STS Study Excerpt: The Integrity of a Wise Wife

The following mini-study is presented to familiarize you with Pastor Chuck’s method of Bible study and provide an opportunity to study the passage yourself.

“Wisdom isn’t afraid to act alone and do something courageous.” —Pastor Charles R. Swindoll

This Searching the Scriptures study showcases Abigail, an intelligent and beautiful woman who appears only briefly in the grand narrative of Scripture, but who sparkles with wisdom and faith.

Prepare Your Heart

Anytime we turn to God’s Word we must  first turn to the God of the Word to express our need for Christ to work in our hearts and minds.

Turn to the Scriptures

We meet Abigail in 1 Samuel 25, where the account unfolds like a play in three acts.

Observation: The Drama in Three Acts

Observe the action as it unfolds, beginning with an introduction of the main characters as they step on the stage.

The Main Characters—1 Samuel 25:1–3

Read 1 Samuel 25:1–3 where the action immediately centres around Nabal, Abigail, and David. Write down what you learn about each individual.




David often fled as a fugitive from King Saul to the rugged wilderness. Find the town of Maon at What do you observe about this region?

As you follow the action, picture each scene as if the action is happening in front of you.

Feel the intensity of the emotions in each of the   characters, beginning with Act 1.

Act 1: David’s Conflict with Nabal—1 Samuel 25:4–13

According to 1 Samuel 25:4–9, what service did David do for Nabal, and what did David ask in return?

How did Nabal, whose name means “fool,” foolishly respond to David’s request, according to 1 Samuel 25:10–11?

What was David’s rash reaction in 25:12–13?

Act 2: Abigail’s Wise Intercession—1 Samuel 25:14–35

According to 1 Samuel 25:14–19, what actions did Abigail take that displayed her wisdom?

According to 1 Samuel 25:20–22, what was David’s mindset when Abigail found him?

According to 25:23–31, how did Abigail practice wisdom in softening David’s heart and changing his mind?

Summarize David’s response in 1 Samuel 25:32–35.

Act 3: God’s Surprising Conclusion—1 Samuel 25:36–42

Abigail returned home to an appalling scene. Nabal was “very drunk” and oblivious to the fact that his wise wife  had just saved his foolish neck (1 Samuel 25:36)!

According to 1 Samuel 25:37–42, what surprise concludes the drama with a blessing for Abigail   and David?

Interpretation: The Theology in David’s Response

In the interpretation phase, we seek to understand the theology taught in the biblical narrative.

According to 1 Samuel 25:23–35, how did David understand God’s hand moving through Abigail’s actions?

Correlation: The Wisdom of God

The biblical authors address the topic of wisdom from beginning to end.

Lady Wisdom

Review the passages below and record what they teach about wisdom versus foolishness.

  • Proverbs 4:5–9
  • Proverbs 4:14–23

Christ, the Wisdom of God

Jesus personifies wisdom in a unique way. He not only acted and spoke with wisdom; He was the perfect  expression of wisdom in the flesh. What does 1 Corinthians 1:18–25 say about Christ as the power and wisdom of God?

How do we participate in His wisdom, according to 1 Corinthians 1:30–31?

Application: What Wisdom Can We Learn?

Abigail and David’s happy ending warms our hearts, but it also teaches valuable lessons.

From David, we learn that rash and angry reactions lead to regret. We are wise to cool our thoughts of   retaliation and trust the Lord to handle the “Nabals” of our lives.

From Nabal, we learn that insensitive and selfish people make miserable marital partners. If you are a Nabal, break the proud habit of turning a deaf ear and thinking that your way is the only way. Learn to appreciate the “Abigails” in your life.

From Abigail, we learn that wise and patient partners make the best use of timing and tact. The Lord intervened in Abigail’s life and blessed her with marriage to David. But had God not stepped in, Abigail’s  wise and faithful spirit would have helped her through many difficult years.

Which character in the drama of 1 Samuel 25 do you most identify with? What aspect of their positive or  negative examples are you taking with you?

Specifically, what can you ask   the Lord to help you with today?

David took Abigail’s advice to ignore foolish   Nabal and trust God to work. Try that approach next time you’re offended. In doing so, you’ll be trusting the Lord to resolve the problem.

A Final Prayer

Father, help me to be like Abigail in my relationships, wise and faithful. All wisdom has its source in You, so I come to You for the words to say, the actions to take, and the grace I need to show grace to those I love. In Jesus’ name, amen.