The wise & Pro-active woman

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Sheba, a man the bible has described as a worthless character, rebelled against King David, who ordered his men to go after him lest he brings more trouble than Absalom. Joab’s men, the royal bodyguard, and all the other soldiers left Jerusalem with Abishai to go after Sheba. He passed through the territory of the tribes of Israel and came to the city of Abel Beth Maacah. All the members of the clan of Bikri assembled and followed him into the city. When Joab’s men heard that Sheba was there, they surrounded the city, built ramps of earth against the outer wall and dug under it to overthrow it. A wise woman happened to be in that city, and here is what happened according to the book of 2 Samuel 20:16-22;

Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘Come here, that I may speak to you.’” And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your servant.” And he answered, “I am listening.” Then she said, “They used to say in former times, ‘Let them but ask counsel at Abel,’ and so they settled a matter. I am one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the heritage of the LORD?” Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, called Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. Give up him alone, and I will withdraw from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

In the book of 1 Samuel 25, we meet Abigail. She was the wife of Nabal. Nabal was from the town of Maon, and he was a very rich man. Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, but Nabal was a mean, bad-tempered man. Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel, and David, who was in the wilderness, heard about it. He sent ten young men with orders to go to Carmel, find Nabal, and give him his greetings.

And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’” (1 Samuel 25: 6-8)

This message was not taken well by Nabal the moment it was delivered to him. He replied;

“Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” (1 Samuel 25: 10-11)

David’s men went back and reported what Nabal had said, and he declared war against him and his men. One of the servants, however, reported to Abigail what had transpired, and this is what happened as recorded in 1 Samuel 25:18-22

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

The bible has described Abigail as a discerning woman. Not only was she discerning, but she was also wise and proactive, just like the first woman. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, being proactive means; “acting in anticipation of future problems, needs or changes.” Being proactive means thinking about the future and focusing on the things you can control instead of all those you cannot. It also means taking responsibility. A proactive person is a person who gets things done; they make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen to them. This means that they solve a problem before it occurs. I believe you get the idea based on what the wise woman and Abigail did. These two did not sit down and wait for the whole thing to blow up, they acted in advance and managed to control damage and destruction that could have occurred as a result of one man’s foolishness.

Abigail’s husband was already drunk by the time all this mess was getting out of control, and he wasn’t caring less, but she decided to take action before it blew up. She knew he won’t help, after all, he had the chance to do it, and he didn’t. She chose to act quietly and set on a very risky journey. How does a woman get involved in a war that involves men? But her family was already in it, and she knew that only she could avert the judgment that was about to befall her family. As determined as David was to bring Nabal and his men down, Abigail prevented it just by her wisdom and actions. Death could have occurred, and innocent souls would have died because of the foolishness of one man, yet it took just one woman to bring the situation under control.

Proverbs 14:1 records that “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down:”

Sheba was a rebel who rebelled against the leadership of King David, and he ran to hide in a peaceful city. Since David was so determined to punish him, this city, no matter how peaceful it was, was about to be overthrown and destroyed on account of this one man. Nabal, on the other hand, was a husband, a leader in his own home who failed to take the responsibility for protecting his family. He also crossed David’s path the wrong way, and David, being a man of war, was not about to let it pass just like that. These two situations put people’s lives in danger; people who had no idea what was happening or the danger they were exposed to. But thankfully, in both scenarios, wise women stood and decided not to let it happen. And their wise actions produced excellent results.

The Bible has told us in Proverbs 4:5-9 “Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

We may not have foolish husbands like Abigail, and we may not be in a position which the city of Abel was, but whether conscious of it or not, there are some situations surrounding us that are exposing us, our loved ones, cities, and even nations to danger. And we need godly wisdom to deal with such matters and situations. Men and women in leadership positions fail every day, just like Nabal did, others make decisions that expose us to danger and destruction, even death every moment of our lives. I find it interesting that this story is just like that of Deborah and Jael. God used them during a time of war to deliver Israel from the hands of the Canaanites.

A wise woman is a weapon of war in the hands of God. Any woman can be used by the enemy to bring destruction, but a wise woman can be used by God to bring deliverance and salvation to many.

She is like a watchman. A watchman is someone who is proactive, meaning they can discern or perceive when something wrong is about to happen and take action to control it before it does. That’s why they have the responsibility of watching the gate. You cannot put a foolish person at your gate and expect your property to be safe. Likewise, a wise woman is a watchman in her world or area of influence. Not only is she a watchman, but also an intercessor. An intercessor is a middleman, go-between, mediator, or intermediary. As a wise woman, one of your responsibilities is to stand in the gap and intercede for your world.

This is not about negotiating with whoever has caused the whole mess; it’s about going to the King and presenting our petitions before Him. Obtaining mercy for others from the throne room of God is never a bad idea. Watch this scripture in the book of Isaiah 59:14-16a;

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede

God looks for an intercessor, and it is wise to become one. The wise woman and Abigail were not begged or requested by anyone to come in and save the situations they were in, but they knew they had to do something about it. Sometimes you don’t need to be told to do this or that to help, you see a need and intervene because you are in a position to help. There is so much evil and negative issues surrounding us, yet many of us have decided to fold our hands and watch helplessly as the enemy continues to advance against us and our areas of influence. Why wait for evil to manifest when you can do something to stop it? Look at what Paul tells us in the book of Romans 8:19-22;

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now

A wise woman does not complain, pinpoint mistakes, feel pity for others worrying and wondering what to do, or watch helplessly from the sidelines. She takes responsibility. Even if you cannot do anything else, you can petition before the throne of God for others and the issues surrounding you. The Kingdom of God manifests and advances in the world through prayer and intercession, and people can see the light of God through your prayers. God has given us what we have and made us who we are so that we can wage war and fight for our fellow brothers and sisters who are still under the control of the enemy. Victory is not just guaranteed, it is already there. Jesus has already won the battle, and ours is to carry that mantle of victory as we go to war. Our work is to actually enforce that victory, and how else can we do it if not through prayer?

It’s your responsibility to stand in the gap and intercede for others who are in danger of being destroyed without their knowledge. The wise woman and Abigail stood between destruction and those it was about to crush, and this is what intercession is all about. To stand in the spirit between evil and those it would crush is how the Kingdom of God changes the world around us. If we want to see change, one of the things we ought to do is to get back to our prayer closets and pray to God to show us what to do, otherwise, we will do very little if anything, to make an impact in our areas of influence. When we pray and intercede for others, we do not just pray to get answers, we become answers. God wills to save, deliver, restore, and heal us, but we must pray. His arm is not shortened so that He cannot save or deliver us, but He cannot stretch it until and unless we pray more consistently, relentlessly, and persistently. If you wish to see positive change around you, try intercession. It’s one of the most effective ways of averting judgment.

The actions of Abigail reveal how wisdom and determined action need to partner to save good and innocent people from destruction. Being just wise without taking necessary action is not enough in some situations because it is possible to stand and watch destruction from the sidelines without doing anything. Its wisdom that made her keep quiet even when it was right to confront her husband for his foolish actions. Harsh, loud words may become the catalyst for an unnecessary explosion. They may lead people to actions that can cause regrets later. On the other hand, staying calm or keeping quiet during tense moments can save people a lot which can lead to a peaceful parting or solution.

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death ~ Proverbs 8:33-36 ESV

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