The Wise Woman Builds Her House

1The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14, 1).

 Dear sisters in Christ, does the above statement sound true for you? Have you ever come across someone who belongs to any one of these two groups of women?

 In fact, you might be one of them; either you are a wise woman or a foolish woman; there is no in-between. Someone could conclude whether you are wise or foolish just by looking at your family; just by looking at the way your family live, the way your children behave.

As you see, the above statement is not a hypothetical one but it is a reality that exists in the midst of us ; even among Christians. Many Christian women, through their foolish lifestyle, have torn down their homes; they have torn their families into pieces. Since they do not have the wisdom from above, they have made foolish decisions that drove their husbands and children away from them.

Olden days; we lived in extended families and the main responsibilities of the families were taken care of by the elderly in the family who were mature and experienced. So, the chances of families getting disintegrated were very low. However, with the advent of Nuclear families; the running of the families ended up in the hands of young women who are not mature and wise, as a result many families are going through crisis after crisis.

As you know we are human beings with a fallen nature and we live in a fallen world among fallen human beings. However, as believers in Christ, we are blessed as we have the Word of God to guide us through this journey on earth and if you live by this Word of God, then, you will become wise.

You will learn how to build your house instead of tearing it down. When you walk by His Commandments, He will give you the wisdom to manage your family well.

As I mentioned earlier; we live in a fallen world and we are human beings with many inherent weaknesses within us. So sometimes, you might end up with a husband who is not wise; who has the tendency to lead the family into problems.

 But, if you are a wise woman, you could still save your family, you could still keep your family together instead of tearing it apart. If you find your husband foolish and irrational; instead of confronting him with your foolishness and irrationality, you could confront him with your wisdom; thus, you could save your family.

In the Holy Bible we have the stories of many wise women who have saved their families and communities through their wisdom. We are going to examine one of such characters in this article. Definitely you have a few things to learn from her.

2A 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. 3His 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. (1 Samuel 25, 2-3)

The above verses tell the story of a rich, foolish man from the clan of Caleb whose name was Nabal. Though Nabal was foolish his wife Abigail was wise and beautiful.

4While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. 5So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. 6Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

7“ ‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. 8Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore, be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’” (1 Samuel 25, 4-8)

Yes, David was in the wilderness hiding from King Saul. David and His men were in an area that Nabal’s men were tending their sheep. As you know, David was in great distress, Saul is trying to kill him and he and his men are surviving on what they get from the desert.

When he heard that Nabal, the wealthy man, shearing his sheep, David thought he could get a little bit of support from him.

Moreover, David did not ask for this favor free but as a reward for protecting his sheep; protecting Nabal’s men from danger. However, Nabal, who was an embodiment of folly and arrogance did not heed David’s request; he sent David’s men empty-handed.

10Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11Why 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?” 12David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.(1 Samuel 25, 10-12)

Yes, David’s men reported every word that came out of Nabal’s mouth to David and he was angry. He immediately, commanded his men, altogether four hundred of them, to strap on their swords and follow him to Nabal’s house.

Fortunately, Abigail had a wise servant who reported to her the whole incident of sending David’s men back empty-handed. The following verses tell the story.

 14One 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. 15Yet 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. 

16Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. 17Now 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.” (1 Samuel 25, 14-17)

Yes, disaster was hanging over Abigail’s household and it was all because of the foolishness of her husband. See how the maid describes Nabal – “He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him”

So, Abigail had a wicked husband and disaster is about to take place in her household because of her husband’s wickedness. But what did Abigail do? Did she pick a fight with her husband? Did she start an argument with him? Did she accuse him of wrong-doing?

No, she did not behave like an average woman of 21st century. Abigail was a wise woman; she was intelligent enough to understand the gravity of the situation.

The Spirit of the LORD that lived in her led her to make the right decision. She immediately saddled her donkey, took enough gifts and went out to meet David where he was camping.

18Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs  of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. (1 Samuel 25, 18-19)

Yes, she left without telling her husband, because he is a foolish man and if he knows he might create more problems for her; so, she left secretly and met David on the way and the following verses succinctly describes what happened next.

23When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 

25Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. 26And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal.

 27And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you. 28“Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. 

29Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. 

30When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, 31my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”( 1 Samuel 25, 23-30)

Yes, wise and graceful words that came out of Abigail’s mouth brought reconciliation between David and her family. David who came with the determination to destroy all the male members of her family now sends her away with blessings.

32David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.  34Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.” (1 Samuel 32-34)

So, Abigail returned home after preventing a disaster that was about to take over her family. However, the scene at home is a bit disturbing; her husband Nabal was having a party and he was fully drunk. But the wise Abigail still kept her cool and stayed silent; she did not go crazy like many of the women of the 21st century. Instead; she waited until Nabal became sober.

Next day, when Nabal was sober she told him the whole story and he was really troubled in his heart when he heard it. Unfortunately, he died after ten days. But the LORD had better plans for Abigail; she became the wife of David who later became the King of Israel.

Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. 40His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.” 41She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.”  42Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. (1 Samuel 25, 40-42)

So, the wisdom of Abigail saved her household from a disaster that would have wiped out all her family members. Not only that; finally, she also became the queen of Israel.

Dear sisters in Christ; you have many valuable lessons to learn from the life of Abigail. As I mentioned earlier; even if you are a believer in Christ; you could still end up with a husband who is foolish and arrogant like Nabal.

However, instead of dancing according to your foolish husband’s tone; if you act according to what the Word of God has taught you; definitely you will build your house instead of tearing it down.

When a crisis appears on the horizon; instead of becoming emotional and irrational; if you let the wisdom of God guide you; then, you will surely come out victoriously from that crisis.

But, instead, if you let the wisdom of this world guide you and you behave like the world does; then, you will definitely tear your family down.

Millions of Christian women who have the Word of God within them, have torn down their families because of their emotional and irrational behaviors.

Each time when you make a decision on behalf of your family think about it and ask yourself:

“by making this decision am I building my house or tearing it down?”

Dear Sisters in Christ; please listen – men can be emotional, foolish and irrational at times; but you should not respond to your husband’s foolishness in kind; instead, like Abigail, act wisely so that you can save your family from a disaster.

Stay Blessed

 

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