This Sabbath I studied a story that I was unfamiliar with in 1 Samuel 25:2-42. It’s the story of how a woman named Abigail saved her husband, Nabal, from being killed by David. Nabal means folly, and he certainly was a reckless and foolish man. David’s anger toward Nabal was justified, but his intended actions were not. It’s not just impressive that Abigail stepped in and solved the situation, it amazes me that she was willing to love and submit to a husband who didn’t deserve it.
Definition of Submission-
Humble obedience to yield to one who has authority over you or the agreement to be humble or compliant towards someone in power.
My definition of submission usually looks like this:
When a person does what I think they ought, then I will submit to them.
What Does the Bible Say About Submission?
1 Peter 2:13-20 says:
Submission can put foolish men in their place and gives you favor with God.
1 Peter 3:1-6 says:
Be submissive as an example of godliness to win over those who are disobedient.
Luke 22:42 says:
Jesus submitted to God, even unto death.
Looking back at Abigail, I think that she truly understood submission. Everyone knew that her husband was an idiot. One of the servants described Nabal as “a worthless man that no one can speak to.” Abigail says this to David of her husband, “Do not let my lord pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him.”
Everyone agreed that Nabal was a selfish and foolish person. Yet, Abigail was willing to save his life. She could have hung him out to dry with David, but she acted in his best interest. She honored him when he didn’t deserve it. She respected him when she didn’t receive love from him. She never got a thank you for her actions, but God did find favor with her.
Upon hearing of Nabal’s death, David asked Abigail to be his wife and she accepted. This may seem like a fairy tale ending for Abigail, but we know that David was not a perfect husband, either. He certainly made mistakes and caused his family a lot of heartache. I have the feeling, though, that Abigail chose to submit to David just as she had done with Nabal.
What Can This Look Like in My Life?
I am thrilled to say that my husband is not a foolish man like Nabal. He is loving, well-respected and hard working. He is not perfect, though, and I have a tendency to rebel against total submission. This can be true with my husband or with anyone in authority over me. It is simply me acting in the flesh.
Instead of trying to control who others are and how they act, I should chose to act in their best interest. It can speak volumes to them (although they may not chose to hear it), it is a great way to be a godly example to others, and most importantly it pleases God. Finding favor with God should be my highest goal.
This is certainly an area I need to work on. I would love to be pleasing in God’s site in the area of submission!
What are some positive experiences of submission in your life?
Until next week,