Five Lessons of Wisdom from Abigail

Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, while understanding is that wisdom in practice. Here are five lessons of wisdom we can ALL learn from Abigail in the Bible.I’ve been reading much about wisdom these days. It’s mentioned about 45 times (depending on the version) in the book of Proverbs alone.

Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
~ Proverbs 4:5-7, NIV

When God sends a message that clearly, I sit up and take note. “What now, Lord?” I ponder. “How can I apply wisdom to my ministry?” (That ministry being a loving wife to my husband, a leader of four children and keeper of our home).

Looking to the Greek translation for clarification on wisdom, we find “sophia,” which is why we see words like philosophy, a combination of “philo” (brotherly love) and “sofia.” The shortened version of the word (wise) can be found in sophisticated and sophomore. Ever wonder why some teeth are called “wisdom teeth?” It’s because we get them at the onset of maturity.

Dictionary.com defines wisdom this way: Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity [level headedness], discernment, or insight.

Throughout scripture, wisdom and understanding are found hand in hand. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, while understanding is that wisdom in practice.

“How can I apply wisdom to my ministry, Lord?”

In silent reverence I wait until I feel His guidance lead through a whisper, “Seek Me until My truth is living, moving, and breathing in your home; until the righteousness of My Word is coupled with each step you take; and until My wisdom exceeds your desire. That’s what you’re called to do.”

Looking to His word for example I find Abigail in 1 Samuel chapter 25. Abigail was the wife of Nabal, and while she was a woman of good understanding and beauty, the Bible describes him as churlish. In other words, he was rude, impolite, hot-headed and lacked the wisdom his wife had.

In verses 7 and 16 we see that David had protected Nabal’s shepherds and was now asking for a reasonable favor in return: that Nabal would give them provisions when they arrived.

Nabal was rich, and so it certainly wouldn’t have been any trouble for him to comply, but instead of being wise and generous, he chose to be rude, which only provoked David to fight.

Gathering an army of 400 men, David set out to destroy Nabal’s household, and had it not been for the wisdom of one woman he would have.

Recognizing that David was a servant of the Lord, Abigail sent a generous gift to David, and with that gift she humbled herself at his feet pleading for the life of her husband. She didn’t deny that Nabal was ill-mannered or rude, but she sought grace on his behalf.

In this beautiful love story, we see that David granted her that grace, and within ten days God took the life of Nabal, and rewarded Abigail with her freedom.

Where did that freedom lead her? Into the arms of David, a valiant soldier and soon-to-be king.

Wisdom is the fear of the Lord, while understanding is that wisdom in practice. Here are five lessons of wisdom we can ALL learn from Abigail in the Bible.

Through Abigail’s example, we see the cycle of wisdom in action:

  • She realized that David was a holy man and what his God was capable of. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
  • She avoided conflict. “A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident” (Proverbs 14:16).
  • She worked quietly to resolve the problem.
    “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards” (Proverbs 29:11).
  • She put her understanding into action and offered a gift to David.
    “He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Proverbs 10:5).
  • She reaped the rewards that come to those who are wise, when she became David’s wife.
    “The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.” (Proverbs 3:35)

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

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  1. My devotion time led me to this exact passage in my Bible this morning prior to receiving your email….Guess it was time for me to learn about Abigail!!

  2. James 1:2-5 is a passage I find myself referencing frequently.
    “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

    I think the ability to recognize the need for wisdom comes with maturity and maturity comes through trials… and it sounds like Abigail’s marriage was quite a trial in itself! Great article! Thank you!

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