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"Now" Women Intervene
The life of Abigail exemplifies another attribute of "now" women∏their ability to circumvent trouble by intervening at the right moment. In 1 Samuel 25 we learn that Abigail was married to Nabal, a businessman in Carmel who was very wealthy. He had a ruling authority in that area, and David, who had been out warring in Nabal's territory, hoped to receive refreshment from his household. Although David approached Nabal with a right spirit, Nabal replied foolishly, refusing to be hospitable to David and his men.
David was upset by Nabal's response because he had been protecting Nabal's property. He decided to retaliate.
Notice what happened next: Nabal's wife, Abigail, intervened. She "made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys" (v. 18). In other words, she by-passed her foolish husband. She sent her servants ahead of her but did not say anything to Nabal about her plan (v. 19).
When Abigail saw David she dismounted, bowed her face to the ground and said, "On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant" (v. 24). Then she proceeded to apologize to David and beg him not to take offense.
Abigail positioned herself correctly; she humbled herself correctly; she interceded correctly. And notice the results: David received her intercession. When she told her husband the next morning what she'd done, "his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died" (vv. 37-38). When David heard this news, he proposed to Abigail and took her as his wife (v. 39).
God has placed many "now" women in difficult situations in which they have the opportunity to intervene. When they do, God intervenes on their behalf.
"Now" Women Know the Time of Change
Naomi is another example of a "now" woman—a woman who knew when it was time for change. She had moved to Moab from Bethlehem with her husband. But then she lost him as well as both her sons. Realizing that Bethlehem held the key to her future, she decided to return.
One of her daughters-in-law, Ruth, chose to leave her native land and go with Naomi. Together they began to rebuild their lives. Ruth went to work gleaning in the fields of a man named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi's husband.
When the harvest ended, Naomi realized that it was again time for change. She felt that Ruth needed a more stable situation. She told Ruth she wanted to secure a future for her and sent her to Boaz, hoping that he would take care of her because she was a relative (Ruth 3:1-2). Naomi seized the opportunity to activate a cultural law of redemption in order to protect her daughter-in-law.
She then gave Ruth several instructions: to wash and anoint herself, to put on her best garment in place of the widow's garb she had been wearing, to wait for the right timing and to lay down at Boaz' feet. These actions required Ruth to fully submit to what God was trying to do.
The result of Naomi's taking action at the right moment and Ruth's obedience was that Boaz got up and blessed Ruth. He also promised he would abide by the law of redemption and care for her if a closer relative would not do his duty.
Do you know what this means for women today? When they do that which God is asking them to do when He is asking them to do it, they will receive a blessing. If they know the time of change and go through the process of cleansing themselves, receiving a new anointing, removing their old garments, moving in at the right moment and submitting themselves to the full purpose of God, they will be blessed.
"Now" women know when it's time for change. If they move to initiate the change at the right moment, they will secure their future. Why is this important? Because if women can discern by the Spirit what God is doing and rise up to pray, His plans will be fulfilled.
"Now" Women Awake
Deborah was a woman who woke up to God's purposes. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery states that the general concept of "awakening" captures the notion of either rousing oneself or being aroused in order to take action, as in the call for Deborah to "wake up" (Judg. 5:12, NIV) or "awake" (NKJV). Such a call is usually accompanied by urgency and intensity, as indicated by emphatic repetition: "Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song!" (v. 12; cf. Is. 52:1).
Deborah had been judging Israel for several years before she planned the war against Jabin. But before she could arouse the tribes to go to war, she herself had to rise up with a renewed spirit.
Deborah had characteristics that I see God awakening at this time in women all over the world. She was a prophetess. She was a ruler. She was a warrior. She was a psalmist. And she was a mother of Israel. My encouragement to women is, awake and arise now, and demonstrate the change that God is longing to bring in our day.
Chuck Pierce has been affiliated with the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Global Harvest Ministries. He is president of Glory of Zion International Ministries in Denton, Texas.
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