Monday, June 5, 2017

Abigail, continued

Last week, we studied Abigail and we noted that although she was in a difficult situation, our heroine didn't take the easier way out -- she didn't divorce Nabal.

Our lesson today seems to go hand-in-hand with those thoughts . . . you see, when Abigail risked her own life to meet David on the trail, she was fulfilling her primary role: supporting her husband. Ahh, yes, an old-fashioned concept, to be sure! (Grin)

I once attended a bridal shower and expected a time of fellowship and encouragement from a group of Christian ladies that I was acquainted with. I was disappointed to hear many conversations "bashing" their husbands . . . pointing out their mistakes, enumerating their flaws, and laughing about all of the above. Disappointed was putting it mildly. I was shocked. I believe that when we say "I do" we accept a role that is not only vital, but also originates from God.  We are to help that husband, to lift him up, and to support him.
Yes, of course, he has all sorts of responsibilities to us, too -- we could talk about that another day! But today we are focusing on how God made us to be "a helper fitted" to our husbands:
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NIV)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”(Genesis 2:18, ESV)
The word translated "helper" comes from a Hebrew word that means much more than what we hear in Help can be a simple act, a modest gesture, or it can refer to something much more significant. In the Hebrew language, it's "ezer" and it is always used in the Old Testament in the context of important and powerful acts of rescue and support.
Sound interesting? Listen some more!
"Ezer" is used twenty-one times in the Old Testament. It's used twice in the context of Eve, the first woman. Then it is used three times about people helping (or neglecting to help) in truly life-threatening situations; sixteen other times it is used in reference to God as our Helper. So, in all twenty-one instances, it's used to talk about a vitally important and powerful kind of help!

Check out what the dictionary says about what "helper" means:
             1. Makes it easier for someone to do a task
             2. Improves a situation
             3. Supports, advises, guides, comforts, restores someone
             4. Acts as an assistant, associate, sidekick
 Wow! I'm kinda tired, just reading that. Pardon me while I grab some iced tea and relax for a bit? (Grin)
The Bible doesn't tell us point by point how we should suit, fit, or complete our husbands; but it does describe some great ways to help them, and gives us some instructions on that relationship.
For instance, in Titus we are told to love him. Goes without saying, eh? But sometimes they are (as we are, too) unlovely . . . no matter. Jesus loved us when we were unlovely, right?
Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, (Titus 2:4)
And no matter how old-fashioned it may seem, we need to treat our husbands as the head of our families, just as Christ is the head of the church:
 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 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 5:22-23)
Make sure that we do good (remember those ladies bashing their hubbies? Don't do that!):
She brings him good, not harm,    all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:12)
Let him trust in our wisdom and kindness:
Her husband has full confidence in her    and lacks nothing of value.She speaks with wisdom,    and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31: 11, 26)
Now, it appears that Abigail did all of these things. And all of this in spite of the fact that Nabal certainly wasn't fulfilling his role in the marriage!  I don't see any "give and take" here, do you? Only taking on Nabal's side . . .
It sure would have been understandable if Abigail had met David and told him, "Hey, I don't agree with anything that horrible man does, so please don't hold this against me! Take these supplies and spare my life -- do what you want to with him!"
I don't reckon, as my grandma used to say, that the things would have turned out like they did! We can't be sure what caused Nabal's death, whether it was liver failure, because of his drinking, or heart failure when he heard the whole story -- but he died.
And Abigail is a super strong example of Biblical womanhood for us today. She did her husband good (even though the rascal didn't deserve it) all the days of his life. And we see the result of her actions and her wise words in verses 39-42. David is speaking and he blesses the Lord, Who kept him from doing wrong.
Wait a minute! Do you remember God speaking to David? Maybe an angel? Was David in prayer and changed his mind?
God kept David out of trouble by using a strong, patient, wise lady named Abigail.
We'll continue our studies next time!


Austin Towers said...

So many lessons can be learnt here/ I am not a wife, but by Abigail's standards I'm not sure I would have come up to the plate!

Belinda said...

When I was much younger, I was guilty of husband bashing. Shame on me!!! I've since realized how I'm supposed to support him and not do him any harm. And it's a much better feeling to come away from a conversation, knowing you lifted your husband up, instead of putting him down.

Maybe by this time in her marriage, Abigail knew it was useless to do anything other than try and go behind him putting out fires where she could. Obviously talking to him wouldn't work, so she did the best she could to be the best kind of wife she could. She put self aside. Oh dear....I'm not good at that. LOL

Cathy said...

Husband bashing amongst of group of people is awful.... and it is so easy to get caught up in it. Initially it seems almost harmless, just a joke or a quip or two. But very soon the lack of respect that it shows in our hearts shows up in our actions to our husbands. Even worse than amongst friends though, is to bash our husbands to our children. And it doesn’t take a single word to do it An eye roll, a well timed sigh, that certain”look” that we give our husbands, all communicate to our children that this is a man they do not need to respect. And I’m speaking from experience here. I’ve done it, more times that I care to count or think about.

Katie Isabella said...

I like reading the responses about as much as the lesson here. They are also good food for thought and to take stock of our own actions and state of mind.