Twirl and Bow Down: Taking Cues from Abigail
My sweet three-year-old daughter gladly accepted her role as flower girl in a wedding recently. On the day of the wedding she put on her little ivory dress and twirled with glee. She could not stop twirling and spreading her gown like the feathers of a peacock.
After scattering flowers from her basket down the aisle, she became quite aware of all the “oohs and ahhs” she was receiving. She was beginning to believe how exceptionally beautiful she looked. My daughter’s “internal cuteness” quotient began to sky-rocket. At first, she would curtsey and thank everyone for the compliments. After a while though, she simply nodded her head in agreement as if to say “I know, yeah, I know that already.” As her mom, I began to feel palpably embarrassed. Humility whirled right out of that ivory dress.
So often, as women, we twirl in the applause of others and bow down like a puffed up peacock. We place our significance in the swing of our hips or in our latest fashion statements. Certainly God made women stunning. That’s why Adam exclaimed, “Woah, man!” before he named us “wo-man,” right? God delights in His creation of men and women, but surely our Father also becomes disappointed when our own “internal cuteness” barometer sky-rockets.
We may or may not be endowed with external beauty from the world’s perspective, but we all harbor the potential to become prideful in something—kids, career, cars, cooking, decorating, etc. We can find infinite reasons to become puffed up in our own hearts, but we can also determine to re-position our hearts toward humility.
Scripture reminds us of a woman named Abigail who remained humble, while simultaneously being known for her “beauty and intelligence” (1 Samuel 25:3). It is rare for a woman to harbor both beauty and humility, but what a rare sight to behold the combination of both. This is one of the reasons why Abigail is worth a view. Her story unfolds between the biblical timeline of David anointed as king and actually being crowned as king of all Israel. During this time period, David and his men were protecting an extravagant estate of a man named Nabal, Abigail’s husband.
Because Nabal was so wealthy, Abigail surely had luxuries, land, and jewels galore—every natural reason to be vain, except for the fact that her husband, Nabal, proved to be a renowned fool. The Bible recounts that he was a “mean and surly man” (1 Sam 25:3). Even his name literally means “fool.”
Well, this “fool” picked a fight with the anointed king of Israel, David. David requested that Nabal offer provisions in exchange for protecting his estate, but Nabal ungratefully mocked David and refused him. So David steamed up a plan to show Nabal just who he was messing with by killing his entire household.
One of Nabal’s servants who discovered David’s plan pleaded with Abigail, “Now therefore, know and consider what you should do, for evil is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him” (1 Samuel 25:17).
Knowing her husband was hardly a man of reason, Abigail considered what she could do in order to rescue her family. She remembered who David was to become, so Abigail hurried to meet him in the night, dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face before David. Abigail bowed herself to the ground, fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant” (1 Sam 25:23).
Abigail did not paint up her peacock eyes and twirl about with stunning stilettos. She did not use her difficult marriage as an excuse to not help her husband. She did not flee responsibility. She did not even hope David would end her husband while she had the opportunity to flee. She did not quit. She did not allow emotions to take over.
She considered. She discerned, and she made a move. Abigail’s move was to bow down. She humbly stooped before the God’s anointed king, trusting him to rescue. Abigail opted to apologize on behalf of her family. She gracefully reminded David of his rightful position as future ruler of Israel and encouraged him not to tarnish his own reputation for a fool. She said, “And when the LORD does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel, this will not cause grief or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself” (1 Samuel 25:30).
David decided to relent not because Abigail was gorgeous, but because he agreed with her discerning insight into his kingdom position. He praised her for saving him from vengeful murder. So, I’d say Abigail deserves to take a bow for that intervention! She discerned how to rescue her household and a future king from sin. That is wielding femininity to the glory of God.
Let’s take a cue from Abigail. Women today have the same potential to provoke men, children, even leaders toward godly choices in decisive moments of need. Because humility disarms anger, we would be wise to bow low before God and listen for how He might use us to redeem an otherwise hopeless situation.
Humility not only disarms anger, it positions God to gift us with wisdom so people really listen to your suggestions. So go ahead and twirl about in your God-given beauty, but bow low in humility so that God can infuse you with discernment for the hard times in your life. He still gives women insight so we can participate in the redemption of marriages, ministries, families, jobs, and femininity.
- Where do you turn if you cannot depend upon your husband? … Turn to the King of Kings, Jesus. He still saves!
- Do you know of anyone holding hostility? Do you want to prevent them from sin?
- Take time now to ask God for a humble heart to help disarm resentment or revenge. Listen for any instruction or ideas from Him as to how you might practically progress this person or situation toward peace.
- Check out the full story of Abigail inside Wielding Femininity to the Glory of God or download now from iTunes, Nook, or Kindle.
By Rani Yangad with Shabby Chic Ministries