This is Part 1 of a 12 part series entitled Powerful Warriors. If it looks familiar it’s because I taught the series in Sioux City, Iowa, in June of 2014. Please join us for the next twelve weeks for a look at how the warrior women of the Bible behaved when their loved ones were under attack.
Our first warrior is Abigail, and you can find the account of her bravery and courage in 1st Samuel 25. Abigail will take the next 3 weeks to cover.
To get you into the mindset of warrior, let me give you an idea of what warriors look like in our present age.
Giuseppe Caselli was one of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people who rose up against the German Occupation in Italia during World War II. Like many others before him, Giuseppe left his young family, hidden in a stone winery in Chianti, and charged full steam ahead into the face of the enemy. His countrymen were starving to death and their weapons had been confiscated by the Germans. As a result, these partisans were nothing more than a “rag-tag” bunch of peasants and farmers with borrowed weaponry and the clothes on their backs—but they brought two full German divisions to their knees, leading to the implosion of enemy strongholds in and around the major Italian cities of Genova, Torino and Milano.
They were powerful warriors!
Listen to this account of all that the partisans achieved:
When Allies ripped through German defenses in Northern Italy in April of 1945 and surged into the Po Valley, bands of urban partisans in the major industrial cities rose up on signal to join in this victory. In a few days they staged insurrections in Genoa, Milan and Turin.
Following carefully laid plans, the partisans quickly seized power stations and factories to prevent their sabotage by the Germans. They captured office buildings, German command posts and radio stations. Bolstered by bands of rural comrades who swept out of the hills, they sealed roads to prevent a German retreat from the cities and then surrounded enemy garrisons. When the Allied troops arrived, anticipating German resistance, they found instead thousands of prisoners of war and proud, jubilant partisan throngs to greet them.
© 1978, The Italian Campaign, Robert Wallace for Time Life Books.
They were, indeed, powerful warriors!
More than that, they weren’t just all men. Official figures indicate that there were over 35,000 women involved in the uprising, including a small band of 300 who fought in the streets of Florence the day the city was taken from the Nazis. Now there are some women with some hutzpah. They were powerful warriors in their own right.
That’s why I love the story of Abigail. Talk about a woman’s woman. If she were living at the time of the Italian Resistance, she would have been a partisan warrior.
A man should lead…
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Ephesians 5:23 niv 1984
In this one little verse we clearly see God’s appointment for husbands: head of the wife = leadership; of which He is the Savior = protection.
But sometimes we don’t have a man to lead us – our husband is absent (either physically or spiritually) or we’ve been widowed, or we’ve never married. Perhaps you’ve found yourself on the other end of a divorce you never wanted.
I know one thing for certain, even if we don’t have a leader, we don’t have to let trouble run roughshod over us! And we don’t have to put ourselves or our children, or parents in danger.
With all that in mind, let’s consider the actions and example of Abigail.
Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.
2 A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. 3 His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.
1st Samuel 25:1-3 niv 2011
Nabal is of the tribe of Judah, and if you look at a Biblical map, you’d see that he is practically neighbors with David’s parents, who, incidentally, at this time have been moved to safety in Moab because of Saul’s rage against David. So Nabal knows very well what is going on with David at this point. He knows that the next king is going to be the son of Jesse, and that he’s being hotly pursued by Saul.
During David’s exile, he protected Nabal’s flocks and shepherds for a time, and so for that favor David sends some men to Nabal to ask for supplies. Unfortunately, with a shearing party in full swing, Nabal answers stupidly.
10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
1st Samuel 25:10-11 niv 2011
Coming from who knows where? Nabal’s name actually means fool. In his drunken state Nabal has answered so foolishly, especially considering that he knows better. This is Nabal’s future king. Where’s the respect and honor?
12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. 13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
1st Samuel 25:12-13 niv 2011
David’s going to teach that ungracious Nabal a lesson he’ll never forget. But, in the meantime…
14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. 15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. 16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. 17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”
1st Samuel 25:14-17 niv 2011
He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him… The King James Version says it this way:
for he [meaning Nabal] is such a son of Belial that a man cannot speak to him.
Belial. It’s a Hebrew word that means: wicked, ungodly, evil. —Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary
This guy is unreasonable…a man cannot speak to him. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for his wife. He was like the devil. And now, because of his foolish remarks, their entire household is at risk! Talk about letting in trouble!
But…we’ll see how Abigail handled it next week!
© 2014, 2018 Ta`Mara Hanscom
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