Lord, I am willing to go where You send me;
for You go before me and prepare my way.
Give me wisdom in difficult situations;
and may my words and actions honor You.
Focus of the Month: “Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope”
Happy New Year Sisters!How grateful we are for another year of God’s amazing blessings upon this ministry. We joyfully embrace a new year to share the message of Hope with you. As you grow closer to Jesus, may your mind and heart be renewed in Him.
We are excited to begin this New Year exploring the lives of women in the Bible. Women who are just like us. Women who need the Hope of Christ to accomplish what lies before them. They are not always courageous and strong. They are not always fearless or faithful. Yet, God uses them in beautiful and wonderful ways. Just as God uses these ordinary women — He can use me. And He can use you. Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime? I am! Today we will visit a woman named Abigail.
Whether we have acted upon it or not, most of us have or will encounter a situation where revenge seems like an obvious choice. If we have been hurt, betrayed or misled – our emotions rise, our tempers flare and our mouths can spew the harshest of words. Although it seems like the right decision in the heat of the moment, it often leaves us feeling full of regret. We act without setting our eyes steadfastly on God. Did we pray first? Did we ask for wisdom or help? No…we operated out of our pride, our own thoughts, and our own judgment. We are left alone in a new found puddle of self-righteousness. But what if we could have been rescued from this? What would happen then…
Abigail, a beautiful and intelligent woman according to scripture, was married to a beast of a man named Nabal. His riches came at the expense of others and his dealings were far from noble. It was in one such dealing, with a man named David, that Nabal would meet his fate and Abigail would be a source of wisdom and absolute determination. You see, David was anointed by God to be the next King of Israel. Abigail knew this. Her story begins when a servant of Nabal brings a message of warning to her attention.
David had requested a ration of food and supplies for his men who had protected Nabal and his servants as they were traveling. Nabal disregarded David, even mocked him. Her foolish husband made a terrible mistake in how he managed this request from his future King. David, in turn, angry and prideful, vowed to kill Nabal and every other man servant with him. When Abigail heard this she immediately understood the severity of the situation. Without hesitation she gathers her resources:
Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.’ (1 Samuel 25:18-19 NLT)
Abigail took a chance. She would meet David and his army of men as they charged toward her home and she would plead her case…knowing it could be her last request. But she was certain this was her destiny. And because she would provide an interruption…the destiny of the future King would also be preserved.
When Abigail came face to face with David she fell to the ground, bowed before him and asked his permission to speak to him. He listened. She became a messenger from God. She reminded David of who he was and what God had for him. She reminded him of the great plans God had for him as King. And his heart was moved…
Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.” (1 Samuel 25:32-33)
What if I stopped in my efforts to be vindicated? What if I had a wise friend come along side me and say, “Wait, God has good plans for you.” What if I am that friend to another woman? How much more would God do through me?
In order to have a heart for God, to live a life set apart for Him, to be a woman God can use – I must allow truth into my mind, my heart and my soul. Like Abigail, I pray for wisdom. I want to act with great discernment in the difficult moments I face. May I honor my God in all I say and all I do.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: 1 Samuel 16; 1 Samuel 25; Isaiah 26:3; Proverbs 12:26