Abigail: an Unhappy Marriage

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : 1 Samuel 25

My lord, do not take seriously this ill-natured fellow, Nabal; for as his name is, so

is he. (v. 25 NRSV)

Nabal, a surly, uncouth, mean individual, had repaid David’s kindness and protection
with insults. Though he doesn’t know it, he’s inches from being killed by David in
revenge. Only the intervention of Nabal’s smart, beautiful, resourceful wife, Abigail,
saved him. One gets the impression that she has had to do this sort of thing before.

Nabal, “Fool” his name and foolish his nature, was a wealthy man. My guess is Abigail’s
father felt fortunate to arrange for his daughter to marry him. But money and financial
success do not bring happiness. One wonders how many times Abigail went to sleep with
tears in her eyes as she reflected on the state of her marriage.

Yet Abigail refused to leave her husband or to divorce him. She obediently decided to
let God deal with Nabal in his own time and in his own way. She firmly believed God’s
Word, “Vengeance is mine, and recompense” (Deut. 32:35). And shortly after this episode,
Nabal had a heart attack and died.

There are too many unhappy marriages in our society. There is too much divorce. Maybe
yours is among them. Remember these words from Peter: “Cast all your anxiety on him,
because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).


Pray for marriages today. May husbands and wives renew their commitment to each

other and to the Lord. Amen.