Abishag was a Shunammite woman who is mentioned in 1 Kings 1:3, 4 and 1 Kings 2:13-25. We know that she was young, a virgin, and very beautiful. In the old age of King David, she was “hired” to be a companion to him and take care of him. After David died, his son Solomon became king. But evidently one of his other sons, Adonijah, also desired to wear the crown (he had already tried – and failed – to take over the kingdom once before).
Because Abishag had been David’s partner before his death, she was an inheritor to the throne. If he married her, Adonijah thought that he would have an easier time getting rid of Solomon and making himself king. So Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon could he have Abishag as his wife. When Solomon heard Bathsheba, he discerned the plot behind Adonijah’s seemingly innocent request (after all, he was the wisest man who ever lived). In so many words, Solomon’s answer was a big fat “NO!” Later, Solomon had Adonijah killed. And that was the end of that.
Here’s one thing we can learn from Abishag.
1. Abishag served the king. As followers of Jesus the Christ, He is our King. And we were created to serve Him in all that we do and in all that we are. While the way in which Abishag was hired to serve King David is questionable, the way in which Christ asks us to serve Him is not. He will never tell us to do anything that is wrong or illegal. He only asks that we do what is right. He only requires that we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Serving the King may mean that we do not get to stay in our comfort zones. 1 Kings 1:3 says that King David’s men searched for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel. Abishag was just a normal Israeli girl. She was probably doing her hair or painting her nails or out shopping, when the king’s men rode up, saying, “Hey! There’s a pretty young girl. Let’s take her to the king!” She was taken away from her home. She had to leave her family and friends behind. She was transported into the last place she probably thought she would be – the rich, royal, and lavish palace.
Serving the King does not always mean that we have to leave the familiar behind, because unlike King David, we can serve Christ the King anywhere. We can serve at our local church, our school, a community center, or a retirement home. Moving to India or Africa or China is not required to serve Christ. However, if we are called to leave our home and family and friends behind, we should be willing and ready to do so – just like Abishag was.