Everyone Needs an Abigail

In 1 Samuel 24, David is the hero. Tucked away in a cave, hiding from the murderous King Saul, David urges his men to stand firm and obey God—even though they want to take a shortcut of disobedience.

But 1 Samuel isn’t a story of David’s flawless acts. Skip ahead just one chapter, to 1 Samuel 25, and even though David isn’t in a cave, he’s the one who caves. He’s ready to lash out in vengeance, disobeying God because of his own wounded honor.

Who saves the day? A woman by the name of Abigail. Through Abigail, God warns David and keeps him from danger.

Abigail is a model of godly counsel in every way (seriously, go read 1 Samuel 25; it’s a fascinating story). She speaks with calm clarity in an emotionally charged situation. Even with so much on the line, she remains level-headed. She comes to David humbly, bowing down and showing him honor. She comes kindly, bringing food and warmth. And she speaks boldly and honestly, not mincing words. Best of all, she grounds her counsel in who God is and the promises he’s made to David.

God, give us more Abigails!

We all need someone like Abigail in our lives. But far too many of us close others off and make it impossible to receive this kind of loving, confrontational rebuke. Listen: If you want to walk with Jesus, you have to be in a place where you’re open to the Abigails that God sends to you. Why? Because everyone has lapses in judgment. Everyone gets caught in weak moments, when the right combination of factors exposes a vulnerability. It’s not a matter of if you’re susceptible to sin or foolishness; it’s simply a matter of when it happens—and who is around you when it happens. When compromise entices you, will you be flying solo (and crashing)? Or will Abigail be near enough to save you from danger?

Abigail is that small group member who raises a flag when you’re about to make a bad decision; that roommate who confronts you about a habit she’s noticed; that friend who says to you, bluntly but lovingly, “Look out.”

Too many times, people rush into terrible decisions, ones they later regret, because they only prayed about it and had “a sense that it felt right.”

Don’t misunderstand: Prayer is vital, yes, but God has given you something even more reliable than prayer—the counsel of the body of Christ. He’s given you Abigail.

In fact, the body of Christ is how God answers your prayers for wisdom. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (ESV).

When people make one of those bad decisions, it usually happens in the throes of an emotion—they are angry or excited about the possibility of something, and they forget to ask someone detached from the emotion what they think of the situation.

Who is the Abigail in your life? And in whose life are you an Abigail? Abigails aren’t optional. You need one in your life. You need the body of Christ.