RSS

Tag Archives: women

Wicked Women in the Bible

Image result for images of jezebel and athaliah

I am so glad there are more stories of Godly women in God’s Word than there are the wicked ones, and I would much rather write about them. But there are and have always been truly evil people in this world, some women included. The good thing about their stories is that they can be an example to us not to be like them. Because contrary to what some teach these days, God does not let evil thrive for long, and He does bring justice in spite of it. He is not just a lovey-dovey God, and no respecter of persons.

I have been reading in 2 Kings of Jezebel and Athaliah her daughter. King Ahab was a very wicked king in Judah who married Jezebel and Athaliah was a product of their relationship. We know Ahab as a wimpy man who was actually ruled by this evil woman Jezebel.This account can be of great value to many men today who let the wife rule the roost instead of taking the lead in the household as God’s Word commands. If a woman is first submissive to God, then she will have no problem submitting to her husband. As we learn from these accounts, nothing good ever comes of going the way of the world and against God’s teaching. But any way, Ahab and these two women met with terrible demise. God’s promises are all true, including the ones about what happens to wicked, evil people.

God chose Jehu to carry out His judgment on the royal house of Israel as the Davidic line was in danger of being corrupted and wiped out through its intermarriage with Ahab’s family. Jehu returned to the city of Jezreel, and Jezebel had fixed herself up and was watching from a window in the wall. She made a comment about how Zimri slew his master. Her grandfather was King Omri who came after Zimri. Hearing her comment, Jehu looked up and saw her along with 2 or 3 eunuchs. He ordered the eunuchs to throw Jezebel down from the wall and they did. She evidently hit the wall on her way down because people below were splattered with her blood. She landed under Jehu’s and the soldiers’ horse’s hooves where she was trampled and dogs ate her flesh just as God had spoken through His prophet Elijah – “…In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so they shall not say, This is Jezebel…” When they went to bury her, all they found were her skull and feet, and the palms of her hands. (2 Kings 9)

Athaliah was born into a world that completely denied the One True God. She married Jehoram, the firstborn of Judah’s Godly king Jehoshaphat. Jehoram had allied himself with Israel for political reasons (2 Chronicles 22:5). Athaliah promoted Baal worship just like her mother had, while she led both the people of Judah and her husband away from the Lord (2 Chronicles 21:6). Jehoram died of a tragic sickness at the young age of 40 – 2 Chronicles 21:18-20 “And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.”

Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram and Athaliah, became king, but his mother ran the show – 2 Chronicles 22:3 “He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.” After the Philistines and Arabians killed Athaliah’s sons, she murdered her own grandsons, who were the legitimate heirs to the throne (2 Chronicles 21:17). Gaining the throne for herself, she then reigned for 6 years as an illegitimate occupant of the royal throne. She was not born into the Davidic lineage. She continued with the idolatrous traditions in which she was raised from childhood.

Judah had never had a ruler who was not a descendant of David, and the Levite priests supported Davidic kingship. When they led a rebellion against this northern usurper, the people followed willingly – 2 Kings 11:13-20 “And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason. But Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of the hundreds, the officers of the host, and said unto them, Have her forth without the ranges: and him that followeth her kill with the sword. For the priest had said, Let her not be slain in the house of the LORD. And they laid hands on her; and she went by the way by the which the horses came into the king’s house: and there was she slain. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD and the king and the people, that they should be the LORD’s people; between the king also and the people. And all the people of the land went into the house of Baal, and brake it down; his altars and his images brake they in pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD. And he took the rulers over hundreds, and the captains, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of the LORD, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king’s house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. And all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was in quiet: and they slew Athaliah with the sword beside the king’s house.”

Athaliah died a dishonorable death like the other members of Ahab’s family, at the Horse’s Gate. Their wickedness stains the pages of Israel’s history, and they stand as a sobering reminder of the escalation of evil influence that can work in the heart of a rebellious woman who determines to go her own way, rejecting God and grasping for her own power (2 Chronicles 22:3; 10; 24:7).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2019 in Women of the Bible

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Cunning and Courageous Jael

Image result for images of jael and sisera

If you have ever done any study on Sisera, the Captain of the host of King Jabin of Canaan, you know how ruthless he was against their captives. So, I do take satisfaction in the story of how God used Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, to kill this evil Sisera. His army was overcome by Barak and Judge Deborah and he fled on foot to Heber and Jael’s tent. It is quite gory how she accomplished the feat of killing Sisera. She most likely had somewhat against him. You can read the account in Judges Chapter

Jael was of the semi-nomadic desert tribe of the Kenites, who since the time of Moses were in close contact with the Israelites. They were farmers and metalworkers who had probably learned their skills in the Egyptian copper mines of the Sinai Peninsula.

Heber, meaning ally, had left his own people, the Kenites, and pitched his tent far north, close to Hazor. He had become an ally of Jabin, possibly helping him to develop his powerful chariots. So, Jael’s decision to side with the Israelites and not with the Canaanites, her husband’s allies, was highly significant. Such action suggests that she placed her heart’s commitment to God above that to her own husband.

So Sisera was running to find somewhere to hide and Jael called to him and offered him refuge in her tent. She gave him goat’s milk or yogurt (a precious drink for Bedouins) and she cunningly helped him to sleep. Then, using her own working tools, a peg and a hammer that she used to erect her tents, Jael killed her guest, the enemy of Israel and of Yahweh.

The fact that Sisera sought safety in the tent of a friend and found death is quite ironic, as is the fact that he fearfully hid from the mighty warriors who pursued him, while he fearlessly trusted himself for shelter to the hands of a humble woman. The great warrior, Sisera, suffered the ultimate humiliation by dying at the hands of a woman; Jael received consummate praise for her heroic act in Deborah’s song in Judges 5:24 – “Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.”

Yahweh again showed Himself as the One True God through fulfilled prophecy in Judges 4:9, 21 – “And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh…Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.” As well as glorious victory in Judges 4:23, 24 “So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.” God honored womanhood when He used Deborah and Jael to accomplish His purpose of delivering His people from their enemies.

Judges 5

1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,
2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.
3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.
4 LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.
5 The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.
7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.
11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.
12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
13 Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.
18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.
19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.
21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.
22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.
23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.
24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.
26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.
27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?
29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,
30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?
31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 2, 2019 in Godly Women

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Women in Samson’s Life

Image result for images of samson

Samson’s Mother – A Woman of Confidence

We are not told Samson’s mother’s name. Only that she was the wife of Manoah, a man of Zorah-west of Jerusalem-of the tribe of Dan, and that she was barren – Judges 13:2. She was humbly trying to accept the fact that she would have no children to keep her memory alive. One day while out in the field, an Angel of the Lord came to her and prophesied that she would bear a son who would deliver Israel from the heavy-handed Philistines. The Angel told her that she was not to drink wine nor strong drink, and she was not to eat any unclean thing – Judges 13:4.

Samson’s mother and Manoah were obviously God-fearing believers, but the Angel’s prophecy seemed almost too good to be true. She told her husband all that the Angel said, and Manoah prayed that the Man of God would return in order to “teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born” – Judges 13:8. He wanted to hear it for himself. The Angel did return for a third time to repeat the rules of the Nazirite vow: no wine or fruit, no razor was ever to touch his head, and no touching of anything unclean.

Although this woman may have been uneducated and dependent upon her husband, as a believer and an expectant mother, she had no trouble complying with the instruction of the heavenly messenger. Manoah made an offering to God, on the spot, “and as the flame ascended, the Angel went with it. Terrified, the two fell on their faces to the ground” – Judges 13:19, 20.

The revelation of the supernatural was required for a depraved society such as theirs, and the dramatic display confirmed God’s supernatural intervention, no doubt answering their prayers. When Manoah expressed his fear that they themselves would die because they had seen God, his wife demonstrated her confidence in God: “If the LORD were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt offering.” – Judges 13:23.

Their promised son, Samson (meaning “sunlike” or “splendor”), chose a lifestyle reflecting the fallen nature of his world; nevertheless, God used him to restrain the Philistines. As a result, his name is found with the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:32.

The disappointment of barrenness was transformed into the joy of motherhood. Though grateful for a son of such unusual strength, this humble mother must also have grieved over Samson’s selfishness and disobedience to God, as all mothers do when they see their children straying into the fallen world. Certainly, his mother’s prayers and nurturing played a part in the contribution Samson made as a deliverer of his people.

This unnamed woman will be remembered as a believing woman who left her testimony: Every woman must not only listen for God’s direction, but also obey Him, even in the minutest detail – Judges 13:14 “She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.” God’s holy angels are poised to bring about His will even when we least expect it.

Samson’s Heathen Bride

This impressive woman from Timnah captured Samson’s affection with her beauty and charm, and she, too, was most likely infatuated with his strength and wit. They married hastily and without their parents’ approval. The marriage was doomed from the beginning because of competing loyalties which pulled at the young couple, as well as selfishness and immaturity on both their parts.

The Timnite had remained in her parents’ home after her wedding, and would receive occasional visits from her husband. These pagans practiced what is called a metronymic  marriage which means the husband was viewed as having joined his wife’s family, and in theory he was subservient to his wife’s father. Any children born of the marriage were considered members of the mother’s family. These customs totally went against all that God Jehovah made marriage to be.

This woman was most concerned with her own self-preservation. Just as Samson, she was accustomed to getting her own way, if by no other means, through manipulating with her tears and whining – Judges 14:2, 3, 16, 17 “And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well…And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.”

She used all of her skills of manipulation, including a week of tears, to meet the demands of her countrymen, knowing all the while that they planned evil against her husband. When Samson finally trusted her with his secret, she blatantly, and seemingly without remorse, betrayed him. She was under threat for the lives of herself and her family, but in the end, perhaps because of her own wrong choices, all their lives were lost – Judges 15:6 “Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.” Who knows what protection Samson might have given the family if only his wife had communicated her fears to him. But of course since they jumped quickly into a marriage based on infatuation, they had no friendship or loyalty of any kind for each other. They did not take time to bond.

Both the Timnite and Samson erred when they rushed into the serious commitment of marriage based upon “love at first sight” – Judges 14:2,3. Neither had left father and mother in order to give primary loyalty to the other as taught in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Of course, it is only common sense that the same goes for the woman. Neither one of them reached beyond self to be concerned about the best interest of the other as it says in Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Neither of them even considered the consequences of being joined to another who did not have the same spiritual commitments – Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” We are not to be in-equally yoked.

Marriage to a foreign woman who was not committed to the God of Israel was strictly forbidden because intermarriage was a huge factor in the destruction of the nation – Deuteronomy 7:1-4 “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” Judges 3:5, 6 “And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.” They turned away from God Jehovah.

Not only was Samson an Israelite and thus committed to Yahweh, but he was also a Nazirite, therefore he was set apart by God in a special way. For a judge to fail in this area shows the far-reaching result of spiritual apathy. This marriage put Samson on the road to estrangement from Yahweh; yet only the Lord could have given wisdom and imparted the love needed to overcome the overwhelming obstacles that faced Samson and the Timnite in their challenging marriage.

Delilah – A Teasing Temptress

Samson and Delilah are one of the most well-known couples in the Bible. Samson is known for his strength; Delilah is known for her seductive manipulation. (It appears that Samson had a weakness for seductive and manipulative women.)

Delilah lived in a small village near Samson’s hometown. She was probably Philistine, although her name is Semitic. She may have been a temple prostitute. Apparently Samson had been visiting her quite often, and their relationship became known to the Philistine leaders. They went to Delilah with an offer that she could not refuse.

Samson’s background, his upbringing, and his own experience should have taught him to stay away from foreign entanglements, but it is clear that Samson felt an emotional attachment to Delilah. No evidence exists that she felt personal admiration or affection for him. On the contrary, she clearly was motivated by greed; she was perfectly willing to use all of her charming seductiveness (which apparently was considerable) to earn a large cash bonus. She was only focused on how she would be set for life.

The ingredients for disaster were in place: a morally weak man with uncontrollable sexual passions; a seductive temptress motivated by greed; a group of foreign leaders with unlimited funds and the strong conviction that their national security perhaps, even their national survival, was at stake.

Her methods were simple, and though it took time, they eventually worked. She was playful and teasing, flirtatious and provocative, alluring and enticing. She coaxed and sweet-talked. She pouted and demanded. (Gee doesn’t that sound familiar? You would have thought that Samson might have learned from his experience with his pagan wife; but no, apparently not.) There was a fortune waiting for Delilah if she could discover the secret of Samson’s strength. She was determined, and she ultimately succeeded in prying his secret from him.

Convinced that he had finally told her the truth, she sent for the Philistine leaders. She lulled Samson to sleep and had his hair cut off. With complete and utter heartlessness, she watched as he struggled out of a deep sleep, thinking he would fend off his attackers as easily as before, only to discover to his horror that his strength was gone. No doubt, she was counting her money as they led him out.

Delilah personifies the immoral woman of Proverbs 5:4-6 – “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” Men beware of these manipulative temptresses. But, we all know that “what comes around, does go around.”

Even though Samson chose to go into the world and follow his lusts, God still used him to accomplish His perfect will. This is proof that God is always in control of all things.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

A Woman of Wavering Faith-Rebekah

Image result for images for rebekah deceiving her husband for jacobs blessing

Rebekah was certainly one of the most appealing young women in Scripture. She is portrayed as chaste and beautiful, courteous and helpful, hard-working, hospitable, as well as responsive and trusting. She was chosen as the intended bride for Isaac – Genesis 24:15-20 “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.” I recommend reading the whole chapter 24 to see the story unfold, and how God accomplished His plan for His choice of wife for Isaac.

Verse 28 hints that her family ties were very close, as her first response when she returned from the well was to share with the women in her household all about her encounter with Abraham’s servant. For a girl to be chosen for marriage to a wealthy relative was indeed considered a blessing from God. Her father and brother also knew that this was from God – Verse 50 “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.” But, the choice to leave home was Rebekah’s to make. This tells us how the young women in her culture enjoyed autonomy. (Verses 57, 58)

Rebekah volunteered a lowly service giving the camels water in verse 19. This was not a quick nor an easy chore for a young woman to accomplish. “And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.” This opened a lofty destiny to her as God worked His plan for her life through her mundane daily responsibilities. Her courage and faith at that time motivated her to venture from the familiarity of her family and friends to the unknown new life in a strange land.

God rewarded Rebekah’s faithfulness with a monogamous marriage that began with romance and loving affection (verse 67; Genesis 26:8). Also, in answer to Isaac’s prayer for his wife’s fertility, God removed her barrenness with the birth of twins, Esau and Jacob – Genesis 25:20, 21 “And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”

It was in her later years that Rebekah’s unwavering faith of her youth faltered. Of course, I am sure it did not happen suddenly but over time as our falling out of close fellowship with God always comes about gradually. Her taking things into her own hands which direction her sons’ futures would take, instead of trusting God, showed a lack of reverence and respect for her husband and his leadership.

The thing I find so very sad about this whole situation is how both parents showed such strong favoritism to their sons. Naturally, this brought rivalry, deceit, and contention into their home – Genesis 25:28 “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Proverbs 28:21 gives us some wisdom about favoring one person over another – “To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” And that definitely took place in this instance!

A few thoughts here may help us to understand Rebekah’s motivation for her deceit: perhaps her discernment of her sons–that is, recognizing Esau as worldly and adventuresome and Jacob as having potential for spiritual sensitivity, or her own close connection to one son over the other, or maybe even a strong faith in God’s revealed plan in Genesis 24:23.

In any case, the deceiving of her husband was without excuse and her poor example to her sons was a far-reaching tragedy. Even if her motives was pure, her action was wrong. Sadly, she paid a bitter price in living out her final years in separation from the son whose presence she desired, in alienation from the son who would ever remember his mother’s deception toward him, and in broken fellowship from a husband who had loved her devotedly. You see, there is no way of escaping the consequences of our actions. Those consequences very often extend out to future generations as well.

As always when we take things into our own hands to bring about our best laid plans, God turns things around and uses it all for His purpose. But we sure can save ourselves some pain and heartache if we just leave things in His all-knowing and caring hands. Try not to let your faith waver.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 12, 2018 in Women of the Bible

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sarai/Sarah-Example of a Submissive Wife

Sometimes when we think of Sarai/Sarah, we tend to remember how she let her barrenness humiliate her to the point that she went outside of God’s will to give Abram/Abraham a son. Today I am thinking of how she appears in the Bible as a great example of God’s ideal for a married woman, in spite of her impatience.

There are two characteristics that mark her life: beauty and barrenness. Because of her beauty, even pagan rulers desired her, but she did not let it make her vain. It was her infertility that caused deep domestic humiliation and even disagreement in her marriage. She was treated terribly by other women in her family because they were fertile and she was not. Perhaps she could have saved herself some of that cruelty had she not given Abram her handmaid, Hagar, to mate with. But God has allowed that for His purpose, just like He does for all of us when we step outside of His will, and come to Him in repentance.

Without a doubt, Sarah had beauty, brilliance, and creativity, but one quality that plants her in our memories and sets her apart is her unique and unequaled devotion to her husband Abraham. She shared not only her husband’s challenges and heart aches, but also his dreams and blessings. Never did she waver; she stood by his side through good choices and bad decisions, adversities and blessings, in youth and in old age. She is a fine example of a woman who loved her husband unconditionally and determinedly. Many wives today seem to take every opportunity to demean or badmouth their husbands in one way or another. I find that contemptible. True, selfless love will never behave that way.

The Bible devotes more space to Sarah than any other woman. Genesis 23 is a whole chapter that talks about her death and burial. Both her husband and her son grieved deeply when she died at age 127. She was, without a doubt, a very nurturing mother to Isaac. I’m sure she thanked God each and every day for that fulfilled promise. – “And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her…And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 23:2; 24:67)

Sarah is commended in two New Testament references – Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” and 1 Peter 3:6 “Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” Romans 4:19; 9:9 – “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:…For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.”

She is also used to illustrate the difference between the bonded and free – Galatians 4:21-31 “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (Ishmael), the other by a freewoman (Isaac). But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Sarah is titled as one of “the Holy women” of old because she committed her willing cooperation to her husband. From the Biblical account, it is apparent that Sarah was strong-willed; yet she chose to submit to Abraham, an attitude which God commended. She was consistently identified as Abraham’s wife, reinforcing the fact that God viewed the pair as one flesh. Together they were asked to believe that God would give them a son.

Sarah is the only wife named in the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11:11. Her mothering experience fluctuated from emotions of skepticism, embarrassment, envy, and cruel recrimination to intense exhilaration and joy. Even though Sarah fell into sin, God faithfully kept His promise that she would be “a mother of nations.” (Genesis 17:16)

Perhaps more than any other Biblical woman, Sarah stands to teach women two supreme characteristics of Godly womanhood: humble submission to their husbands in marriage, and fervent commitment to nurturing the next generation. As I mentioned above, it seems to be “the thing” these days for women to take the leading role as head of the home and demean the husband and knock him down every chance they get. And, we see results every day in the news of children who are left to their own devices instead of being nurtured as all children have a need for.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 31, 2018 in Godly Women

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Manhood and Womanhood According to Scripture

These passages, from Job and Proverbs, show examples for us to live with Godly character in our manhood and womanhood.

Image result for images for godly character

Job was a great example of how to be Men of Integrity:

Standing in God’s presence – Job 31:4 – “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?”

Exemplifying Integrity – Job 31:5, 6 – “If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.”

Committing to Personal Purity – Job 31:7-12 – “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out. If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.”

Reflecting Justice in all Dealings – Job 31:13-15 – “If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Giving Generously to Others and Showing Compassion to All – Job 31:16-22 – “If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail; Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother’s womb;) If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep; If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate: Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.”

Setting Godly Priorities in Life – Job 31:23-25 – “For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;”

Living out Faith in God – Job 31:26-28 – “If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.”

Forgiving Others Without Holding a Grudge – Job 31:29, 30 – “If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him: Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.”

Opening His Home to the Needy – Job 31:31, 32 – “If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied. The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.”

Walking with the Lord – Job 31:33-37 – “If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.”

Seeking to do Right – Job 31:38-40 – “If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain; If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life: Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.”

Solomon Teaches How we Women can live with Godly Character in Proverbs:

Managing her Household Well – Proverbs 31:10-12 – “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Working Willingly with her Hands – Proverbs 31:13 – “She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

Serving Her Household – Proverbs 31:14, 15 – “She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Investing Wisely – Proverbs 31:16 – “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.”

Strengthening Herself Through Proper Care of her Body and Spirit – Proverbs 31:17 – “She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.”

Using her Gifts Consistently and Creatively – Proverbs 31:18, 19 – “She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”

Giving Generously to the Poor – Proverbs 31:20 – “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” (Notice it says, “needy” not those who choose to beg instead of work.)

Protecting her Children – Proverbs 31:21 – “She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.”

Dressing Herself Attractively but Modestly – Proverbs 31:22 – “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.”

Representing her Husband Well – Proverbs 31:23 – “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.”

Using her Time and Energies Efficiently – Proverbs 31:24 – “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

Exhibiting a Spirit of Optimism – Proverbs 31:25 – “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”

Speaking with Wisdom and Kindness – Proverbs 31:26 – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Exemplifying Faithfulness and Excellence – Proverbs 31:27-29 – “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.”

Receiving Praise for her Work – Proverbs 31:30, 31 – “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Now, these are the best guidelines we will find anywhere for living our lives with Godly character. As I read through each of these examples for me to try to emulate as a woman, I must admit that I am definitely lacking in several areas. It was good for me to be reminded to try to do my best to be a better example for my Lord and not be an embarrassment to Him. I am encouraged that God Almighty would choose me to be a shining light for Him.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2017 in Godly Women

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Do we treat our husbands as the God-given gifts that they are?

I find it totally disgusting how this world and today’s media demean the heads of our homes. Our husbands are a gift from the Lord, if we have first sought God’s will as to whether this man is God’s chosen mate for us. Many of us have had to learn the hard way the heartache and irreparable damage to all concerned when we seek our own will and jump into a relationship based on lust or “love at first sight.

When God brings the man He has chosen for our life-mate into our lives, that man truly is a gift from God, and he ought to be treated as such. To us women, a man is the most complicated of all God’s creatures to understand. (I know we hear men joke all the time about how they will never understand us women, and that is true also. 😉 )

He has high expectations for himself – when he fails to attain his dreams, he experiences emotions that he finds hard to handle. At times he may be afraid of rejection – comparison to another man, the inability to satisfy his wife. He may feel inadequate, insecure, frustrated, and helpless as he faces the challenges of life. During these times of vulnerability, our husbands desperately need us to understand and be his helper – “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Genesis 2:18) He needs acceptance, appreciation, and affirmation.

A Godly husband will show respect for his wife in the way he treats her. This begins with his thought life – “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Proverbs 23:7) and it moves to his lifestyle – “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) then to his communication – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29) Because women are great responders, we generally will respond to efforts or lack of efforts from our husbands. This give-and-take is part of the mystery in human sexuality.

Just as God extended acceptance to all people in that He did not wait until we were worthy of His love – He simply loved us first – “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) A loving wife will want to treat her husband as if he is already the person God desires him to be. That is the greatest encouragement we can give him.

  • A husband needs to have and deserves to have the respect of his wife – “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
  • A husband needs and deserves our appreciation. This means that we should recognize his worth, and hold him in high regard and respect. Notice how his face lights up and his chest bursts forth when we express how grateful we are for our life with him, his faithfulness, his hard work, and how he provides and cares for us. God has laid on my heart many times to let my Ron know how thankful I am that God brought him to be my life-mate and how he completes me. It is the truth and he needs and deserves to hear that from time to time.
  • A husband also needs affirmation. We should want to speak kind words to our husbands – “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) We enjoy assuring our husbands of our love and devotion to only him –  “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11, 12)
  • A husband needs sexual fulfillment and sensitivity on the part of his wife to this need – “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
  • A husband needs a home to which he can go for comfort and peace – “And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” (Genesis 24:67) I can sense immediately when my husband has had a trying day at work. I try not to hit him with any challenges I may have had, but ask him how his day went. I see instant relief as he lets our a slight sigh and shares his day with me. It is not always about challenges he had. Many times he loves to share pride in how he overcame some obstacle that no one else had an answer for.
  • A husband needs to find his wife attractive and to be proud of her “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” (Proverbs 31:28, 29) He needs to share mutual fellowship and fun with her. After all, our husbands are our best friends.

We ought to consider our husbands as a precious gift from God, and treat them with sensitivity, tenderness, and love. To meet his needs requires time–listening, touching, doing kind deeds, and creativity in doing the acts of love. When we do those actions, we will also receive in kind from him – “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Image result for images of godly wives

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Godly Women

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: