In last week’s article, we examined the Old Testament account of a wise lady named Abigail and her actions toward the future king of Israel. David fleeing from King Saul, who unjustly sought his life, had protected the shearers of Nabal against the raiders that always descended upon Israel during shearing and harvest times.
The Biblical record states that Nabal … “was surly and mean in his dealings” (1 Sam 25:3 NIV) and hurled insults at David’s messengers. “One of the servants told Nabal's wife Abigail: "David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet 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. Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them. Now 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 Sam 25:14-17 NIV).
David’s fury raged … “It's been useless — all my watching over this fellow's property in the desert so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him” (1 Sam 25:21-22 NIV). God used the words of Abigail to prevent David from avenging Nabal’s mistreatment of the soldiers. This honorable lady was a herald of God’s grace and mercy.
In the New Testament, the actions of another lady, (some commentators suggest that this was Mary, Lazarus’ sister), became the object lesson for disciples that had demonstrated no understanding concerning Jesus’ impending death. Though He had taught his disciples that … “the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified" (Matt 26:2 NIV). They demonstrated their unwillingness to accept the necessity of Christ going to the Cross to pay the sin debt of each individual thus enabling mankind to be reconciled to God.
“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor" (Matt 26:6-9 NIV). Had the disciples forgotten the words spoken to them just a few days earlier when … “Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again" (Luke 18:31-33 NIV).
Jesus gave great importance to this woman’s act of love. “I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her" (Matt 26:13 NIV). Perhaps this lady was among those women who were at the tomb on that first resurrection morn. Grieving for their Lord, they had come to apply spices on his body, but to their astonishment, they heard the angelic proclamation … “He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words” (Luke 24:6-8 NIV). Sorrow was turned to joy in literal fulfillment of the Psalmist’s words … “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5 NIV).