Introduction: This week we are going to have the men sit on one side
of the church and the women on the other. That way we can keep the
wrestling to a minimum! Ladies, what kind of title is this anyway:
“Women as Advisors?” Shouldn’t it be “Women as Decision-makers?” How
about “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy?” OK, calm down, put
the hymnals back. The Bible records that sometimes women give really
lousy advice (as Eve did) and sometimes they show they should be
making the decisions (as in Abigail’s case). How should ladies advise
their husbands? When should husbands take their advice? Let’s dive in
and find out!

  1. The Carmel Controversy

    1. Turn to 1 Samuel 25:1-3. We’ve got the beginning of a
      story with three main characters. A wealthy sheep-rancher,
      his beautiful wife, and someone new to the neighborhood.
      Let’s examine each of these three characters.

    2. David

      1. Who is David and what has his life been like? (1
        Samuel 16 records that David is God’s new choice to
        be King. Samuel secretly anoints David as King, even
        while King Saul, the old king, is still in office.
        Because of David’s success in battle, and his
        popularity with the people, King Saul becomes jealous
        of David (1 Samuel 18) and tries to have him killed
        (1 Samuel 19-23). The Bible spends a few chapters
        recording how King Saul is chasing after David and
        his band of soldiers (1 Samuel 21-24.)

      2. Now tell me why the death of Samuel
        had anything to
        do with David moving into Nabal’s neighborhood?
        (Samuel may have been a moderating influence on Saul.
        After Samuel’s death, David and his men move out of
        the country into the desert.)

      3. Would you want David and his band of
        soldiers moving
        into your neighborhood?

    3. Nabal

      1. What kind of fellow is Nabal? (He was rich,
        successful, mean and surly. The Hebrew means he was
        not a nice guy!)

      2. Our story tells us that he descended
        from Caleb.
        What does that tell us? (He shared the same heritage
        as David. Caleb was fearless. (Remember, as an old
        man (85), Caleb claimed as his portion of Canaan the
        section occupied by the giant Anakites. The catch
        was that he got the land if he drove out the current
        inhabitants – which he did(Joshua 14 & 15).)

    4. Abigail

      1. What kind of person is Abigail? (Intelligent and

      2. How would you guess married life was
        for Abigail?

    5. Let’s get into the story. Read 1 Samuel 25:4-8. As a
      practical matter, what is “sheep shearing time” to a sheep
      owner? (The time you cash in on your investment.)

      1. What do you think about David’s greeting?

        1. What do you think about David’s request?

        2. Why do you think he sent 10 men?

        3. Assume you live in a townhouse with
          parking. At Christmastime your neighbor comes to
          you and says, “During the entire year I never
          scratched or scraped your car, I never threw
          soda or food on it, and I never broke into it or
          stole your fancy wheels. How about giving me
          some money because of the season? Is this what
          David is saying to Nabel?

    6. Read 1 Samuel 25:10-11. Is this what you would say to your
      townhouse neighbor?

      1. Does Nabal just say no? Or does he say something
        else? (He insults David. He says David is a nobody.
        He refuses to recognize David as a contender for the
        throne, much less the anointed King. Worse, he calls
        him a runaway servant!)

      2. Do you think Nabal justified in
        saying, “No.” (I
        think David is saying that his men protected Nabal’s
        men and sheep so that they lost none of them. If I am
        right, then David could legitimately claim something
        was due to him.)

    7. Read 1 Samuel 25:12-13, 21-22. How does David view his
      work for Nabal?

      1. Is David ready for translation?

      2. What does he have in mind for

    8. Read 1 Samuel 25:14-17. Maybe the lesson should be
      entitled “Servants as Advisors.” How smart is this

      1. Why does he go to Abigail instead of the man of the
        house? (Verse 17 – my master is too obnoxious to
        reason with.)

        1. Is this servant looking out for his own life?
          (Yes – see verse 22.)

      2. How about your life? Do you listen to the “little
        guy” when he has an idea? Or, do you figure that you
        are the boss, and your thoughts are the most

    9. The servant tells Abigail to think it over. Let’s read 1
      Samuel 25:18-19. Recall our lesson is entitled “Wives as
      Advisors.” What do you think about Abigail’s advice to her
      husband? (Sort of makes you wonder why the author of the
      lesson used this as the first illustration!)

      1. Well, wives, what do you think about this Biblical
        model of advice to your husband?

        1. Why did Abigail not tell Nabal what she was
          doing? (Verse 18 tells us that time was a big
          issue. She did not have time to argue. Verse 17
          suggests that talking would have done no good.
          We know that David is racing their way with
          armed men.)

    10. Read 1 Samuel 25:20. The 400 hundred armed me with blood
      in their eyes come rushing up to Abigail with her
      presents. Let’s read part of what she says. Read 1 Samuel
      25:23-25, 27-28.

      1. Does Abigail call David a runaway servant? (No, she
        calls him (v.28) King!)

      2. Why does Abigail take the blame? (She
        says two
        things: Don’t blame my husband, he is not smart
        enough for you to worry about. On the other hand, I
        am smart enough, but I did not see your men.)

        1. Do you think she loves Nabal?

    11. Let’s read some more of Abigail’s words and David’s
      reaction. 1 Samuel 25:30-33. Were Abigail’s words
      effective? (Yes!)

      1. How would you characterize her argument to David?

      2. Wives, what does that teach us about
        disarming anger
        in your spouse? Husbands, is the same lesson here for

    12. David relents of his anger, Nabal literally has a stroke
      when he hears of what happened, dies shortly thereafter,
      and Abigail marries David.

      1. Men, what do you think about this story? Would Paul
        (wives, respect your husbands – Ephesians 5:33)
        endorse this story?

      2. This surely is an interesting story,
        but why is it in
        the Bible – other than to explain where David found
        this one wife?

        1. Wives, let’s start with you. How many husbands
          do we have in this story? (Two. Nabal and the
          husband to come, David.)

          1. Did Abigail treat the two husbands

          2. What lessons do you learn about
            your husband? (Advice depends upon the
            nature of your husband. If he is surely
            and mean, and no one can talk with him,
            you may be best off doing what is right
            without consultation.)

          3. What if your husband is angry and
            determined to do the wrong thing? (That
            was David here. In his case Abigail
            reasoned with him by appealing to his
            conscience and talking about what was in
            David’s best interest.)

          4. What lesson do you learn (wives)
            your obligation to do what is right no
            matter the views of your husband?

        2. OK husbands, what lessons do you find in this

  2. The Eden Controversy

    1. Read Genesis 2:15-17. Did Eve hear these instructions?
      (No. Genesis 2:18 begins the account of the creation of

      1. Men, if you heard this admonition from God, what
        would you do? (Stay far away from the tree!)

    2. Read Genesis 3:1-3. Does Even know the rule about this one

      1. Does she correctly state the rule? Let’s line up
        Genesis 2:16-17 with 3:2-3. What do you notice?
        (There is no command that touching the fruit will
        cause her to die.)

        1. Is this distinction important? (Yes. Both the
          Old ( Deuteronomy 4:2) and New Testaments (1
          Corinthians 4:6) instruct us not to add legal
          requirements that are beyond what God has
          imposed. When Eve had crossed the imaginary line
          she created, and did not die, it gave her
          confidence that God had not told the truth and
          she crossed the real line.)

    3. Let’s read on: Genesis 3:4-6. Verse 6 says that Adam was
      “with her.” Had Adam been with Eve the entire time? (This
      story is very compressed. Clearly Adam was not present for
      the conversation with the serpent because Genesis 3:1
      records the serpent “said to the women.” If Adam had been
      present the serpent would have spoken to both of them.)

      1. Was it Eve’s “advice” that caused Adam to sin? (Read
        Genesis 3:11-12 – Adam blames Eve and ultimately

      2. Read Genesis 3:17. Why is Adam
        condemned? (For taking
        his wife’s advice.)

        1. Was Adam deceived by his wife’s advice? (Read 1
          Timothy 2:14. Paul says, “no.”)

          1. Then why did he take her advice?

      3. Ladies, what lessons can we learn about “wives as
        advisors” from this story?

      4. Men, what lessons do you learn about
        “wives as
        advisors” from this story?

    4. Nabal would have gotten good advice from Abigail, David
      did get good advice from Abigail, and Adam got bad advice
      from Eve. In comparing these two stories, what lessons can
      we learn about when to listen to our wife? (A critical
      factor is whether the husband and wife are converted.
      Abigail thought she could reason with David, but not
      Nabal. On the other hand, Eve who had not sinned, gave bad
      advice. This shows that we must always “test” the advice
      of even Godly wives.)

      1. Do the same lessons apply to listening to our
        husband? Our Pastor? Other advisors?

    5. Wives, want to be good advisors? Then follow God’s wisdom?
      Husbands, want to be able to discern good advice from the
      bad, then follow God’s directions.

  3. Next Week: Joseph – From Pit to Palace.