The Babylonian woman, opposite of Abigail, dominates our world today. She is promoted on TV and seductively pictured on magazine covers. Most commonly she parades her body as clothing model and Hollywood seductress. She is personified in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen and a dozen other magazines at the grocery store check out stand. She holds the world in the palm of her hand, but not for long. The Babylonian woman is pictured and projected as sexy, self assured, alluring and in charge. She knows not the fear of God. With flattering words, she attracts and conquers foolish men who give her their strength. "Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell." If you saw her on the street would you recognize her? Does she live next door, or even at your house? Ladies, how much of her do you see in the bathroom mirror each morning? How will this powerful woman be conquered, subdued and brought into the fear of God?
by Jerry Gentry
"And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach" (Isa 3:26-4:1).
Lot's wife is never named even once in Scripture. Did you ever wonder why? And why is the name of Job's wife also never mentioned? Eve, the wife of Adam, "the mother of all living" (Gen. 3:20), appears only four times in the whole Bible.
Yet God chose to record the name of Abigail, which means "father [or source] of joy," in the Bible 17 times. Her name is fifth in the lineup of Bible women, when reckoned by their number of mentions. The lineup goes like this: Jacob's wife Rachel is named 39 times; Abraham's wife Sarah appears 34 times; Jacob's wife Leah is named 28 times; and Isaac's wife Rebekah appears 27 times. After these, the little known Abigail is number five, and appears 17 times, the name given to two different Bible women, the second of which is named only once. (Esther is not counted in this study).
Why would God place the name Abigail into the Bible 17 times, fifth in number, when other illustrious Bible women appear far fewer times. For example, the name of Rahab, who is listed in the great Hall of Faith of Hebrews 11, appears only ten times. Deborah, the great woman of faith who judged Israel appears only nine times, and faithful Lydia of Acts 16 is mentioned only twice.
On the evil side, Delilah, who deceived Samson, appears six times. And wicked Jezebel appears nineteen times.
Why is Abigail named 17 times is Scripture? Why is "Abigail"&emdash;the "source of joy"&emdash;number five in the lineup? First, we might expect a special woman to turn up as number five&emdash;which is the number of grace. Yes, Abigail, as we will learn, is a woman who personifies grace. And why seventeen times? You be the judge, after you read her story.
That story begins at the time of the death of the prophet Samuel. When David is still running as a fugitive from King Saul, Abigail is already married to a wealthy "Nabal" who is a foolish churl and a selfish drunkard. David sends a delegation of his young men to Nabal, to receive whatever alms he might give. David's men are rebuffed and insulted by Nabal. David determines to take vengeance, girds on his sword and prepares to do battle with Nabal. This is where Nabal's wife Abigail enters the story.
Of her, the Bible records: "she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance" (1Sam. 25:3).
A report of the rebuff comes into Abigail's ears. "But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them" (v. 14).
"But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields (v. 15).
"They [David's men] were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep (v. 16).
"Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him (v. 17).
At this point Abigail knew that her husband and his men would probably be killed, unless she could contact David in time and make a successful appeal. But how could this be done? And what words could she use?
Urgently, "Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses (v. 18). Consider this woman. She is a wife and keeper of a large household, having made good preparation in times past. Her pantry is filled with food storage to take care of major emergencies such as this. Look inside the pantry of the Cosmopolitan Babylonian woman of today, and what will you find? Perhaps you will find a few taco shells, maybe a couple of cans of refried beans, and some diet coke, but not much else. Her closets are bulging out with clothes and shoes in overabundance, but she cannot feed her household for 3 meals running, outside of trips to the grocery store, if her life depended on it. Her lamp would be gone out in even less time, if the power went off. But this Abigail is prepared for such a day of emergency. Abigail will rise up!
"And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal (v. 19).
"And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them (v. 20). At this point in the narrative, the modern Babylonian woman will scoff; but every God fearing Abigail will take note and learn a great lesson about womanhood:
"And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground (v. 23).
"And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid (v. 24).
"Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send (v. 25).
"Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal (v. 26).
"And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord (v. 27).
"I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days (v. 28). Abigail upholds God ordained authority in reverence.
How can this Abigail put into words such God fearing thoughts? She knows of David's anointing and future kingship. She knows she has married a fool in Nabal, (v. 25), as many unwise and rebellious young girls who marry for selfish reasons later find out. Yet Abigail is completely loyal even to the fool she married. Were she like the modern Babylonian woman, she would have remained silent, and let the churlish husband die. She would have gladly welcomed David's threat of vengeance to dispense with her ungodly, foolish husband. Instead, she fears God and defends her husband. She lets God be the ultimate judge and deliverer. Here is a great lesson for wives who once married a less than perfect husband. Learn this lesson today, women, and find grace with God. Learn the lesson of Abigail, and find your personal "source of joy" and comfort. Yes, will Abigail rise up?
Abigail has interests and knowledge far beyond the Babylonian woman of today. Abigail knows of Saul's death plot against David, and of God's supernatural anointing and protection. She frames her appeal in language sympathetic to David's best interests: "Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling (v. 29).
"And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid" (v. 30-31). Note these words of tremendous wisdom and grace. Note the words of a wise and God fearing woman, who will rise up and prosper in the day when the Babylonian seductress is trodden down by hordes of invading armies, as Jeremiah laments: "They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah" (Lam 5:11).
Will Abigail please rise up?
Yes, the Babylonian woman will not fare well in the coming time of Jacob's trouble. She will find that God saves through headship: the maid under her father; the wife at home under her husband; the widow under the church. Single divorcees and freelance females become fair game for the invading hordes of the New World Order. Abigail is a source of joy to all females who are living in the fear of God, under authority, even of the worst kind. Yes, Nabal is the worst example of a husband in the whole Bible. Yet that matters not to Abigail in her loyalty to God and His word. She supports and defends her husband regardless and leaves final judgment to God. Where do you stand? Alone? Where is your protection, woman? Will you save your life? Then you will rise up as a modern Abigail. You will denounce the Babylonian woman in vogue today, who will be utterly pillaged.
It is interesting that a new "source of joy" opens up for Abigail, the woman of faith. Once God takes her wicked husband Nabal out of the way, she becomes David's own wife. Yet, before Nabal's death, we read David's praise and response to her appeal:
"And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
"And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand" (v. 32-33).
"For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
"So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person" (v. 34-35).
It is now that Abigail goes to see her husband, who is drunk. She waits until morning light, when he is sober, and tells him all she has done. At this point, "his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died" (v. 37-38).
Abigail's faithfulness to God-ordained headship brought her great reward. The earlier mistake she had made in marrying Nabal, due to whatever reason, is now judged by God alone and she is free.
"And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.
"And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife. (v. 39-40).
"And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
"And Abigail hasted, and arose and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife" (v. 41-42).
Abigail now becomes wife to the future king, a "source of joy" to him and his household. She bares his children, and meets his needs, even as a woman of some means of her own. Abigail, that compassionate "source of joy" will rise up again in that coming day of God's wrath, when all women of Babylon will fall into the hands of the enemy as spoil under the rod of God's great and final judgment of this world.
How will Abigail rise up in God fearing women at the end time? She will rise up among a remnant through reading and heeding the Holy Word of God:
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives (1Pet 3:1).
"While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear (v. 2).
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; (v. 3).
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (v. 4).
"For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands (v. 5). Yes, in subjection even to a wicked Nabal.
"Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (1Pet 3: 2-6).
Woman, will you escape the wrath of God's judgment coming on this earth? Hear the warning. In that day, "Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her [the Babylonian woman's] gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." (Isa 3:25-4:1).
"In the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger . . . Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished" (Isa 13:13,16). "Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins" (Isa. 32:11).
Will you escape such fearsome wrath, such chastisement and judgment, such pain and probable death? Then you will find the spirit of Abigail, and let that spirit rise up in you. You, woman, will cry out for the spirit of Abigail, that woman of grace and faith, that great "source of joy." And yes, "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her" (Prov. 31:28).
Abigail, rise up, and denounce the Babylonion seductress! Rise up, spirit of Abigail, and bring us now your "source of joy."