We asked our kids for ideas on what we should name their new little sister, and our oldest only had one suggestion: Abigail. The woman who made peace. That’s the kind of girl my kid is. My favorite woman in the Bible is Deborah, the leader. Hers is Abigail, the peacemaker.
Not that I want to be in Deborah’s position; I honestly rather do not. No, but I do hope that I can learn to practice Abigail’s discernment and diplomacy, her wisdom.
She recognized her husband’s folly and the danger his offense had placed them all in. But she also knew how to talk to David. Yes, she came bearing the gifts that her husband should have offered, but she also spoke to David, about the wisdom of his actions. She didn’t just plead with him for mercy. She made a case: she recognized all the good he had done and looked forward to all the good he would do, but she also pointed out the rash act of revenge he was about to engage in. He was about to take justice into his own hands, and she wasn’t just saving her own household, she was saving him.
Even better? He listened. He stood there, he heard her words, and he listened to them. He saw her wisdom, and he thanked her for it. We could all do with this level of humility. Whatever his faults, David took correction well.
Abigail, though, we’re talking about Abigail. Can you imagine the courage she must have had to face off against David and all his men like that? She was no doubt married to Nabal in an economic arrangement made by her father. It’s clear there is no love lost in this relationship, but she doesn’t seem to fear him either. She tells him the full of what she did as soon as he’s sober. So she doesn’t seem to be an anxious woman, but still. She ran up to a small army to tell their leader he’s about to make a big mistake.
We did name our daughter Abigail. (I don’t remember our son’s recommendations, but I’m fairly certain they were cartoon characters.)