Want to be Remarkable in Your Godliness? Four Lessons from Abigail

April 11, 2020

 

Strength in the Desert, Part 7

Does suffering provide the Christian with justification for bad behavior? The apostle Peter would say absolutely not! 1 Peter 1:13-16 tells what the Christian’s responsibility is during times of suffering. He is to prepare his mind for action, namely the action of conducting himself in maturity and obedience to Christ to seek and strive after holiness.

1 Samuel 25 shows Abigail setting the bar extremely high as a woman who suffered greatly, but waited on the Lord for relief. From this story we can learn 4 lessons on how to be remarkable in your godliness while you wait.

1. Don’t Be Consumed by What Pains You

While Abigail lived through mistreatment and the misery of living with such a selfish husband as Nabal, she did not let her suffering consume her. She made a choice to have genuine trust in the Lord and be a friend to the servants under the tyrannical rule of Nabal. Abigail did what Peter told suffering saints to do in 1 Peter 5:6-7. She humbled herself, trusting in the hand of God, and put her anxieties at the Lord’s feet. You do not have to be consumed by what pains you, you can decide to press on and do something else instead.

You do not have to be consumed by what pains you, you can decide to press on and do something else instead.

2. Be Intentionally Righteous

Abigail approached David in humility and with tremendous respect. She gently pointed out his sin and reminded him of God’s goodness for not letting him go forward with murder. This again follows the pattern of 1 Peter 5. After Peter speaks of being humble and trusting the Lord through suffering, he says to be sober and vigilant so that Satan cannot bring a charge against you. David was insulted and sought to murder Nabal in response; however, Abigail warned him to act righteously instead.

3. Represent God Well

Further, Abigail reminds David of his calling from God. Because he has been chosen by God, he needs to represent the Lord of his calling. 1 Peter 5 continues in verse 9 by saying that we need to resist the devil and be firm in our faith. That is exactly what Abigail is conveying to David.

4. Let God Use You While You Wait

This applied to both Abigail and David. Abigail chose to serve the Lord even though her husband made it very difficult. Through her actions, she was used by God to have mercy on David. She knew her suffering was not just about her, because God’s plan is bigger than any individual. She knew it was important for David to be blameless, because he was about to be king. If he killed Nabal, he might have been viewed as a bully, not the chosen one of God. Furthermore, David would soon have the opportunity to kill Saul, but because of this confrontation, he entrusted justice to the Lord. God used Abigail greatly in her waiting. Based on the fact that you belong to Christ and that God will be faithful to you, take Abigail’s lesson and be remarkable in your godliness. As Peter promises in 1 Peter 5:10, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.


Steve Swartz, D.Min

Dr. Swartz is the senior teaching pastor of Grace Bible Church in Bakersfield, California and author of Shattered Shepherds and Strength in the River. You can hear him on the Steadfast in the Faith broadcast.


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