She was a wise and beautiful woman who was married to a fool. We don’t need to ask why she married him. When Abigail married Nabal, that choice was very likely made for her and not by her.

That seems odd to us in our culture. However, just a few years ago, I met a gentleman from India in an airport one day in Arizona. He said he was going to visit his daughter and her husband in New York. She had just finished her first year of college.

I asked him if she had married her high school sweetheart. He said, “Oh, no! She did not have a boyfriend in high school!”

I wondered how she could have married someone so quickly by now and be finishing her first year of college. So I asked, “Did she meet her husband at college, then?”

“No.” He answered. “We advertised for her husband!”

I guess I looked a little dumbfounded and asked, “What do you mean, you advertised?”

He said, “Her mother and I thought she would do better in college if she was married, so we advertised for a husband for her. We sent out advertisements and we received 20 applications. Together, we chose three of the young men and then two came to visit in our home. One of them was from India and one was living in America. She married the one who was already in college in America.”

“Well, are they happy?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“Oh yes!” He said. “Very Happy! And both doing very well in University.”

I thought how lucky (or intentional in both hearts) it was that it had worked out so well! Sadly, not everyone in an arranged marriage is that fortunate. Beautiful and wise Abigail was yoked to a selfish, foolish, ungodly, ungrateful man. I doubt that he was her choice.

In I Samuel 25, when David’s men asked Nabal if they could come on a feast day after they had protected his sheep and his shepherds while they were in Carmel, Nabal didn’t even bother to find out who they were. He simply brushed them off and said

Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”

When David’s men heard this, they “turned on their heels” and went back to David. I believe they knew that David would be angry. And he was! He vowed to kill every male in Nabal’s family.

However, one of Nabal’s young shepherds went to Abigail and warned her. He then told her,

“Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel, that one cannot speak to him!”

It is interesting to note that this shepherd knew that Abigail was wise and asked her, “What will you do?” It seems that he fully trusted her judgment.

Sometimes leadership comes as a result of circumstances. In this case, Abigail was asked to lead. The difference in Abigail and Nabal was that Abigail was smart enough to realize that her husband had just rebuffed a future king who was anointed by God! She knew that nothing good could come of it!

Abigail prepared a huge amount of food for David and his men and loaded up a caravan. I can imagine that she was shaking as she met them coming toward her. Their intentions were evil and she knew it. I have often wondered what David thought when he saw this beautiful woman dismount quickly from her donkey and fall to her face on the ground. I imagine that his angry heart may have skipped a beat!

In humility, asking David to let the blame fall on her, Abigail addressed David as “my lord” throughout the entire encounter. She clearly let him know that she knew who he was:

“Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.”

No blood was shed that day because Abigail took the mantle of leadership, used her best judgment and did something!

After ten days, the Lord struck Nabal and he died. David sent men to ask Abigail to be his wife. Imagine the emotions of Abigail who was rescued from a loveless, childless marriage to become the wife of a future king whom she respected and admired! God blessed their union with a son, Chileab.

Abigail was blessed by God for taking the leadership in what might have been a bloody, violent and tragic situation. The beautiful, wise Abigail saved many lives that day!

Christian women today also have the ability to save many lives by standing up for the unborn who are being murdered daily in America! Don’t let anyone tell you that abortion is “politics.” Abortion is the shedding of “innocent blood” by the thousands daily.

Christian women should be teaching the story of Jesus to everyone who will listen. We should be teaching children’s Bible classes and bringing our own children and grandchildren up in the Lord. Christ should permeate our homes and our lives. There are many ways for Christian women in our own culture to save lives and souls with their wisdom, leadership and knowledge of who The King is!

Sheila Butt
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Sheila Butt was born in Rockford, IL, and attended East Tennessee State University. She graduated with a B.S. Degree in English with a minor in History. She has also studied Greek and Hermeneutics at David Lipscomb University. She is married to Stan Butt Sr., a minister, and the Executive Director for the Tennessee Dairy Association. She and Stan have three sons and nine grandchildren. Her two oldest granddaughters, Emma and Grace Anne are students at Freed-Hardeman University.

Sheila graduated from the women’s program at Bear Valley Bible Institute and has taught Ladies’ Days and in Lectureships for the past 25 years. She has been on numerous mission trips to many of the Caribbean islands, Honduras, Panama, and Alaska. She taught in the Horizons Program for many years and received the Kay Battles Service Award from that program. Sheila has written two books for ladies and teen girls and co-authored another with several women entitled “We Bow Down.” Sheila was the recipient of the “Golden Pen Award” from Publishing Designs for her work on those publications. She has written articles for Christian Woman and been featured in Christian Woman for her service as a Tennessee State Legislator.

Sheila Butt was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly in 2010 serving the 64th District and served in four General Assemblies.   She served as a Co-Chairman for the Congressional Prayer Caucus of Tennessee.

Sheila was the 2016 recipient of the Agriculture Legislator of the year by the TN Cattlemen’s Association. She is the recipient of the “Iron Lady Award” by the 9.12 Nashville Project in 2015.  She is the recipient of the 2013 Legislator of the Year Award by the South-Central Tennessee Development District. In November of 2013, Sheila received the “Elected Women of Excellence” award by the National Foundation for Women Legislators for her “dedicated service, leadership and passion for Tennessee and her country.”

She is known nationwide for her integrity and an articulate message of standing for “faith, family and freedom.”

Since deciding not to run for a 5th term in 2018, Sheila began a Women’s Ministry called “Sisters, Servants, Soldiers” and much good is being done in the Kingdom of God as this ministry enables women to teach, mobilize, motivate, and provides opportunities for women to serve The Lord with their talents to His glory!

Currently, Sheila also serves as the Mayor of one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Tennessee.