In the second creation story of Genesis, God makes a Helpmate for man and thus the role of women is created. A helpmate in scripture is a military term; it literally means "one who guards your back."
In today's reading, we hear of a foolish, hard hearted man named Nabal who is too busy with the affairs of his life to offer the expected hospitality to one who asks for it. By offending David in this way, Nabal opens himself up to a severe conflict. Abigail, Nabal's wife, goes behind his back, brings food to David, pleads on her husband's behalf and saves the entire household.
Many in the past have connected "helpmate" to "obedient doormat." The wedding vows of long ago demanded the wife vow to "obey" her husband, but did not require the same of the husband. Paul speaks of "mutual submission" as the secret to a joyous marriage in Christ.
Imagine what would have happened if Abigail would have "obeyed" her husband. His entire life would have been destroyed. All his property, friends, servants, children.
David commends and blesses Abigail for restraining David and for her "discernment."(5:33)
Sometimes, in order to protect someone you love and to preserve peace, you must restrain someone and use your discernment. Love does not just let people do what they please. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for another person is to disagree with them and act against their will.
It is important, though, to see the other virtuous qualities Abigail displayed.
1. She acted immediately (25:18)
2. She met the initial need (25: 18)
3. She was humble (25: 23)
4. She was willing to pay the price for another's wrong (25: 24)
5. She named the problem (25: 25-27)
6. She asked for forgiveness even though she had done nothing wrong; she acknowledge the wrong done and asked on behalf of another (25:28)
7. She informed her husband of what she did on his behalf (25:37)
Abigail was a peacemaker and because of her help, she and her household were blessed.
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."Matthew 5:9