that you cannot have integrity. Or be discerning. Or you can’t seek Godly wisdom. You CAN be a strong woman of God despite the condition of your marriage.
Yes, it is true. A Godly husband does make living a Godly life as a woman, wife, and mother a whole lot easier. But we know this isn’t always reality, right?
No, it’s not easy…but I believe one reason why God included this little story about this amazing woman in His word so that difficult marriages – or Godly womanhood is possible even with an ungodly husband.
As we continue to read this fascinating account, we see that Abigail’s fruit validates the narrator’s judgment. So, her reputation isn’t simply about what others say about her. It doesn’t end there. We end up seeing the actual product – we see from her behavior that she does have integrity. She is discerning and wise.
She knew what kind of man her husband was. However, she did not let his poor behavior influence hers in a negative way. She must have been very intentional about this. She would have made sure her relationship with God was strong and intimate.
We read that Nabal greeted David’s servants with contempt. We see his selfishness and pride. And it is easy to see that the narrator was correct in his judgment against Nabal. This helps us to trust his view of both Nabal and Abigail.
Nabal’s disrespectful response to David’s request for provisions angers David and he prepares to obliterate Nabal and everyone associated with the man. However, one of Nabal’s servants knew that Abigail would be able to diffuse the grim situation. Abigail was known to listen and heed such a concern – especially since David had treated Nabal’s servants graciously. Even the servant knew that Nabal refused to listen to reason – he is an unreasonable man!
Abigail is incredibly quick to take action. She gathers plenty of food and other provisions and makes her way to David. When she foud him, she ran to him and fell to her knees before him. She begs for him to listen to her wisdom. She is respectful, humble…and exceedingly intelligent. With her wisdom and courage, she stopped her entire household from being killed and prevented David from acting foolishly out of anger.
Now that is quite a woman! Wouldn’t you agree?
When People Try To Ruin Our Reputation
Let’s be real here. People will say bad things about us. That’s just the way people are in this world. When they are jealous, don’t get their way, or they are just angry and bitter, they will gossip and slander. They will drag our names through the mud, trying to degrade us and make us look bad. We can’t stop them. We can’t make them change their minds. But…we can let our fruit prove them wrong. Dead wrong.
I’ve had people say terrible things about me. And I’m talking about people who shouldn’t even be considering bearing false witness against me because of who they are. But here is what I’ve realized, friends. The people who are wise and discerning themselves and hear such things already know without a doubt that the gossip is completely false. They already know the truth. They know it because they’ve already seen the Godly fruit in my life….and the ungodly fruit in the other person’s life.
And the people who didn’t know yet would soon figure it out. And, honestly, they do know the truth deep down. They just don’t want to acknowledge it. Because they know that their reputation will be next to be muddied.
So let them talk. Let them say what they wish. Hand that hurt over to God – because it does hurt. I won’t try to minimize it. I know all too well. But acknowledge the pain and then had it all over to God – including the person trashing your reputation – and carry on with developing Godly fruit in your life.
That’s exactly what Abigail did. And we ought to follow suit. We can thank God for giving us such a wonderful example of a Godly woman!
OK, we know Nabal was a terrible man – he is wicked and extremely foolish. We are left wondering how on earth he was able to get such an amazing wife?!?! I know…sometimes I wonder the same thing with some marriages today. It may seem that Abigail saved her husband’s hide. But make no mistake, friend. Bad behavior – ungodly, evil, and wicked behavior does not go unnoticed by God and it will be accounted for. Nabal had to answer for his behavior. He had to answer with his life.
Verse 37 says that Nabal’s heart died within him and he became like a stone when Abigail told him how she had saved him – I wonder if he had been partying the night before because he thought he had the upper hand over David. The following verse tells us of Nabal’s demise. God struck Nabal and he died.
There will always be consequences for our actions. Always. Yes, God is a God of infinite grace. He is faithful to forgive and to save…but He is also faithful to discipline and punish evil and wickedness as He sees fit.
Don’t Be A Nabal
Nabal did not value his wife. And a consequence of this is that he lost her. And that ought to be a consequence for any unhealthy relationship. If you are a ‘nabal’, then you don’t deserve to have such a wonderful person in your life. I think it’s funny that the Hebrew word for the ultimate fool is nabal.
Abigail even admits her husband’s folly – she speaks truthfully and factually about her husband. He is worthless and folly is ith him. She doesn’t pretend he is something that he clearly is not. Sugar-coating her husband’s behavior is not something a Godly wife does. She knows what kind of man her husband is and because he refused to be reasoned with, he refused to change – to let God change him, he lost the heart of his wife.
And I think that is one of the worst things that can happen to a man whether or not he wishes to acknowledge the truth of it. To lose the heart of his wife is a man’s destruction and demise. Maybe not right away…but eventually, he will be destroyed.
Give Him The Glory
Lastly, we see Abigail fully giving God all the glory for her ‘success’. She trusted that God would come through for her as she did what she felt God leading her to do. She credits God for stopping David in his carelessness. We clearly see how she depended upon God’s grace instead of her limited understanding. Her strength and courage are from God, not her own abilities.
What is God calling you to, friend? Are you displaying Godly fruit in your life so that when the naysayers come along, no one can possibly believe them? Are you trusting His grace instead of your own understanding? If so and you are needing a bit of help, my friend Sarah Ann from Faith Along The Way created a great Bible Study resource for women that you might enjoy. I’ve worked with Sarah Ann for a few years now and I have come to trust her resources and enjoy her blog posts. She is a good blogging friend and I adore her. Click the photo below for more info (aff link):
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