WOMEN OF GOD 5-14-17

WOMEN OF GOD

May 14, 2017

         

                  Our Call to Worship was a poem I wrote about seven diverse women in the Bible.  My inspiration came from the fact that there are some Christians that think that women should all look and act like clones of their personal conception of the ‘perfect Christian woman’.  But in the Bible, God called woman that were very different in personality, background, behavior, and looks.  They were each used by Him in a way that fit their character, capabilities, and unique position in life. 

          The seven that I chose definitely were not typical by any means.  Sarah laughed when the Lord told her she was going to have a child, because she was past the age of childbearing (Genesis 18).  Now if you told someone you were going to do something very special for them, and they laughed in your face, you would probably say, “Well then, just forget it!”, and walk away.  But of course God did not, and Sarah became the mother of the nation of Israel, through her promised son, Isaac. 

          Hannah was just the opposite.  She was unable to have a child, but prayed and pleaded with God in the temple, promising Him that if she could have a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord.  God gave her Samuel, and she kept her vow.  (1 Samuel 1).

          Esther is probably the most beautiful of the women I mentioned.  In fact she was so beautiful that she was chosen by King Xerxes to be his queen without his knowing her Jewish heritage, and she used her influence over the king to save the Israelites from complete annihilation at the hands of the king’s army. 

          And speaking of armies, Deborah, actually led Israel’s at Barak’s request, against Sisera and his army.  And I would like to add another women here, Jael, because she is the one that actually killed Sisera.  Talk about one tough lady!  In Judges chapter 4 we read about how when the Israelites came at Sisera with 10,000 men, Sisera broke off from his men and fled alone. He came to the tent of Jael.  Jael knew who Sisera was and invited him into her tent to hide. He asked for some water to drink. Jael, in her cunningly kind way, gave Sisera a bottle of milk. After enjoying his milk - like many people - he fell fast asleep.  Then Jael snuck into the tent with a tent peg and hammer. The Bible says that she drove the nail through his temple and pegged his head to the ground (Judges 4).  I wouldn’t mess with her if I were you!

          Then there is Mary, the mother of the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ; chosen for her purity and faithfulness, and given the highest honor anyone, man or woman, could receive.  Although she questioned Gabriel as to how it would be possible that she could have a child while remaining a virgin, when Gabriel told her the Holy Spirit would father the child, she believed and said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)  The rest is history.

          The last two women were Mary’s exact opposite.  One was a Samaritan.  Normally Jews in Jesus’ day would not converse in public with either a woman or a Samaritan, and especially not someone who was both!  But in John chapter 4 we read about the Samaritan woman that Jesus met at a well, called her out for having had five husbands and currently living with a man who was not her husband, and then proceeded to reveal to her that He is the promised Messiah.  She then went back to her people to testify about Jesus, and the results of her message are in verses 39-42, which say, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days.  And many more believed because of His message. They said to the woman, ‘We now believe not only because of your words; we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man truly is the Savior of the world.’”

          And last, but definitely not least, my favorite, Mary Magdalene.   Here is a woman who was a prostitute.  Used and abused by men, whom she used in return.  Obviously not someone who was easily impressed by the normal things a woman might be impressed by - money, power, looks.  To her they were all just a way to supply her next meal, and the fact that they had snuck out at night to be in her company was proof to her that all men were scoundrels.  And then along came Jesus.  She could see the difference in Him, and He made a difference in her.  So much so that she took an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume that she had probably tucked away for an emergency, perhaps even a gift from one of her regulars, and used it to anoint Jesus’ feet along with her tears, and wipe them with her hair.  This gesture, while annoying the religious leaders, truly touched the heart of our Lord (Luke 7).  And from then on, she was not only a loyal disciple, but the very first person that Jesus appeared to after He rose from the dead (John 20). 

          So it doesn’t matter if you are a homebody or have taken the job market by storm.  It doesn’t matter if you are young and beautiful on the outside, or old and beautiful on the inside.  It doesn’t matter if your past is squeaky clean, or there are some skeletons in your closet.  It doesn’t matter if you are shy and quiet, or if you have no fear of speaking your mind to anyone.  It doesn’t matter if you are a mother, a stepmother, an adoptive mother, or not a mother at all.  Maybe you were called to be a teacher, or maybe you were called to be a corporate leader, or maybe you were even called to be a pastor.  Don’t let society tell you what you can or can’t do.  God and His Word say that He can use a very diverse spectrum of women for a wide variety of callings.  He has made you exactly the way you are for a specific reason.  He has placed you where you are for that same reason.  When you seek God and ask Him to show you why you are who you are, and why you are where you are, He will; and He will give you purpose and joy in fulfilling that purpose if you follow His leading.  There is no joy in trying to be someone you were not meant to be, but there is blessing beyond measure if you are who God wants you to be.  It is His amazing grace that sees the potential in every woman, even the most lost and wretched, and      whose Spirit gives them the strength and the courage to be all that God created them for.  Amen.

CHILDREN'S MESSAGE:

When I say "Mom" what do you think of?  Do you ever think of God?  We think of Him more as "Father", and He is our heavenly Father.  But let me read you a verse...  "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13)  

Photo of Cole Webster giving a Mother's Day cross bookmark to Doris Lowery...