Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Memory Verse: Genesis 2: 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bonesand flesh of my flesh;she shall be called Woman,because she was taken out of Man.”
Introduction: Does She or Doesn’t She (Clairol Shampoo) The world sees Christianity as a male dominant religion. It’s seen as a religion dominated by men, for men. But we know that God loves women - God created woman, and has used women to bring about His plan for the world.
Assignment: Tell the world about your favourite woman in the Bible. Who is she? How did the world judge her? How does God see her? How did God use her? How has this woman affected your life? How does she inspire you to walk out your relationship with God?
Hmmmm. My favorite woman in the Bible...that's a tough one. I have many favorites -- Hannah encourages me to keep a gentle spirit and to pray more fervently. Ruth reminds me that God has plans for my future, even when my "Plan A" doesn't work out the way I thought it would. I really like Jael (she's the one who killed Sisera with a tent peg) and Deborah -- tough chicks, for sure.
But my favorite (at least today) would have to be Abigail. You can read her story in 1 Samuel chapter 25, but let me give you a little background. Keep in mind that this is purely hypothetical, because we know nothing about her prior to her marriage to Nabal. The Bible says that she was "a woman of a beautiful countenance and good understanding". We can assume that she was from a good family, since she married into the family of Caleb (high society). Girls in those days married young and generally had no say in whom they married. So let's picture Abigail as a beautiful young lady of about 16 whose father arranged a marriage with a prominent (and rich) older man named Nabal. Whether or not she was happy about the match, she had no choice and found herself the mistress of a large household, and the wife of a fool.
Abigail to me is the picture of a woman who made lemonade out of the lemons of life. Rather than bemoaning her fate, she rolled up her sleeves and set her mind to the task at hand. Although scripture doesn't say this, I don't believe that she was in the habit of belittling her husband. She saw him as he was and made no excuse for him; she called him a "worthless fellow", but then the Bible clearly says that he was "churlish and evil in his doings".
Read Chapter 25 -- it's a great story!
Abigail was faithful to the committment she had made -- the vow she had made before God and the obligation she had to her parents -- and God honored her faithfulness.
So why is Abigail one of my favorites? Well, I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Hers is a bit of a Cinderella story -- rescued from a life of drudgery by a handsome prince (even if the whole "happily ever after" thing didn't really happen). More than that, though, is the hope I see for women whose husbands are stinkers...and there are a few of those where we live. Seeing how God dealt with Nabal reminds me that God sees all things and as His word says, "Vengeance is mine says the Lord. I will repay!"
Does God still allow us to go through hard times and suffer through difficult people? Obviously so! In James we read that, "The testing of our faith works patience."(James 1:3) It's just refreshing to be reminded that we don't need to stress over people who wrong us. God sees, and God knows, and we can have faith that He will take care of everything in due time.
Romans 8:38 And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
Have a blessed week!!!