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Devotionals

Women of the Bible

Posted by kmaxx@mts.net on April 28, 2019 at 3:35 PM

Proverbs 1:5-7


Now hold on! This could be a book! Yes – but we are going to look at a few women in general, not specifically, for principles we are taught through their lives as recorded for us, in scripture. May is the month when we celebrate womanhood through motherhood. Let’s discover God’s plan.


In the beginning God created male and female, blessed both and consigned them to filling the earth and subduing it. Genesis clearly labels this woman as man’s helper. She shared the same DNA as Adam who found pleasure in calling her “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh.” (Genesis 2:23) He then named her “Eve, because she would be the mother of all living.” (3:20) Eve apparently shared with Adam the ability to make choices. She chose to believe the serpent rather than God, though He had not given the commandment directly to her; it had come through Adam (2:15-18). This was not the last time woman questioned the word of her husband.


Noah is remembered for his courage in the face of ridicule, willing to obey God rather than to succumb to the opinion of man. He had a wife, who is not named, but we must be sure that she supported him in his boat-building project, since she was privileged to be one of those saved on the ark. What was her relationship to God? Her sons Shem, Ham and Japheth give us a clue to the fact they lived in a Godly home. Even the wives they had chosen were saved in the ark, while evil men and women all around them perished in the flood! (Genesis 7:1, 8:18).


Many years later, the story of Sarai is told. She was barren (11:30). What untold sorrow is recorded in those few words. Sarai lived in an era when the main function of women was to produce children to carry on the family name and fortune. Whether it was more than her physical beauty that attracted Abram, we only know that he remained faithful to this woman who had not yet born him a son. Perhaps her beauty was a curse, because twice she was put into a compromising position – with Pharaoh and later, Abimelech. How did she endure such an experience? What did she think of a husband who didn’t have the courage to protect her from the advances of heathen kings, preferring instead to save his own neck? (Genesis 12:18-19, 20:5).


As the years rolled on Sarai became desperate. God had promised her a child, but perhaps He intended her to be proactive. Perhaps she would have a child according to the customs of her culture. So she did what certainly couldn’t have been easy, and shared the intimacies of her marital relationship with Abram, with her Egyptian maid, Hagar. We may never know if this was a lack of faith in God’s promise or a mistaken attempt to “help” the Almighty bring about His purposes. Sadly her maid gained what Sarai lost, and Hagar mocked her for her childlessness, once she became pregnant. Sarai paid dearly for her indiscretion and so do we, even today as the world turns upside-down with Arab/Israeli conflict.


We believe God has a plan for every life. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you…” (Jeremiah 1:5) This was God’s plan for Jeremiah. The Psalmist says with assurance –“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place…..Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:15-16) Male or female, our days are ordered by the Lord.


Might we conclude that some women in the Bible still make an impact on our world today? The consequence of Eve’s choice was pain in childbirth, as well as passing on a genetic flaw (sinful nature) to every human being. Noah’s wife helped to sustain the human race from annihilation and taught us team work within marriage. Sarai’s decision to have a child through her pagan maid has affected religious practices between Jew, Muslim and Christian until now.


One lesson each of these women teaches us is to listen carefully to the word of the Lord. When He speaks restraint, He means restraint – don’t eat it! When He predicts a flood He warns against disobedience and death. When He promises a baby, or anything else, let Him work it out in His own timing, in His own way.

 

Reflection:

How are we different from these women in the Bible? How the same?

Will we honour God’s Word written down through centuries of time for us to read today?

Do we believe God’s protection, predictions and promises?

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