Esther And Abigail
Vignettes: Table of Contents)
entered the court of her husband, King Ahasuerus (Esther 5:1), she knew
the risk. If she offended him, she would be put to death (Esther 4:11).
For her husband was dictator of Persia, a drinker (Esther 1:10), proud
and carnal (Esther 1:11), given to anger and wrath when frustrated
(Esther 1:12). To not come when he called meant being stripped of
position and place (Esther 1:19). To dare to come when he did not call
could result in death (Esther 4:11).
Yet Esther knew that if she did not act, a great evil
would occur. Her people, the Jews, would be robbed and slaughtered.
Wicked Haman would triumph. And the King would be guilty of having
allowed it because of his passivity and lack of discernment. Therefore,
she did not remain silent (Esther 4:14).
When Abigail overrode her husband's decision to scorn
David's men and send them away (I Samuel 25:10-11), she did not even
take time to tell her husband of her plan of action. For her husband,
Nabal, was "such a worthless man that no one can speak to him" (I Samuel
25:17). He was "harsh and evil in his dealings" (I Samuel 15:3) and
given to drunkenness (I Samuel 25:36). To delay action put all the
household at risk.
So Abigail sent food ahead, and quickly followed (I
Samuel 25:18ff) to ask for mercy. David approved her actions and said,
"Blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this
day from bloodshed, and from avenging myself by my own
hand...nevertheless...unless you had come quickly to meet me, surely
there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much
as one male" (I Samuel 25:32-34 NASV).
Neither of these women of God understood being a godly
wife to mean giving into the flesh and fleshly mind of their husbands.
They could not [and did not] remain passive and silent but took the risk
of confronting the unfolding destruction set in motion by their
husbands. In so doing, each woman was truly a "help suitable" (Genesis
2:20 NASV) to her husband: Esther saved Ahasuerus's honor; Abigail saved
Nabal's life and household. And both women were honored in the
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