The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ Chapter 10

Rahab Speaks With Spies

Rahab ~ Cameo of Courage

“Rehab took two men and hid them.” ~ Joshua 2:4

When you read Bible stories to your children at bedtime, one may pass over the story of Rahab because of her profession as a harlot. Yet, Rahab is one the most dramatic “before and after” stories in the Bible.

The scene was dark and grim for the idol-worshipping residents of Jericho, as God was leading the Israelites to conquer the land; but the city would not be taken without the power of faith, not only of the men that marched around the walls of the city seven time before God had miraculously caused the walls fall, but also for one special woman, Rahab. This woman lived in a home attached to the walls of the city. Rahab and her people had heard of the Great God of the Israelites and feared Him:

Joshua 2:9 “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.”

Joshua 2:10 “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.”

Joshua 2:11 “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

I am certain, however, that even though the people of Jericho trembled at what they heard of God’s intervention for Israel, they didn’t have the faith to repent before God, but she did. It’s one thing to hear of God, and another to repent and have faith in Him.

Rahab must have pondered the difference between her wooden and stone idols and the true God, that he had the power over all creation – not only power over man, but power over the earth, the sea, and the sky. Her gods could not do these miracles. Her gods were idols that she know from her childhood. They, however, could not do what the God of Israel miraculously had done. She believed and had faith.

Rehab Letting Down The Spies

You see, Rahab had been chosen beforehand by God because He knew where her heart lay.  She indeed believed in Him and had the courage and the faith to help the Israelites, those chosen of this great God Who had helped them.  Still, it was her choice to believe and have faith in the one true God. We always have choice, dear ones, no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

“After God’s grace touched and cleansed the soul of Rahab the harlot, and after her many heroic acts of faith (which we’re going to inspect one at a time, God opened the windows of heaven and poured out His rich, abundant blessings upon her life.” Pg 112

What were some of Rahab’s blessings? For one, Rahab was spared the invasion, and not only her, but her whole family! Yet, there is more….

Faith in God

 

Let’s fast forward:

– Rahab married Salmon, a prince in the house of Judah.

– Rahab begat Boaz….whose son was Obed…whose son was Jesse…whose son was David (Ruth 20-22)…through whose line Jesus was born (Matthew 1:1,5) Pg 112

But what of the title of this blog “Rahab Cameo of Courage.”

How is a cameo made?

Rahab Cameo of Courage

“Most women admire a delicate and carefully crafted cameo. The process of engraving a cameo begins with a multi-layered stone or shell. An engraver first etches a design, usually the profile of a woman, on the piece and then sets about carving a relief in the top layer. Lower layers serve as the background for the portrait.” ~ Pg 113

The results are a breathtaking contrast, a light color set against a dark background. Indeed Rahab was that light against her dark past and the grim backdrop of godlessness, war, and impending death in his city.

Rahab’s life offers us a cameo – a cameo of courage.

You may be in a dark situation right now or you may have been in a dark situation before God called you. It is the woman who believes and has faith in the one true God no matter what the circumstances are and uses that faith to DO the will of God in her life that are crafted in the cameos of faith.

“Rahab lived out what the New Testament apostle James wrote,

“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves…What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?…Faith by itsef, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 1:22; 2:14, 17)

“Pray, dear one! Ask God about your faith. Is it merely a “profession” of faith, or is there living proof that you are truly in “possession” of a living faith?” Pg 119

Rahab Woman of Faith

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Published in: on November 19, 2014 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whatsoever Things Are Lovely ~ Think On These Things

Failing Student Tom

“A partially deaf boy came home from school one day carrying a note from officials at the school.  The note suggested that the parents take the boy out of school, claiming that he was ‘too stupid to learn.’

The boy’s mother read the note and said, ‘My son Tom isn’t too stupid to learn!’  I’ll teach him myself!’  And so she did.

When Tom died many years later, the people of the United States of America paid tribute to him by turning off the nation’s lights for one full minute.  You see, this Tom had invented the light bulb — and not only that, but motion pictures and the record player.  In all, he had more than one thousand patents to his credit.

No child is beyond receiving affection and growing in self-esteem.  No child is beyond experiencing the presence of Almighty God.

Never give up on any aspect of your child’s growth and development.  Your Heavenly Father hasn’t, doesn’t, and won’t.” *

Never despair of your child.  The one you weep the most for at the mercy seat may fill your heart with the sweetest joys.” 

“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing…”

~ Psalm 126:6

Albert Einstein Childhood

Thomas Edison On Failure


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The Remarkable Women of the Bible Chapter 9 ~ Miriam

Miriam Leading Praise Songs

A Devoted Saint

Why does the negative memory of someone we know cloud out the good that they have done in their lives? When we think of certain characters in the Bible, what comes to mind when we say Solomon or Peter or David? We can learn from their mistakes but we can learn much more from the positive.  That is the case with Miriam.  In the last chapter we learned that Miriam, over 80 years of age, answered the men’s song of praise with her own, leading the women in song and dancing, praising the mighty God for the victory over the Egyptian army that God drowned in the Red Sea.

Song can be an important part of our spiritual lives. Is it in ours? We see in the Bible that David wrote many songs of his heart.  Paul admonishes us also to sing spiritual songs and hymns.

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:19 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Here we see brethren in the New Testament admonishing one another in songs as Miriam did and also giving praise to God in their own hearts.  Miriam was such a woman.  The leader of the women of the camp of Israel led them in song.  Whether it be sorrow, i.e., songs in the night” or joy of spirit, there is a Psalm or hymn that we can sing to give us hope and help express our joy and praise to God.

Let’s look at the example of one modern day woman.  She sang songs in the dark nights during her trials to help her have hope and give her peace.

Woman of Hymns

“In 1956, Elisabeth Elliot’s husband, Jim, was martyred by savage Auca Indians in Ecuador.  Later, when an interviewer asked this woman why hymns are an important part of her life, Mrs. Elliot responded:

‘I came from a home where we not only read the Bible every day, but we sang a hymn every day.  I have learned as a result of that [practice]…hundreds of hymns.  They are as much a part of my life as the Scriptures, and they have been a tremendous blessing to me in times of distress.’

‘Elisabeth Elliot went on to say that upon hearing that her husband might be dead, a verse of Scripture and the words of a hymn came to mind and ministered to her soul.  Mrs. Elliot shares:’

‘Isaiah 43 says, ‘When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers they shall not overflow thee.’  That ideas is also taken up in the great hymn… How Firm A foundation.’

When thro’ the deep waters I cause thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow.  For I will be with thee ty trials to bless, and sanctify to three they deepest distress.’ Pgs 101-102

I myself have gone through deep distress when my father passed away.  He was in a state of unconsciousness at the time my Mom, my sisters and I were singing one of my favorite hymns in his presence, hoping it would bring him comfort if he could possibly hear and also ourselves, “Be Not Afraid My People.”

Now before we depart from the story of Miriam, that remarkable leader of women, please notice the ways in which this senior saint gave of her energies at this point in her life.

~ Miriam was still in love with the Lord.

As the Israelites witnessed God’s destruction of their enemies, Miriam’s heart burst into praise and song as she worshiped the Lord.  (Exodus 15:21.  She shouted, “Sing to the Lord!”

 ~ Miriam was still leading the women.

Ever the leader, when Miriam’s hands reached for a timbrel and her soul sang in tribute to God, “all the women” joined her.  (Exodus 15:20)

~ Miriam was still serving her brothers.

In her later years she assisted both Moses and Aaron as these three siblings led God’s two million people out of Egypt and toward God’s Promised Land.  (Micah 6:4) Not only did the young Miriam care about her baby brother Moses, (Exodus 2:4) as his little basket floated along the Nile River (Exodus 2:4), but the spunky, energetic Miriam continued to help Moses and Aaron by attending to the needs of the women as the Israelites began their journey.

~ Miriam was still singing praises to God

Her worship was public, expressive, exuberant, and heartfelt as she came before His presence with song. She never tired of praising Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.

Whatever your age, dear sisters, continue – to the end! – To be women who love God, praise Him, and serve His people. Pgs 104-105

Yet, there is one terrible incident that sometimes is the first thought in some people’s minds, that of her verbally attacking and criticizing Moses. God then punished her with seven days of leprosy.  (Numbers 12)  She did not enter the Promised Land, she, nor Aaron, nor Moses, because of not honoring God before the Israelites. (Numbers 20:2-12) How sad this picture is, for God takes leadership of His people seriously, and the punishment is sometimes harsher for those who have such important responsibilities. Indeed many of us remember the flaw of Miriam when she comes to remembrance; yet, we do not remember how much she served the Lord.

What would Miriam’s gravestone say if we were able to choose the words?

Here lies a remarkable woman

who loved God, her family

and God’s people

and served them with

all of her heart, soul,

mind and strength.  Pg 106

Remember Miriam

~ Miriam’s Message For You Today~

I can think of nothing worse than living your whole life and then, at life’s end, realizing that there is nothing lasting that remains.  Well, that was not the case with Miriam.  Indeed, her lasting impact continues to affect us across the centuries.  And her message is loud and clear!  What do we learn from Miriam?

First – Beyond your relationship with God, your family is you’re most important relationship.  Careers are soon over.  Friends come and go, but your loyal relationship with family will have lasting impact.

Next, whether you are married or single, ministry to and with God’s people has lasting benefits.  Miriam’s decades of faithful service as a devoted saint gained momentum with each passing year.  She teaches us that “senior hood” equal “servant hood.”

And finally, sin may have its consequence, but unfortunate missteps or even significant sins in ourselves or others should not be seen as final.  God’s grace is there to pick us up and put us back on the path to usefulness to our family and our church. Pgs 106-107

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Published in: on June 15, 2014 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ Chapter 8 ~ Miriam

Devoted Sister ~ Remarkable Leader

“And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him.”

~ Exodus 2:4

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Many mothers desire to raise their children to be men and women of faith, to love their siblings, to love their fellow man.  Jochebed, the mother of Miriam had no less of a desire.  Moses was the youngest of her three children Aaron, Miriam, then Moses.  She was now faced with a terrible dilemma.  Pharaoh had ordered the newborn Hebrew male infants to be thrown into the Nile and drowned (Exodus 1:22) as we had read in Chapter 7.  No doubt Miriam helped her mother with hiding Moses for three long months.  Could you imagine, quieting a hungry, restless, or uncomfortable crying child for three months? That must have been a nerve rattling experience for them! She thought of a plan to save her son.  She made a basket of bulrushes and lined it with pitch and lay Moses in it onto the reeds of the Nile River.

Jochebed could trust Miriam, his older sister, to stand guard over the basket.  Miriam followed and watched, waiting to see what would become of her little brother.  She was a dedicated sister and a wonderful helper to her mother. At the opportune time, Pharaoh’s daughter would find Moses and have compassion on him and would take him for her own son.

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Now where do you think that Miriam developed such a strong family loyalty? She probably learned it from her wonderful mother.  Even today, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, etc. can also aid in the development of family loyalty and instill the values that God has designed all mothers to instill into their children by their example and by teaching them the ways of God. What are some of the ways we can teach family loyalty and kindness to members within the same family?

Daily efforts to do the following will help.

~ Teach siblings to love one another (John 15:12,17) Encourage brothers and sisters to pray for one another and to do secret acts of kindness for one another.

~ Openly express kindness and concern for others. (Proverbs 12:25) Children repeat what they hear and mimic what they see.  So be a living model of Jesus Christ, acting with kindness and compassion.

~ Express love openly.  Be affectionate and verbal.  Say “I love you” every time you say goodbye or talk on the phone to your children.

~ Cultivate strong family ties.  Develop a “three musketeers mentality” of “one for all and all for one.”  See that each family member supports and encouraged the others.

~ Pray for God’s love to be made manifest by your children.  (Galatians 5:22)

And remember, too, that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous mother avails much! (James 5:16) ] pg 90

In the Jewish culture, girls remained under their mother’s care until marriage, unlike today.  There was plenty of opportunity for their daughters to be mentored by their mother.  For approximately twelve years Jochebed brought up Miriam to possess the vital qualities of diligence, faithfulness, responsibility, and wisdom.  She mirrored her mother’s faithfulness and those “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20) she wanted to instill in her children.  Remember in Chapter 7 we discussed how during the first three years of a child’s life, a child can imitate and develop very quickly the ways of their caregivers.  How much more would your daughter gain from your example until she weds? Even if one is in the unmarried season of life, she can learn a great deal from a Christian mentor.  Indeed, there is nowhere in scripture that tells of Miriam ever being married or having children, yet she did not fill her time with mourning but was a wonderful tool in God’s great hands.  God speaks in the New Testament of unmarried women who dedicate their lives to God:

“There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

~ 1 Corinthians 7:34 

Yes, if you find yourself in the season of life where singleness may be what God has given you for a time, devote your time to becoming a servant in God’s ministry, as Miriam devoted her life to her brothers Aaron and Moses and to the people of God.  Single women have more time to devote to God’s very heart, having the time and availability to do the will of our Father in heaven, visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction, taking care of the needs of those who are hungry, discouraged, etc., women of which we are in desperate need of in the churches of God today.

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Let us travel back in time again to the scene of Miriam following her little brother Moses in the basket made by her mother in the Nile’s reeds.  Yes, she displayed courage stepping forward to offer help to the princess when she found Moses in the Nile. She asked the princess if she would like her to find a nursing Hebrew woman to feed the little one, which would turn out to be Moses’ own mother!  Here she exemplified her qualities of compassion, loyalty to her family.

Because of Miriam’s quick thinking, a triple blessing was reaped by her family:

~ Moses’ life was saved.

~ Jochebed received her baby back.

~ Jochebed even received wages from the pharaoh’s daughter for nursing Moses. (vs 9)

Teaching your children love, mercy, caring, and compassion along with diligence, faithfulness, responsibility, and wisdom – the kinds of traits we see in Miriam – begin with you dear mom.  Your children will mirror your merits.  What are they seeing in you and learning from your actions?  Whatever you sow, that shall you reap. (Galatians 6:7) pgs 91-92

Miriam grew and became an even stronger woman of God, devoted to family, and also then devoted to becoming one of the three leaders of Israel, Moses, Aaron, and herself.  The Bible also speaks of Miriam being the first female prophetess and the one to lead the people in rejoicing for God’s greatness for saving their lives from Pharaoh’s army.

“And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

~ Exodus 15:21 

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From that day forth, Israel would always sing about exceptional victories because of Miriam’s example of singing praises to God for His help in times of adversity. Yes, Miriam was a natural born leader of God’s people. She was a woman who exemplified service, gratitude, a thankful heart for God’s mercy and graciousness.

“For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.”

~ Micah 6:4 

In conclusion, who was this woman Miriam? She was a devoted sister and an exceptional single woman in the hands of a mighty and gracious God.

Let our love be manifested this day, whether a diligent mother as Jochebed, teaching the ways of God to the next generation or a single woman, who in her season of life will show forth the very attributes of God’s tender love, mercy, and loyalty to His people.  Let’s move forward in any season of our life with joy and with singing, thanking Him for the glorious things He has done in our own lives!

 

To see previous chapters, see below:

Chapter 1 ~ Eve, Remarkable Creation

Chapter 2 ~ Sarah, Remarkable Faith

Chapter 3 ~ Sarah, Advanced Steps in Faith

Chapter 4 ~ Sarah, Rewards of Faith

Chapter 5 ~ Rebekah, Ready, Willing, and Able

Chapter 6 ~ Rebekah, Tests of Faith

Chapter 7 ~ Remarkable Mother

To learn the wonderful purpose of our life on earth and the promise of a time of great peace on the earth, please see our booklet What is Your Destiny.

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The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ Chapter 7 ~ Jochebed

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Remarkable Mother ~ Remarkable Woman of Faith

Chapter 7 of the Remarkable Women of the Bible And Their Message For Your Life Today by Elizabeth George begins with the story of Jochebed.

Times were tough for Jochebed and her family.  We go through many trials in our life, but Jochebed, a woman who feared God, had the one of the worst nightmares of any mother.  Pharaoh of ancient Egypt saw that the Hebrews were multiplying greatly and feared that they would consider a revolt.  (Genesis 1:7-10) Pharaoh gave the midwives an order to kill any boy that was born of the Hebrew women and let the female infants live.  (Exodus 1:15-16) Imagine the horror Jochebed faced when approaching her delivery date. She remained faithful through all of the frightening circumstances and was placed in the hall of fame for her faith in the Almighty. She hid her son Moses for three and one-half months when Pharaoh’s edict was sent to throw the young newborns into the Nile River.  (Hebrews 11:23) We can glean faith from a woman of God who faced her trial with confidence and trust in God.

“Jochebed shows you how to hold up your frightening, seemingly impossible situations to your Father in heaven.  Worry ends when faith begins…and that faith ends when worry begins. So make a decision to face your trials with courage fueled by faith.  Make a decision to refuse to fear and to instead place your trust in God.  Declare with David, ‘Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.’”  (Psalm 56:3) pg 78

Perhaps Jochebed had so great a faith in God because she would have been taught by her parents of the promise to Abraham, how God had miraculously blessed Abraham with a son in his old age and had been with him and performed miracles throughout his life. God gave the promises of a great nation to Abraham because He knew he would command his children and his household after him that they would teach his children and his children’s children the way of God.

Genesis 18:17-19 Yahweh said, “Will I hide from Abraham what I do, seeing that Abraham has surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?” 

Genesis 18:19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.”

How important is our faith in the rearing of our children in the way of the Lord?  Ask yourself this question, ‘Does my son or daughter know more about human men with supernatural powers than the God of the Bible?  Someday, there will be another persecution, and they will need the faith of Jochebed and the faith of many of those who have gone before us who were taught the way of God diligently.  Our children are the heritage of the Lord and are chosen by God to be kings and priests if they also follow in our footsteps, if we set the right example of  loving the Lord with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our minds.

After Jochebed could no longer conceal her son at three months, she made a boat (ark) with reeds and placed tar inside to keep the dangerous waters of the Nile from drowning her little one.  Sound familiar?

Exodus 2:3 “When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and with pitch. She put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank.”

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Was Noah saved by an “ark” that was pitched with tar?

Genesis 6:14 “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.”

Again, did she recall the miracle of God saving Noah and his family because she heard from her parents of the great flood that encompassed the earth?  This may shed a little more light on why Jochebed had such faith, being taught and teaching her family the statutes and judgments of God.  God commanded the Israelites to remember to teach their sons and sons’ son in the way of God.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 “Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is one:  and you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.  These words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

Again we see David expounding this command:

Psalms 78:4-7 “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of Yahweh, his strength, and his wondrous works that he has done.  For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born; who should arise and tell their children, that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.”

Time With Mother

Another point to consider is that she was allowed to spend time with Moses by the daughter of the Pharaoh.  The first bond and closeness of the mother and her offspring is so very important.  No daycare can give your child the closeness and love that a real mother can.

Did Jochebed speak of God and live out her faith as she nursed Moses?

“If you are a mother, grandmother, or aunt, God’s high calling for you is to devote yourself and your time to those children during the first few years of their lives.  God has given you the important role of teaching His little ones, of informing them about Him, of nurturing them up for Him, of giving Him a godly man or woman to use for His great purposes, and Jochebed shows us how” pg 79

Are we aware of the special purpose of our children’s future?  Our children are holy because we are holy, set apart, they may be princes and princesses of God.  The princes and princesses  of the world today receive a special education. They are tutored for a role that they will perform one day.  Do we spend time with our children and make them aware that they have a special role to play in God’s plan for mankind?  Their potential, in God’s eyes, is far beyond what superheroes can ever achieve.  None of them ever became a king or queen and/or a priest to guide this untoward world into an age of peace and harmony. Our children are the future, and they need to know this in order to prepare themselves for their calling.

During the Feast of Tabernacles is a great time to celebrate their importance to God, that is they are our future.  They will be the leaders along with us guiding the world in the millennium.

Moses knew that God, by his hand, would deliver the children of Israel. (Acts 7:25) How did Moses come to that conclusion?  Did his mother inform him that he was to become the leader of a great nation from birth? It’s a curious question.  Moses understood the love that his mother had for him even as He grew in Pharaoh’s house.  I’m certain that his mother informed him of this while she nursed him.  He had a special bond with his mother just as all nursing infants have.  Three years of closeness with our own children are priceless.

“Just a few years! Do you know that 50 percent of a child’s character and personality development takes place by age three and 75 percent by age five?  The first years of a child’s life are critical years for input and training.  Jochebed was one of God’s faithful mothers who devoted her time those first critical years to train her son in the ways of the Lord.  Indeed, the only time that she had with her little boy were those few years.  If you’re a mom, please take seriously your calling as a mother.  Just a few years of time devoted to God’s little ones make a world of difference!” Pg  80.

I believe that all of the years of a child’s life are important years, and that their training should all be in light of the glory of God, not evolution, not learning the ways of the world, but the ways of God.

Let’s let Jochebed’s  life be an example of the faith of a remarkable servant of God and also a remarkable mother who brought up all three of her children in the way of the Lord:

Aaron, her first born became Israel’s first high priest, marking the beginning of the Aaronic priesthood (Exodus 30:30)

Her daughter Miriam was  a gifted poet and musician who led the Israelite women in a victory song after God delivered them from the Pharaoh’s army , (Exodus 15:20) and with her brother was intimately involved in God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt oppression.

Moses, a small baby that Jochebed gave to pharaoh’s daughter in order to save his life (Exodus 2:10), was used by God to lead His people out of Egypt and to communicate to them His fundamental commands for life (Exodus 4:11-12; 24:3). Pgs 82-84

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How much importance should we place upon the career of motherhood when it is used for God’s glory?  There is no comparison.

Jochebed was the first person in Scripture to have a name compounded with Jah, or Jehovah.  Jochebed means “glory of Jehovah,” Jehovah is her glory,” or Jehovah is our glory.”  Pg 79

Will we, as daughters of the most High, bring glory to God by following the example of the faith and love of Jochebed? She gives us the example.  Let’s follow in her footsteps of faith, and God will give us a new name at His return.  What name will that be? Will it be for God’s glory?

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God.”

Chapter 1 ~ Eve, Remarkable Creation

Chapter 2 ~ Sarah, Remarkable Faith

Chapter 3 ~ Sarah, Advanced Steps in Faith

Chapter 4 ~ Sarah, Rewards of Faith

Chapter 5 ~ Rebekah, Ready, Willing, and Able

Chapter 6 ~ Rebekah, Tests of Faith

To learn the wonderful purpose of our life on earth and the promise of a time of great peace on the earth, please see our booklet What is Your Destiny.

The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ Chapter 6

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

Rebekah ~ Tests of Faith

“And Rebekah said, “I am weary of my life.’” ~ Genesis 27:46

Each day when we awaken, none of us know what the course of our day will bring.  This happened to Rebekah.  Coming to the well to draw water was just like any other day, but this time her life would take a turn.  She was to start on her journey to become the bride of Isaac, one who would be the wife of the man of promises, that of great nations, that of as descendants that could not even be numbered, as many as the sands of the sea. But she didn’t know that when she awakened that morning to do her daily routine.  In the same vein, if we live in obedience to God every day, dealing with our ordinary daily routines, when our hearts and minds are yield to Him, God will also come for us at the appointed time to bring us to the wedding supper.  If we are doing our part, being “diligent, ready, willing to perform the spiritual tasks that God requires of us, allowing God to guide our lives, we never know what wonderful things lay in store.

We, like Rebekah will be tested along the way, perhaps in the same way, perhaps in others.  What were some of her tests of faith on her journey?

Test #1 – Leaving All

“Every healthy marriage involves “leaving and cleaving,” and it was no different for Rebekah.  After a bittersweet farewell to her family and a long journey through the desert, Rebekah caught the first glimpse of Isaac, her husband-to-be.  He was in the fields that evening as her caravan moved slowly toward the end of the strenuous 500-mile trek from her home to his.” Pg 66

Rebekah Seeing Isaac First Time

Spiritually, is not our life like Rebekah’s?  We also need to forsake all our carnal, worldly ways in order to live a life that is separate from the world, to “run the race” Christ has set before us in order to be ready for His return and eventually the marriage supper of the Lamb.  It isn’t an easy journey.  We travel down roads unfamiliar.  We are tested along the rugged hills and valleys, through sunny days but also tough, inclement weather at times along our spiritual journey. This was God’s will for physical Rebekah and God’s divine will for our lives.  We have to remember, but God had never left Rebekah as she obeyed Him, and God will not leave you either, his precious chosen spiritual daughters.  Be assured that at the end of our journey, we will meet our Husband to be to live a life of eternity with Him, chosen by the Father Himself.

Test #2 – Barrenness

“God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), and God’s timing is not always our time. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Isaac’s beautiful bride Rebekah had to learn these two lessons about God’s plans.  You see, their marriage made in heaven had one flaw.  Twenty years passed and there was no baby.  No baby to love.  No baby to love.  No baby to continue the family line.  No baby to stand as the flesh-and-blood testimony of God’s faithfulness to His promise. (Genesis 12:2).  As God reports it, “she was barren.”  (Genesis 25:21…and that was a test for Rebekah.” Pg 67

Consider what might have gone through Rebekah’s mind at this stage in her life.  Why? That is a question we might ask after we have taken the vows to love, honor, and obey God, after we are given the promises of God in our life.  It’s not easy, is it? God tests us, refines us with fire at times, only to purify us, as gold and silver is purified, but we can’t always see the end from the beginning.  That’s where faith comes into play.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen.  It is the hope of things to come.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

“Consider how the heartache of barrenness is often handled today. Doctors are consulted.  Parents are informed.  Best friends are updated daily.  Husbands can sometimes become the target of much anger, blaming, belittling, and criticism.  Emotions can swing from shock to sorrow, from fear to panic.  Arguments and complaints mixed with tears of discouragement and depression, can ring through homes where the happy blessing of children has been withheld.” Pg 67

“What word of advice would God’s couple, Rebekah and Isaac have for us today when our dreams are thwarted?  In a word, pray.  ‘Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife’ because she was barren, and the Lord granted His plea, and Rebekah, his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21) Pg 68

Have you ever pleaded with God in prayer for an answer that seemingly did not come when you desired it, but when it was God’s timing?  Was God involved?  Yes. God never left them.  He was always with them on their journey, but He answers prayers in His own time, for His own purposes.  Sometimes, we can’t always understand why until after many years, but we do know for certain that God’s love never leaves us.  He is our Father and takes care of His children.  No matter what your trouble is, God cares, and He cares deeply.

“For what are you waiting, dear one?  Leave the desires of your heart with God through prayer and live each day in full contentment and confidence that your life – just as it is – is a part of God’s perfect plan and His perfect timing.  With prayer you can enjoy God’s peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7…for one more day…for as many days as God’s plan and God’s timing takes!” Pg 68

Test #3 – A Problem Pregnancy

Rebekah’s faith was indeed tested, and both she and Isaac prayed for God’s intervention.  Had prayers already been answered?  Yes, God had blessed Abraham’s prayer for a wife for Isaac.  He answered Isaac’s prayer for Rebekah to conceive after 20 years of waiting.  Now, there was something new, a trial of Rebekah’s pregnancy.  Something was wrong.  She felt her twins struggling within her womb. If you have ever been with child, you know the discomfort it can have on your body during the last months of pregnancy with sleepless nights and pressure on your back, pelvic bones, etc., but this was not an ordinary pregnancy.  She was in pain.  She felt an unusual amount, as her twins struggled within her.  Rebekah’s once again prayed to the Lord to find the solution. Yes, “feeling uneasy commotion in her body, she wondered, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’” Did God answer her prayer once again?  Yes.

Test #4 – Family Problems

What was God’s answer to Rebekah’s prayer concerning her problem pregnancy?  God informed Rebekah that she carried within her twins and the prophecy concerning both their future fates.

“And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” ~ Genesis 25:23

 “Her twins would reverse the traditional roles of firstborn.  That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? So, what’s the big problem?  Beloved, an entire book could be written on the pain Rebekah’s problem children brought to her heart, her marriage, and the world!  We won’t go into depth about the lifelong conflict between Jacob and Esau, Rebekah’s twin sons.  And time and space do not permit an in-depth discussion of Rebekah’s role in promoting the conflict between the two brothers.  But here’s a list of the sorrows that soon became the constant atmosphere in Rebekah’s home-sweet-home.” Pg 70

 Partiality

Profanity

Strife

Favoritism

Jealousy

Lying

Deception

Trouble

Indulgence

Misery

Evil

Separation

Confusion

Alienation

Injustice

Sin

Grief

Heartache

Rebekah’s beautiful marriage and her hopes of a beautiful family life turned sour.  Her own words declare her anguish – ‘I am weary of my life.”  (Genesis 27:46)

~ Checkpoint on the Journey ~

“Rebekah exhibited her faith in God by praying to Him and inquiring of Him.  When perplexed, disturbed, anxious, and distressed, she turned anxiety into asking.  Why not make it your practice to do the same – to turn your anxiety into asking?  Why not take your problems and struggles and routinely….

Go into the sanctuary of God (Psalm 73:17)

Spread out your case before the Lord (2 Kings 19:14),

And ask counsel at the Almighty’s throne. (Hebrews 4:16)?” Pg 71

We all struggle with life’s issues at times.  Sometimes we can feel all alone in our battles.  “If I were more Christian, perhaps trials would not encompass me much as they do.”  Yes, we can be troubling our own hearts with sins we commit, but as we see from the countless stories of the women of God in the scriptures, they can be women of faith and God can continue to build faith with the struggles we encounter in life.

~Rebekah’s Message For Our Life Today ~

“Everyone struggles…and so did Rebekah.  And every struggle is a test of our faith.  We struggle I marriage, with finances, with health problems, with family members, in our career, in our job, with friends, and with temptation.  Rebekah’s life certainly didn’t turn out as she wished!  She failed too many ways as a wife and a mother, but through her remarkable life’s journey with its hills and valleys, you and I learn many life lessons.

1.  Decisions must be guided by God’s Word.

2.  Problems must be prayed over.

3.  Marriage must be worked at.

4.  Children must be raised without favoritism.

5.  God must be trusted at all times.” Pg 73

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

To read previous chapters:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

 

The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 5

Rebekah-Eliezer

Rebekah ~ Ready, Willing, and Able

This chapter begins with a discussion of the Godly characteristics of a single woman.  Many of her qualities are a good example to us of a woman of valor (Proverbs 31).  In the Bible account Isaac was nearing 40 years of age, and Abraham sent his trusted servant to find a wife for him to continue to carry on with the promises that God have given to him to be the father of many nations.  What were the qualities that the servant looked for? What characteristics did Rebekah display, which can be embraced by our single women today?

Rebekah’s purity: She was a virgin – “No man had known her.” (Genesis 24:16)

Rebekah’s busyness: Rather than looking for a husband, languishing, moping, or mourning over the lack of one, Rebekah stayed busy serving her family and others. (Genesis 24:15-24)

Rebekah’s hospitality: Her home was open to those who needed her care. (Genesis 24:25)

Rebekah’s energy: Abundant energy is generally a sign of happiness, and Rebekah’s happiness empowered her with energy enough to serve other people far beyond the minimum.  Rebekah ministered to the maximum! pg 55-56

Before continuing, let’s look at God’s plan for single women.  God calls his special servants to a life of:

Purity: A single Christian woman is to remain “holy both in body and spirit.” 1 Corinthians 7:34

Ministry: A single Christian woman is to live her life in a way that reflects her complete dedication to God.  As one who is unmarried, she has the privilege of undistracted service to God and caring for “the things of the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:34) Every day a woman is single is another glorious day to serve God wholeheartedly and without distraction.  Her singleness is a “green light” from God to go all out in service to others. (pg 56)

Checkpoint On The Journey

Is singleness a reality for you today dear woman of God? Although you may desired to be married, let not your longing slay your appetite for living. …Accept and thank God for what “is” given, not allowing the “not”  given to spoil it. (pg 56)

We also find a Godly characteristic of Rebekah in her willingness “to go.” Abraham then sent his 85-year-old servant on a 500-mile journey, back to where his people lived to find a wife for his son.  Rebekah was willing to go on that long journey to become Isaac’s wife upon being chosen by God. She followed the calling of God to move away from her family, just as Sarah followed Abraham wherever God was leading him. This is a characteristic of a Godly woman.

Let’s consider Abraham’s qualifications for a Godly wife:

She must not be a Canaanite.  (Genesis 24:3) No, she wasn’’t to be a wife of a godless people who might lead Isaac and his offspring away from the true God.

Do we struggle with the thought of marrying outside our own faith? God instructed His servants to marry within their own belief system, their own tribe, their own people.  Marrying outside of God’s way of life invited strange idolatrous customs to enter into their households. Those who did not take devoting their life to God seriously suffered serious consequences.

She must be from among Abraham’s own family. (Genesis 24:4)

She must be willing to follow his servant back to the land of Abraham and Isaac, a woman willing to forsake all – in faith –for the glorious future God had ordained. (Genesis 24:5) (pg 57)

How would you describe your devotion to God? Are you willing to forsake the worldly ways (I John 2:16) and follow God’s calling to take up your cross and follow Him, no matter how long, no matter how difficult it may be?

““And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.””

~ Luke 9:23

As a woman of God, you have a powerful influence on those around you.  One single match can be seen up to two miles away in complete darkness.  How much are you allowing your light to shine at this point in your life?

Notice that Abraham’s servant Eliezer spoke with God beforehand, entreating Him concerning His choice for Isaac,.  Eliezer was not focused on outward appearance or material wealth, but only asked for Godly characteristics and stamina for her to be able to make the grueling 500-mile journey and to flourish in a difficult nomadic life.

Women of God, what’s on your checklist?

Single or married, are you focusing on Godly characteristics, rather than on beauty or affluence? Pray about your desires and adjust your standards to match the qualities that God desires in women, not what the world’s call to modern feminism consists of.  Degrees, high job status, and total independence are not what God holds in high esteem; rather He looks for a true servant’s heart and a meek and gentle spirit. He looks for your dependence on Him to make the facing of life’s challenges more fruitful.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.””  

~ I Peter 3:3-4

Imagine the want ad that Eliezer would write to find Isaac’s new wife:

Wanted: The Ideal Wife

Must be physically strong and healthy,

energetic and able to work hard.

Must be friendly and industrious,

kind and compassionate,

generous and love to serve –

and Devoted to God.

After Eliezer’s prayer to the Almighty, he sat down by a well at the time of day when the women of the town came to draw water. Weary from the long journey, he and his ten camels needed water to refresh and sustain them.  A young woman came with a pitcher on her shoulder to the well and offered him a drink of water.  Hospitality is one of the Godly characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman.  Not only did she offer Eliezer water to refresh him, she went on and watered all of his camels!  No small chore to do for anyone, especially a stranger.  How many draws of water from the well would you think she would have to perform to water ten camels?  A camel can drink up to 25 gallons of water after a long journey! Yes, Rebekah went the extra mile in service to a stranger. Then rather than leaving the exhausted stranger, she serves yet again by inviting Abraham’s servant Eliezer to her home to  find rest after his long journey.

Able

How much do we judge the other’s person’s character by our first impressions? Eliezer’s impression was definitely positive when it came to Rebekah.  Yes, he noticed that she was willing to work with her hands, drawing water for him, as well as his camels, and she also came at the appointed time.  Yes, she was on time! She didn’t drag her feet when the work was to be done.  The Proverbs 31 woman works willingly with her hands.  We see her rising up early to feed her servants!  She had servants, why didn’t she have them wait on her first? I find this remarkable.  Her attitude and willingness to do menial tasks.

“She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

~ Proverbs 31:15

We also see this in the case of Sarah.  When the messengers came to recount the promises to Abraham, he asks Sarah to go ahead and make cakes for them.  We don’t hear Sarah complaining, “Why are you asking me? We have servants? I’m the master!” No, we see her heart of servitude, just as we see with Rebekah.

“And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.”

~ Genesis 18:6

Checkpoint on the journey:  Do you think hard work is degrading? Do you think hard work is to be done by other people, not you? Do you dread rolling up your sleeves and working hard on some necessary task?  Here in God’s word  God praises the enchanting Rebekah.  So, if your are tempted to disdain your work, allow God’s thoughts about yet another remarkable – the Proverbs 31 woman – to correct your thinking.  She “willingly works with her hands….she girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.  Strength and honor are her clothing.” (Proverbs 31:13, 17, 25) God values women who work hard to serve Him, and the people He puts in their lives.” (pg 60)

“But I’m not strong.  I have a disability.  How can I strengthen my arms, when I’m weak?” you might ask. We might not have the physical strength to do hard labor, such as one who is aged, illness or debilitating disease, but our strength can be one of encouragement, support, a beautiful smile and being there for someone in distress.  There are so many ways in which we can strengthen our arms to do even these things.  A prayer of intercession made for someone, a card sent to someone sick in the hospital or a phone call is a menial task to some, but worth great wealth to God, and it will also mean more than you know to someone who is suffering through a difficult trial.

Willing To Go

When Eliezer states to her family the reason for his visit, to find a wife for Isaac, her parents ask if she might stay just a few more days (Genesis 24:55) with her family before leaving, but she said she would willingly go immediately (vs 58).  Even though she would probably never see her family again, even though she did not have time to prepare, even though life would be stressful as a nomad’s wife, she willingly went with Eliezer to meet her new husband.  That was an act of faith.

Take a serious inventory of your own life of faith.  Is there any act of faith you are postponing – even for “just a few days”?  Any decision you are putting off?  Any step of faith you are delaying?  Waiting may be easier, but the harder path of true faith is the path to greater blessing.  Delayed obedience is in actuality disobedience, and delayed action delays God’s blessing.  Every step of faith is a giant step toward the center of God’s will, and God’s abundant blessings. (pg 63)

So, what can we learn from our first encounter with Rebekah? We can challenge our spiritual and physical lives whether we are ready, willing, and able to perform the work God puts before us.  Let’s be ready and willing to receive the blessings God has for us as well for a job well done! :)

Next Chapter:  “Rebekah ~ Tests of Faith”

To Read Previous Chapter Posts See Below:

Chapter 1 “Eve ~ Remarkable Creation”

Chapter 2 “Sarah ~ First Steps in Faith”

Chapter 3 “Sarah ~ Advanced Steps in Faith”

Chapter 4 “Sarah ~ Rewards of Faith”

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

 

 

The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 4

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

Rewards of Faith

In chapters 2 and 3 of “The Remarkable Women of the Bible and Their Lessons For Us Today” we peer into the life of Sarah.  We see in Hebrews Sarah mentioned as a woman of faith.

“Through faith also Sarah 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.” 

~ Hebrews 11:11

Indeed, Sarah was truly a woman of faith. We have seen Sarah uprooting from her homeland to be Abraham’s companion on his journey to wherever God led him.  She left her family and her people to follow him as he followed God, making us her “daughters” if we follow her example of submission to follow her husband as God led him.  Do we follow our husband’s lead as he follows God?  Peter states that we are Sarah’s daughter if we develop a meek and quiet spirit and are submissive as Sarah had become:

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

~ I Peter 3:4

“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.”

~ I Peter 3:5

Abraham's Journeys

We have seen that Sarah waited ten long years after the promises were made to Abraham, and then still being barren, assumed presumptuously that God may have had different plans as to how these promises would be fulfilled, that it must not be God’s will that she be the one to bear Abraham’s child.  Therefore, she gave Abraham her handmaiden Hagar to bear a child through her, which was a common custom in those days. This was not in God’s will, however, but we have also learned that Sarah herself was not specifically stated as being the “one” through which Abraham would be the father of many nations at the time she made this decision.

We can find comfort in the fact that while we can have faith in God’s particular promises for us, we may make mistakes in judgment in how to accomplish it along the way at times, but God is understanding and knows our weaknesses.  Yes, we can find mercy and grace in the God of all comfort when slip and fall, using our own human reasoning at times on our journey to the Kingdom.  We also learn through Sarah’s story that we, no matter how merciful and forgiving God is, have to deal with the consequences of our sins in this life.

Then we saw that it was 24 years after the promises were made to Abraham that messengers along with the Lord himself came to Abraham to restate the promises, but this time specifically mentioning Sarah as the one to bear the promised seed.  Previously, she was not mentioned by name, and now it was clear in her mind what the Lord would do.  Sarah laughed.  Yes, she laughed within herself.  Did Sarah lack faith when she laughed within herself.  In the last chapter I’ve stated why I think this was a reaction of amazement, a laughter of “Could it be so, after all this time?” “Could I find pleasure (joy) in having a child in my old age?” (Genesis 18:12) Sarah now being 89 years of age. The Lord encouraged her further, by telling Abraham “Is anything too hard for God?” (Genesis 18:14)

Sarah  and Abraham

Are we waiting for certain promises to be fulfilled in our own lives?

“A prodigal to return to his or her father?  Are you waiting for release of a physical affliction?  Perhaps you are waiting for a husband – or for your husband to return to the Lord more deeply, or to be a spiritual leader in your home.  Could it be waiting like your sister Sarah for a baby.  Or are you waiting for vindication of some unfortunate misunderstanding for God to come to your rescue to show forth His righteousness on your behalf? (Psalm 73:6)  Are you eagerly waiting for the (Kingdom)* for the groaning of your body to cease, for your ultimate victory?

“God bids you to wait – in readiness and expectation – on His riches, on His rewards, just as Sarah did, whose sister you are if you trust in the Lord. (I Peter 3:5-6) pg 48

What blessings can we gain by waiting on God’s “appointed time?”

Blessing #1: Increased value – Waiting increases the value and importance of the thing waited for.  Whether you’re waiting for deliverance from suffering, the discovery of God’s purposes, direction for your confused life, a home at last, a wedding day, a family reunion, a prodigal’s return, or a child’s birth waiting makes the desired object a greater treasure once it is received.”

Blessing #2: Increased time – No one has enough time.  But the one who waits is given the precious gift of time – time to embrace life’s circumstances, time to press closer to God’s loving and understanding heart, time to grow in the hard-won grace of patience, time to feel more deeply the pain of others who also wait with flickering faith.

Blessing #3: Increased faith – The writer of Hebrews defines faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Please read the rest of Hebrews 11, and notice how the saints through the ages (including Abraham and Sarah) had their faith increased by waiting.  Faith grows and is strengthened through time.

So, while you wait, be encouraged.  We can believe Romans 8:28:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

He Who has promised is faithful to His own promises.  There are over 8,000 promises in the Bible.  I once had a little “Promises of God” book that I kept with me most of the time throughout my heaviest trials put together by categories.  I pulled that little book out any time I started to lose faith or anxiety overtook me.

What do you, by faith, believe to be true of God? Note the “miracles”:

*Eternal life — “I give them Eternal life” (John 10:28)

*Sufficient grace — “My grace is sufficient.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

*Strength for life — “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”  (Philippians 4:13)

*His everlasting presence — “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9) pg 47

What promises and miracles did Sarah receive after 25 years of waiting?

*The witnessing of miracles — The 100-year-old Abraham fathered a child!  The 90-year-old Sarah conceived and bore a son!  And still another miracle followed as Sarah’s worn out body sustained the life of her little one as she nursed him!

*The working of faith — Sarah inherited the promise of a child by”faith and patience:; she exhibited the full assurance of hope until the end (Hebrews 6:11-12)

*The fulfillment of God’s promise — Wrapped up in Sarah’s little baby was God’s fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12:2), and the continuance of the family line that would give rise to God’s own Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:2, 17)

*A child to love — God made the barren Sarah “A joyful mother of children.”  (Psalms 113:9)

Indeed, God Himself shared with Abraham and Sarah His promise of a great nation coming through Abraham and as we saw above great miracles.  They earned the place in Hebrew’s Hall of Faith.  What trials are you challenged with today that could be used to exercise your faith? Faith is hope in what is “NOT” seen yet. (Hebrews 11:1)  I sometimes see the small and great challenges that some women are facing, but along with it great faith – yes faith in huge trials and also faith in the day-to-day small battles they are faced with. Sometimes I share with them that perhaps someday they might be may be counted worthy of being placed along Sarah in the Hall of Faith.  Sarah gives us great hope that although we may make mistakes in our judgments at times, if we wholeheartedly are striving to live our lives according to His word, God is faithful to His promises and His rewards many.

One last note:

“Dear one, “with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)  Nothing is too hard for the Lord!  So, I ask you, what trials and temptations do you currently face?  Does some difficulty or affliction affect your every moment?  Do you live alone?  Are your days or your health waning?  Are you stretched to the limit by the demands of each day?  Identify your greatest challenge and then look to the Lord with the greatest of faith.  Remember, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1) pg 51

Be encouraged!

Your Comment Are Important To Me!

To read previous chapters:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

*This word was changed for emphasis.

 

Psalms of a Woman

Parting of the Red Sea

PASSOVER PRAYER

You brought us out of Egypt

Yet sin is in us still

Cleanse us now from secret faults

And help us search Your will

 

For You delivered us from sin

A price was sorely paid

Your only Son You sacrificed

Our stripes were on Him laid

 

Help us now to not look back

On Egypt to desire

The worldly ways that call to us

Each day that does transpire

 

Help us be like Miriam

Who sang a joyful song

When the sea was driven back

You led the mighty throng

 

So, help us now to not look back

To run the race You’ve given

Forward as we travel on

For grace has now been given

~ April 2014

Miriam Singing For Joy

 “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

~ Psalms 19:12

“But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”

~ Romans 7:23

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

~ Revelation 18:4

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

~ James 4:4

 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

~ 1 John 2:15

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

~ Matthew 6:10

 “He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”

~ Matthew 26:42

“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.”

Exodus 15:20

“And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

Exodus 15:21

 “Therefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

~ Hebrews 12:1

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

~ Hebrews 12:2

Your Comment Are Important To Me!

Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Passover ~ When We Can’t Forgive Ourselves

Perfectionist Depression

Women who are perfectionists, even for the most noble of reasons, that of pleasing God, can often fall into discouragement and even depression because they have a hard time forgiving themselves for mistakes made.  I know.  I was one of them.  We have a checklist each day.  We check it twice.  We check it more than twice.  How about all day long? We have our daily checklist of what the perfect woman, wife, mother, serving member of a church, and/or good neighbor is, and when we slip up….. Well, if they could invent an invisible flog only to be felt by ourselves, I think we would be one of the first ones to run out and purchase one.

Not being able to forgive oneself for mistakes can literally cripple your joy and make life miserable.  The simple truth is, my dear daughters in Christ, WE CAN’T! That’s what Christ’s sacrifice is for.  We’re simply not big enough or powerful enough to do it.  ALL have sinned.  We ALL are growing.  We’re God’s children, and when we put forth our best effort, though not perfect, God is pleased. Remember the verse “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” I might add here, “not who are diligently perfect in everything.” Somehow, we tend to forget that verse and concentrate on our flaws and imperfections.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” 

~ Hebrews 11:6

I’d like to consider my recent post on Abraham’s wife Sarah.  She was faithful enough to be written in the Hall of Fame in the faith chapter in Hebrews 11, considered a mother of faith, even though she suffered from many human weaknesses.

Yes, we can forget that it is faith in God’s ability to forgive that frees us from guilt. When Passover season comes around, many women who constantly question their worth, also tend to come to the Passover services with their heads hanging down, feeling that we have too much baggage to be forgiven.  God, however, says otherwise.  Passover is a time to remember that He, the Creator of all living, Creator of the entire universe is looking down on us with eyes that seek to willingly forgive us. If we come to Him with a humble attitude He is quick to praise us for jobs well done.

I have a feeling that David had this same propensity to be a perfectionist, to flog himself for every wrong thought.  When David wrote Psalms 51, I think he probably felt as we do at times.  We too need to have God restore us to the joy of His salvation.  Let’s look at the words of David:

“Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.  RESTORE unto me the JOY of thy salvation.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”

Psalm 51:11-13

Ahhhh.  I love that Psalm.  I meditate on it when I catch myself in the middle of flogging myself mentally.  I stop and remember these words and instead of beating myself up, go to God in prayer.  This helps to free us from the bondage we put ourselves under. God is the only one who can forgive our sins, and He is much greater and more powerful than you or I, and He willingly with gladness will give us grace in time of need if we’re repentant and our hearts are desiring to please Him.

Yes, the Passover is a solemn time, but it is also a joyous time.  He has given us eternal life willingly.  He didn’t have to.  He deeply desires to forgive us to give us hope and give us peace and joy.

Let’s look at the very Passover service Christ performed before He gave Himself on His own accord for us at His crucifixion.  He reminds us of the peace that He desires to give us.

Here are the some of the words that He wanted to leave with us right before his death…..

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.”

~ John 14:27-28

Yes, the Father indeed greater and bigger than our capabilities and willingly gave His Son to be our intercessor. Our Father, the great and powerful Almighty God is willing and able to forgive….even when we can’t.  Let’s remember this during this Holy Day season.  It is a season of thankfulness, a season of praise to the great God who loves us so much and deeply desires a relationship with us.

Yes, when we can’t forgive ourselves.  Don’t worry.  God can.  Be joyful for His perpetual grace!

Grateful Woman

Prayer: “Thank you Father for the continual grace you bestow on your children.  I know that I’m imperfect, but you are perfect.  I thank You for willingly giving Your Son as a sacrifice that washes  us clean and takes our sin away from us as far as east is from the west.  Help us to truly come to believe that, and help us to embrace it. Help us to remember that you promise to give us peace, a peace that the world cannot know.  We stand on your promises, dear God.  Help this day to be a day of joy and peace because of the great sacrifice we have in your Son that we are especially reminded of this time of year.  Help us to hold that promise close to our hearts as we walk with you each and every day throughout the year. We thank you.  We love and praise you. In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.”

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