Posts Tagged ‘women’

Under Gods Command

(Hannah’s Prayer)

1 Samuel 2:1-10

1 Then Hannah prayed and said;

My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.

My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 

2 There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you;

there is no Rock like our God

3 Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a GOD who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but hose who stumbled are armed with strength.  5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more.  She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.

6 The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.  8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.  

For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’S, upon them he has set the world. 

9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.  He will thunder against them form heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.

He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.

 Hannah praised God for his answer to her prayer for a son. The theme of her poetic prayer is her confidence in God’s sovereignty and her thankfulness for everything he had done. Mary, the mother of Jesus, modeled her own praise song, called the Magnificat, after Hannah’s prayer (Luke 1:46-55). Like Hannah and Mary, we should be confident of God’s ultimate control over the events in our lives, and we should be thankful for the ways God has blessed us. By praising God for all good gifts, we acknowledge his ultimate control over all the affairs of life.

Hannah praised God for being a Rock—firm, strong, and unchanging. In our fast-paced world, friends come and go, and circumstances change. It’s difficult to find a solid foundation that will not change. Those who devote their lives to achievements, causes, or possessions have as their security that which is finite and changeable. The possessions that we work so hard to obtain will all pass away. But God is always present. Hope in him. He will never fail.

No doubt as Hannah said these words, she was thinking of Peninnah’s arrogance and chiding. Hannah did not have to get even with Peninnah. She knew that God is all-knowing, and that he will judge all sin and pride. Hannah wisely left judgment up to God. Resist the temptation to take justice into your own hands. God will weigh your deeds as well as the deeds of those who have wronged you.

Lets Bring it Home: Because we live in a world where evil abounds and where war and terrorism always threaten, we may forget that God is in control. Hannah saw God as (1) solid as a rock (2:2), (2) the one who knows what we do (2:3), (3) sovereign over all the affairs of people (2:4-8), and (4) the supreme Judge who administers perfect justice (2:10). Remembering God’s sovereign control helps us put both world and personal events in perspective.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

A virtuous woman is not above dirtying her hands and working hard at manual labor. She has no illusions or pretensions about her role. She knows that productivity and wealth begin with her hands, not with her mouth. Though capable of using her brain to leverage her assets and labor, she has no qualms about adding her sweat equity to the family estate. Let every lazy or pampered woman humble herself before this wisdom from God.

Here is a trait of a perfect woman, which King Lemuel learned from his mother to find a great wife (Pr 31:1,10). Women must accept that a woman wrote this lofty description (Pr 31:10-31), in case she thinks the bar is set too high, the traits lack sufficient glamour, or they emphasize a wife as her husband’s helper. God made the woman for the man, and learning this lesson is the first step to being a great woman (Gen 2:18; 3:16; I Cor 11:9).

A virtuous woman does not need much done for her. She hunts for raw materials to make useful and valuable things for her family. She is a willing worker – cheerful and content – she has initiative to work hard on her own. She does not need prodding. She sees a need, and she rolls up her sleeves and attacks the project. She does not hope her husband will do it for her after he gets home from work; she finishes it to spend the evening with him.

A pampered wife flitting from tea to reading to drawing violates God and women. It is not found in God’s word or in any prudent society. God made women to work, and they realize one of their chief goals by diligent use of their time. Every Christian woman must make sure she is more virtuous than Victorian. Being a “keeper at home” has nothing to do with taking it easy and making the husband the only or primary worker.

Some women think they have it rough to get up with their husbands and be expected to accomplish a day’s work while he is at work. They prefer rising late, pacing themselves through a few chores, talking on the phone, surfing the Internet, reading a book, visiting the spa, getting their nails done, and then asking their husbands to bring supper home. It is terrible that many of these are so-called Christian women. Great women work as hard or harder than their husbands, and they do so willingly and cheerfully, even eagerly.

In a search for a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s servant found beautiful Rebekah fetching water at a well (Gen 24:15-16). What about her violin lessons? Forget it! How did he qualify her? He waited to see if she would graciously volunteer to draw water for his ten camels (each can drink 20 gallons in 10 minutes!). What did she do? She ran to get the water fast enough for these thirsty beasts (Gen 24:18-20)! Isaac had himself a winner! If you think this is an exception, then read where Jacob discovered Rachel (Gen 29:9-18).

Prissy girls can live and die single beside lazy women, or they can dream of effeminate rich men who will pamper them like dolls into boring oblivion. Marriage is not for a woman to find a gravy train so she can read, shop, and nap most of the day before manipulating her husband to bring supper home. Marriage is for a man to find a lover who will help him build the family and estate by bearing children and working hard.

The church is the bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of glory. His Father did not choose His bride, nor did Jesus die for her, in order for her to have a life of leisure. Those who make up the family of God were chosen to serve and work to glorify God and help one another (Matt 20:25-28; Rom 14:8; I Cor 10:31-33; II Cor 5:13-15; 12:15). Christian saint, how cheerfully and hard have you worked this day to please your Husband?

Under Gods Command

(Gifts of Prophecy and Tongues) 

1 Corinthians 14:33-35 God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 

Does this mean that women should not speak in church services today? It is clear from 11:5 that women prayed and prophesied in public worship. It is also clear in chapters 12—14 that women are given spiritual gifts and are encouraged to exercise them in the body of Christ. Women have much to contribute and can participate in worship services. In the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public. Apparently some of the women who had become Christians thought that their Christian freedom gave them the right to question the men in public worship. This was causing division in the church. In addition, women of that day did not receive formal religious education as did the men. Women may have been raising questions in the worship services that could have been answered at home without disrupting the services. Paul was asking the women not to flaunt their Christian freedom during worship.

Lets Bring it Home: The purpose of Paul’s words was to promote unity, not to teach about women’s role in the church. 14:40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

Under Gods Command

1 Timothy 2:9-10 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or god or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 

It is not unscriptural for a woman to want to be attractive.  Today, however, to what degree should women take this advice about fixing their hair or wearing gold, pearls, or expensive clothes?  Paul was not prohibiting these things; he was simply saying that women should not be drawing attention to themselves through these things.  Modesty and decency are the key words.  All women would do well to remember that beauty begins on the inside.  A gentle, modest, loving character gives a light to the face that cannot be duplicated by even the best cosmetics.  A carefully groomed and well-decorated exterior is artificial and cold unless inner beauty is present.

Lets Bring it Home:  The general rule for both women and men emphasizes that both behavior and dress must express submission to and respect for Jesus Christ.  For women, when a guy looks at you and the first place he looks at is the body, and not your face? Maybe you need to take a look at the way you are dress.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

Great women are ingenious and industrious. They are intelligent and diligent. They see business opportunities and leverage them for the benefit of the family estate. They fulfill domestic duties to husband and children first, but they have a mind and drive to do more.

A virtuous woman – the great woman every wise man should marry – is an enterprising woman. She is not content with merely being a limited housewife. She knows she is capable of more, so she does more. The example here is a manufacturing and wholesale business in fine linen and girdles. This woman has an entrepreneurial and ambitious spirit that seeks profitable projects to support her husband and build the family income.

Leisure women, who like the easy life of a limited housewife and resent this proverb, need to remember that a mother gave the advice. This chapter of Proverbs has the words of King Lemuel, but they are the prophecy his mother taught him (Pr 31:1-2). This great mother gave her son godly wisdom on how to be a great king (Pr 31:3-9) and how to find a virtuous woman for marriage (Pr 31:10-31). Wise men and women will love the advice.

In all fairness, the virtuous woman did have servants (Pr 31:15). However, managing servants has its own burdens. But she did not have refrigerators, telephones, email, easy transportation, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, cheap capital, and a thousand other labor-saving devices, inventions, and sources of information. She was exceptionally diligent, disciplined, focused, and productive.

It is an error of Bible interpretation to believe a woman must be home all the time doing only domestic duties. Some require this even when children are in school, old enough to care for themselves, or married and gone! The “keepers at home” of Titus 2:5 condemns idleness, busybodies, and gossip, which a comparison with I Timothy 5:13-14 shows. It warns against the actions of a strange woman, who wanders wantonly in a city (Pr 7:11).

The Bible error, possibly the Victorian era, and other factors have caused some Christian women to be decorative, pampered, and unproductive objects at home. God never intended this! These women struggle to put boxes of cereal out for breakfast, run a couple loads of laundry through machines, and extort pizza out of their husbands for supper. What do they do all day? Little! The virtuous woman could do their day in an hour!

The virtuous woman is preeminently a diligent woman – extremely hard working for her husband and children. Fearing the Lord (Pr 31:30), this holy woman applies herself physically and mentally from early to late each day. She has no time for chatting on the phone, long emails, window-shopping, tea parties, Bible studies with televangelists, sitting for hours at soccer practice, playing tennis, checking prices at ten stores, sewing clothes that could be purchased, reading for pleasure, art lessons, or other wastes of time.

A woman with small children and no servants has little time for business, but that is true only for a few years of a woman’s life. If she is a good mother and trainer, even children of 7-10 can do many domestic duties. The heart of a great woman is motivated to do more as soon as possible. She does not pace herself, protect a leisure lifestyle, or become a soccer mom. She wants to outwork her husband and contribute financially, so she does!

The virtuous woman is creative, diligent, energetic, focused, intense, and most of all, productive. She gets a lot done every day! She does not lose or waste time. Her family is well cared for, but she does not stop there. She looks to the future and builds the estate. Men married to such women should give them part of their earnings, so they can plow it into greater earnings (Pr 31:16,31). Her husband is famous because of her (Pr 31:23,28).

Christian woman, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. The lesson is simple: she takes on financial projects to add earnings to the family, whether it is a paid job or a small business. She is not content with the leisurely life of a housewife in an age of many conveniences. She finds opportunities to add income for the family, and she does not sacrifice the family pursuing them. She is the perfect woman. Study her! Copy her!

Christian wife, if your husband and children are well cared for, and you work a full-time job, you are already doing a great deal. There is little to no time for much else. You are to be commended for balancing such large responsibilities in two opposing directions. May God comfort you that you may have already met the standard of this proverb, and may He teach you the principle of mercy toward yourself (Matt 12:7; Pr 11:17).

Christian wife, if you are at home with young children, and resources and time will not allow much outside work, focus on what God does expect. Make sure you are the best companion and lover for your husband, keep an exceptional home, and diligently train godly character into your children, so they can help in the house and soon be great in their lives and endeavors. Be wise as things change to not miss an opportunity for more.

Christian man, here is the standard; here is the ideal – the virtuous woman. There are two inspired criteria that a king’s mother taught: a woman that will be a great wife fears the Lord (Pr 31:30), and she is exceptionally ambitious and diligent, well beyond domestic duties. Require these two traits, and you will have a jewel with value far above rubies (Pr 31:10). If men expected women like this, many marriages would be different and better.

Under Gods Command
Disobedience and defeat

Judges 4:4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at the time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.

The Bible records several women who held national leadership positions, and Deborah was an exceptional woman. Obviously she was the best person for the job, and God chose her to lead Israel.

Lets bring it home: God can choose anyone to lead his people, young or old, man or woman. Don’t let your prejudices get in the way of those God may have chosen to lead you.