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!

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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

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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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 Please see our booklet, Holidays or Holydays: Does It Matter Which Day We Observe?

Holidays or Holydays: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe?

Rubies ~ Are We Willing To Take The Pressure?

Virtuous Woman Proverbs 31:10

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” ~ Proverbs 31:10

At times, do trials seem to increase right before Passover season? This seems to be a constant theme for many people as this season approaches.  It would seem Satan does not appreciate this holyday, as it pictures Christ’s sacrifice, and he being defeated.  Christ now gives us the power over death, as we will be resurrected and become spirit-born children of God at His return.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”

~ Hebrews 2:14

Hebrew scholars have correlated the New Testament Passover services with the betrothal of Christ to the church.  Satan knows this, and this season, I believe, reminds him that in the end Christ wins, we are victorious, and he is utterly defeated.   He does not want us at Christ’s wedding supper at His return.

As we see in Revelation, it speaks of Satan going after the church because Satan is angry because he has very little time left, but once again, our Savior steps in and protects His people, His bride. (Revelation 12)

What does this have to do with the Proverbs 31 woman?  The Lord says:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

~ Proverbs 31:10

If we are striving to live the Proverbs 31 mandate, you can be sure that Satan is going to come out and try to attack those attributes to bring us down in our walk with God; but, “greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world.”

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

~ 1 John 4:4

1 John 4:4

We need to be on guard and vigilant, watching those areas with prayer and thankfulness because we have our Captain, Jesus Christ our Betrothed that goes before us.  With His help, we can look at those characteristics of the Proverbs 31 woman and strive, especially now with zeal to live them each and everyday and God will bless us and our families because of our faith and trust in Him. He has shown His faithfulness to us time and time again, and we need to remind ourselves of His constant care when trials beset us.

But what do trials have to do with rubies?

Because God compares the Proverbs 31 woman to rubies, I would like share what this precious gem has to do with some of the heavy trials we face at times in our lives and how God is forming in us beautiful spiritual qualities.

“Diamonds may get all the attention, but rubies and sapphires are the first choice of kings and the affluent because of their extreme rarity. Only special conditions, initiated by the Flood, could have produced these rare beauties.” 1

…but those little gems have had to go through a considerable amount of heat and pressure to form…then be cut and polished to appear in jewelry or be a part of Aaron’s breastplate of judgement.

“Rubies are formed beneath severe heat as well as pressure in the Earth’s crust. The elevated pressure as well as the temperature roots the elements accountable for the formation of rubies to become molten.” 1

Similarly, sometimes in our lives we feel as if we just can’t take the pressure, take the heat? There may be circumstances that are out of our control or trials that have gone on for extended periods of time.  We may become weary and burdened and wonder where God is in all of it, and perhaps even want to give up.  “Lord, it’s just not worth it,” you may ponder if the burden becomes too heavy to bear.  As stated above, rubies, like diamonds are created under intense heat and pressure deep inside the earth.  God also uses our trials to create these masterpieces, precious gems, that will eventually be mined, polished, and treasured.

If we, however, are willing to endure, to consciously make a determined effort…a choice to accept God’s sovereignty in our lives, and to lean on Him, the burden seems so much lighter and easier to bear.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

~ James 1:2-4

There have been many women in the Bible who have gone before us, determining that they were “willing” to endure, giving them a vision….that of becoming beautiful rubies. The Proverbs 31 women exhibited the Godly character traits we need to work on throughout our lives, and especially during trials if we are to be formed into this rare gem. It isn’t  easy to do, but it is necessary in the process to create  such a beautiful gem.

Proverbs 31 Woman

This we know for certain, if we allow God to manifest His workmanship in us now during this lifetime, we will used by God in His soon coming Kingdom to serve others, be a crown to our husband (Proverbs 12:4), and a blessing to our children.  (Proverbs 31:28)

Are we willing to take the pressure now?

It’s our choice.

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n2/rubies

2 http://www.ask.com/question/how-are-rubies-formed

The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 2

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

Sarah – Remarkable Faith

This extraordinary woman of faith in chapter Hebrews 11:11, Sarah, can be perplexing with the different viewpoints that are presented to us in books and sermons and as we read the many accounts in the Bible.  She, indeed according to God’s word, is held up as our spiritual mother if we are respectful to our own husbands as she was to her Abraham, “calling him lord,” a term of respect and honor.

“As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”

~ I Peter 3:6

This is brought home even further in Ephesians:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

~ Ephesians 5:22-34

I’d like to insert the following verse for later use in our discussions of Sarah and Abraham’s relationship:

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”

~ Ephesians 5:22

She not only is faithful to her husband but is also held up Biblically as a woman of Godly faith, in Hebrews 11:11:

“Through faith also Sara 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.”

As I read this chapter of The Remarkable Women of the Bible, it caused me to dig deeper into her life.  The author not only takes chapter 2 to discuss Sarah’s faith but also chapters 3 and 4.  Sarah’s faith was progressive, and it took the author two more chapters to explain it! As I said, there are many differing conclusions as to the true nature of Sarah’s life, and it was no different with this book study.  I would like to point some things with which I agree with the author.

Sarah And Abraham Nomads

Her Journey

We first encounter Sarah’s budding faith when she willingly follows her husband’s charge to leave her homeland and become a tent dweller. Abraham’s vision from God foretold the promise of Abraham to become the father of many nations.  Yes, according to God’s vision, he was to gather up all he had and leave his homeland of Ur, situated on the lush banks of the Euphrates River.  I have to insert here that Ur was no small village, but a teaming, affluent city, second in commerce only to Egypt at the time.  They probably had a very comfortable life in Ur.  Abraham had many cattle, servants, and possessions.  He was no pauper.  He and Sarah were very prosperous indeed.

Just imagine your husband coming to you one day after work and telling you that he had a vision from God. You are to gather up everything you have and leave your family, friends, and neighbors, to become tent dwellers.  Many women today would suggest to their husbands that he had better see a therapist before they would give in to such a dramatic change of lifestyle just because of a dream.  The Bible is silent on her response to Abraham.

Many think this because in that day, men were in authority and women subservient, she just went along.  I think differently, however, because the Bible holds up Sarah and Abraham’s relationship as a type of relationship that was an example for us to follow.   The fact that Sarah is very outspoken on other issues and consults with Abraham on many important occasions tells me that Sarah’s silence means that she agreed without doubting that God truly came to Abraham in a vision and that she willingly went along with Abraham in his walk with God to help him fulfill God’s promise for them. (1 Peter: 3-4)

It turned out that Sarah’s minuscule seed of faith budded when they went out from Ur of the Chaldeans. (Genesis 11:31) Possibly with pain in her heart and tears in her eyes, Sarah reacted to God’s instructions regarding marriage.  ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ (Genesis 2:24)

As always obedience to God boiled down to a faith issue.  However it happened, our Sarah took an important step in faith, and that faith grew and ultimately earned her a place of honor in God’s Hall of Faith. Are you wondering and praying, ‘How can I begin taking the steps Sarah took to develop greater faith?

Try these important first steps today:

Turn away from the pleasures of this world, “Do not love the world or the things of this world.” (John 2:15).

Turn to the unknown, the unseen, the eternal with the heart of faith – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (Corinthians 2:5-7) pg 24

Famine

Famine

Most women won’t face a literal famine in their lifetimes as Sarah did in hers, but most will face some kind of trial, a lack of a different kind in their life that causes them pain.  We need to take the problem to God and put total trust in Him. Let’s look at Sarah encounter with literal famine in her journey of faith.

“Oh the heartache! Will it ever go away? Perhaps these words darkened Sarah’s thoughts the day she followed her full-of-faith husband out of Ur. Ur had been Sarah’s home, her life, but God told Abraham to go to Canaan.  Leaving Ur may have been bad, but the land of Canaan was worse! It was 600 miles away from her beloved homeland .  Just when she was getting use to it, then a terrible famine struck, and it was time to move on again.  This time to Egypt, another 300 miles away! Surely, if they would have stayed in Ur, everything would be alright! Maybe Sarah had thoughts such as this.  We really don’t know.” pg 25

Because her thoughts are not recorded, personally I think because of the lack of response, again, she trusted and had faith in God’s promises.  When circumstances in our lives seem to worsen, do we lose heart, lose faith? We all need encouragement to look forward and not back during hard times.  In Chapter 2, the author gives us some of her thoughts concerning those times in our life when we lack something that is truly needed and we are in great distress over a continual trial that lacks a solution.

“Face forward: Real life happens in the present, and God’s blessings happen there and in the future too.

Accept your circumstances – The circumstances of life are one primary way God works in you and works out His will for you.

There “do all things without complaining and disputing.”  (Philippians 2:14)

Again, it isn’t recorded that she was crying or complaining to Abraham because of the mess they were in.  She is silent.

If your circumstances find you in God’s will, you will find God in all your circumstances.

Trust in the Lord – God will keep you in perfect peace when your mind is stayed on Him in full trust.  Isaiah 26:3)

Hope in the future – Hope in God is always the bright star the lights your path in any present darkness.” pg 25

Abraham Talking To Sarah About Talking to Pharaoh

Facing Fear

Sarah was an exceptionally beautiful woman even into her old age, as we shall see.  Many women pay exorbitant amounts for body reconstruction, cosmetics, etc., all in an effort to be as beautiful as we shall see Sarah was.  She was so remarkably beautiful that Abraham pondered it before their travels, that it might pose a problem with the kings or pharaohs  that they ran up against, because, “What if they see you because of your beauty and want you, and kill me to have you?” Abraham talked with Sarah and asked her if that situation arose, would show him kindness by telling them she was his sister?  This was actually a half-lie, as she was his father’s daughter, but not his mother’s.

Notice Abraham didn’t command her to do this, he asked her to save his life in this way.  This shows me there was a strong bond, friendship between Sarah and Abraham? Would you do this for your friend to save his life? The situation did unfold just as Abraham feared.  Their caravan did run up against the powerful Egyptian pharaoh, and he noticed Sarah’s remarkable beauty.  When Pharaoh asked Abraham who this woman was, he said it was his sister.  The Pharaoh therefore took her into his harem.  Again, Sarah is silent.

Was Abraham wrong in saying this was his sister? God doesn’t give us the answer in His word, but He did plague Pharaoh and his household.  Pharaoh did not deal harshly with Abraham as he came back to him asked him why he did not tell him that he was his wife, that he would have done evil taking her as his wife and would have lain with her.  Obviously the plagues were a sign from a powerful god thought Pharaoh. What was Sarah thinking while she waited in Pharaoh’s harem? She must have been afraid.  She had a good relationship with her husband.  What if Abraham’s caravan left without her?

“Surely Sarah wondered with fear, “What will happen to me?  Will Abraham go on without me?  Will I ever see him again? What will life be like as a member of a harem?”  We don’t know, because scripture is silent.  But don’t you hope the silence indicates Sarah’s faith as she sat in her harem-prison, faced her fears, and waited on the Lord?”

“Strength for today and hope for tomorrow are sometimes realized – by you and me as well as by Sarah – in the silent  patience of faith.” Pg 27

The author continues:

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. (Psalm 27:14)

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 37:7) Truly my soul silently waits for God. (Psalm 62:1)

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.  (Isaiah 40:31)

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly.  (Lamentations 3:26)

Blessed is he who waits. (Daniel 12:12) pg 27

At the perfect moment when things looked the blackest, God made a miraculous appearance.  Although He was never seen, it was not forgotten. What a scene! What a rescue!

Abraham receives Sarah from Ambimilech

Trusting God Again and  Again

Now, wait, the same performance happened again, almost the same word for word, event.  Sarah was noticed for her beauty and taken 25 years later by another ruler (Exodus 20:9-11), almost word for word.  Again, God came to the rescue.  Again, her faith was perfected.  God seemed to be asking Sarah to to face her fears, and her faith once again toward Him and to, once again trust Him. After all, what had she learned those decades ago about trusting the Lord?  What are some of the great lessons that we must learn in the making of great faith?

Lesson 1:  Pray – “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”  (Psalm 34:17)

Lesson 2:  Trust – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding” – or any one elses. (Proverbs 3:5)!

Lesson 3:  Believe “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not see.”  (Hebrews 1:11)

Lesson 4: Wait – “I waited patiently for the Lord: and He inclined His ear to me, and heard my cry.”  (Psalm 40:1) pgs 30-31

Sarah’s Message For Your Life Today

The author comments that some of Sarah’s trials were repeated time and time again.  She asks,

“As you enter your new day, is something in your life a “repeat” problem?  Are there daily difficulties you constantly fact?  Are there people who regularly let you down or fail to follow through?  Are there seemingly impossible hardships to be endured day after day?” pg 30

She asks us to look at a multi-faceted diamond.  This stone has to be repeatedly cut to bring out its beauty.  God can also use the trials that befall us to shape and build our trust in Him.  Remember, in your life you have a constant power available, a constant help in time of need, no matter how alone you feel, no matter what odds your face, no matter who has let you down or forsaken you, you are never alone for:

Above you are God’s overshadowing wings (Psalm 91:4) Beneath you are God’s everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27) Around you the angel of the Lord encamps on all sides to deliver you. (Psalm 34:7) Inside you God’s peace that passes all understanding guards your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7) pgs 30-31

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

To see chapter 1 of “The Remarkable Women of the Bible Book Study ~ Chapter 1” click here.

More articles and sermons on the life of Sarah:

Profiles of Faith:Sarah ~ A Story of Virtue

Hebrews 11 – Sarah’s Improbabilities

Sermon: Was There Faith in Sarah?

Psalms of A Woman

Disciples in the Storm

Captain of Our Salvation

 

Peter walked the boisterous sea

Just like my trials are to me

 

Amidst the waves of turbulent strife

Trials sometimes fill my life

 

And cause me oft to be afraid

To walk the path that Christ has laid

 

Because no strength I have in me

To calm the wind upon the sea

 

Then I begin to quickly drown

When trust in Him does not abound

 

I cry out to Him, the One that saves

The Christ Who’s voice can still the waves

 

Then stretching forth His hand to me

He saves me from the troubled sea

 

Why did you doubt, when I’m so near

Your faith in Me should cast out fear

 

And bring you through in death’s dark vale

When ‘board the ship that I set sail

 

As Captain I will be to you

Salvation’s end I’ll bring you to

 

Though troubles be of every kind

The answers through me you will find

 

Leading you by My right hand

To a more abundant promised land

 

Where treasures be forever more

Upon the wide and peaceful shore

 

Where storms of life will ever cease

The land where I’ll reign “Prince of Peace”

 

~ Diane Stewart January 1992

 

Matthew 8:23-27, 14:27-31

Mark 6:45-54

Jesus Walking On The Water

Be encouraged by our article Who’s in Your Boat?

“The Remarkable Women of the Bible” Book Study Chapter 1

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

“Eve – Remarkable Creation”

What first comes to your mind when you think on the creation of Eve? Does rebellion, deception, and an overall feeling of contempt for her because of her choice when it came to her disobedience to God’s command to not take to herself the fruit of the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil? I know it happens at times to me when I think of her. Her name brings to mind man’s contempt for God’s authority.  Yet, Eve was just as human as you and I.  Adam and Eve were created flesh and blood. In Romans 8:7, it speaks of the flesh that is not subject to the law of God; and neither indeed was she.

“Because the carnal (fleshly) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

~ Romans 8:7

Adam and Eve were carnal.  They were made of flesh and blood, and so are we.

After Eve Ate The Apple

Would we have done any better? We scoff a bit at that question, but when I think about my temptations in life, sugar cravings, etc. it’s not so hard for me to fathom the pull she must have felt; after all, all of the trees were beautiful to the eye and had fruit to be desired and this one was also desired to make one wise, and it was situated conveniently right in the center of the garden. Also, she had the added trial of Satan right there egging her on. God knew the draw that Satan could possibly have on them.  That is why during God’s soon coming 1,000-year millennial reign, Satan will be bound; God knows the sway Satan has over us; and He willingly pardons our sins if we truly repent.

We do not know if Adam and Eve repented, but God had mercy, killing animals and using the skins to cover their nakedness (Revelation 3:17), which I believe to be their sin. Fig leaves would not do. It takes blood to cover sins. I believe this was a picture of Christ eventually coming to the earth and shedding His blood, reconciling men back to their God. But God  stated in the Old Testament that the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin, only a promise of a better sacrifice, Jesus Christ could. (Hebrews 9:23-2).  Then, you might ask, why were they thrown out of the garden?  Simply put, without Christ’s sacrificial blood, the power of death wouldn’t have been defeated and there could be no eternal life. So, the tree of Life was made inaccessible to them.

Adam and Eve Cast Out Of The Garden

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

~ Genesis 3:15

According to the book The Remarkable Women of the Bible,in chapter 1 Eve was remarkable in the “firsts” in her role as the first woman to ever to walk the face of the planet.  She was the first person created to be a man’s perfect help-meet, the first wife, the first mother, etc. Only together could Adam have been complete, in the image of God, and not until both of them were created that God said His creation was VERY good! Notice in God’s word, all the creation days preceding this were proclaimed good, but on the day that Adam and Eve were created, it was “Very good!”

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

~ Genesis 1:27

Eve Created From Adam's Rib

You as a woman are a unique creation.

“Accept your femininity — There’s no need to feel inferior, second-class or second-rate.  No, woman was God’s last, most beautiful creation.  It was only after God presented women that He proclaimed His creation was “very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Adam and Eve were alike, yet they were different from one another.  One was female (Genesis 1:27), yet together as well as individually they reflected God’s image and His glory!” pg 12

You can also reflect God’s glory when:

~ You give life through your physical efforts to care for others.

~ You share spiritual life by telling others about Jesus Christ and God the Father

~ You are the life of your home, bringing the sparkle of laughter and joy to other people.

~ You pass physical life on to your children.

~You can also help your children have the opportunity to come into God’s family by the gospel of Jesus Christ. pg 14

Women's Kindness And Caring

Not only was she the first in the many roles as stated above, including being given the name “Eve – the mother of ALL living,” she was the first to suffer loss, her son (Abel) murdered, first to have her son taken away from her (Cain).  Yet, there was hope, for unto her was given the first evangelistic vision, the coming Savior from the lineage of her womb. A Savior would be born into the world,  paving the way to reconciliation for all mankind. Indeed, she was remarkable!

~ First Lessons in Faith ~

Loss tears at the heart, and Eve certainly suffered many losses.  Just look at the list.  She had lost:

~ her perfect relationship with God (Genesis 3:8)

~ the bliss of sinless marriage (Genesis 3:12)

~ her lack of acquaintance with evil (Genesis 3:22)

~ her ideal home in the Garden of Eden

~ her son Abel

~ her son Cain (gone to a place of refuge) pg 16

Cain Slays Abel His Brother

Yet even through all the loss, the goodness of God shown through.  We can always hope in God! “Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, ‘For God has appointed another seed for me.” (Genesis 4:25)

The gift of Seth whose name means “appointed” surely refilled Eve’s empty heart and her equally empty barrel of hope.  Appointed by God, her Seth would not only bring hope to her sore heart, but he would be the one from whom God’s Son would come bringing bountiful and eternal hope to all mankind (See Luke 3:38) pg 16

Eve also was the mother of the first man, whose blood God considered righteous.  Was he one of the first prophets? The Bible does not say, but it does say in Matthew 23:

“Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.”

“That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

~ Matthew 23:34-35

Serving Elderly

~ Eve’s Message For Your Life Today ~

How do you handle your heartbreaking losses?  Rather than plunge into depression, discouragement, or hopelessness, place your God-given faith and confidence in these hope-filled realities:

God’s Faithfulness: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

God’s Promises:  One of the over 8,000 promises in the Bible assures you that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13)

God’s Goodness:  Your lack of hope can never negate God’s goodness.  (Psalms 30:5) For his anger endures but a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Proverbs 30:5)

Just as Adam was a reflection of God’s glory, Eve was as well, in His image created He them.  We can be a reflection of God’s glory as God transforms our minds into His spiritual reflection:

Resolve never to make a habit of criticizing or downgrading yourself but instead

Rejoice in your worth in God and your likeness to Him

 Rejoice that you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

Resolve to seek a deeper relationship with God and to

Rejoice that He is near to all who call upon Him (Psalm 145:18)

Resolve to walk by faith paths.  You may not understand and to

Rejoice in the promise of His nearness as He directs your way.

Resolve to live each day as a child of God through His son, Jesus Christ and to be a reflection of His glory, and

Rejoice that, as one of God’s chosen, your name is written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)!

Resolve to spend time communing with God on a daily basis through prayer and the study of His word, and

Rejoice in the strength that He gives, for each day and the hope that He offers for all your tomorrows!

Resolve to reflect His glory and, dear one,

Rejoice in His love. pg 18-19

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

Chapter 2 – March 26

Coming Soon ~ Women’s Book Study

The Remarkable Women of the Bible

“The Remarkable Women of the Bible ~ And Their Message For Your Life Today”

by Elizabeth George.

  I’ve decided to do a women’s book study that I feel you will find both encouraging and motivating. There are 15 short chapters and a message for you and I as women of God that I think you will find edifying and thought provoking.  I will be posting the main focus of each chapter and my thoughts on each of the chapters each Wednesday, beginning March 29.  Let’s spring forward together and enrich our lives with the examples of courage, faith, and promise of some of the most unique women of the Bible.

From the introduction:

“If you are like me, your life resembles one long obstacle course.  Every day is filled with challenges of singleness, married life, and child raising. They know about going without, about loss, old age, death and dying.  All of the pain, sorrow, confusion, and the difficulties under the sun have touched their hearts; and now they live in God’s Word to instruct us as we cope with our lives today.”

“Beloved, these women are gifts of God to you and to me.  Whether or not you have a  mother or a friend or a mentor who is available, you have the remarkable women of the Bible.  Let them share with you.  Let them encourage you.  Let them counsel you.  Let them show you the best way – God’s way to handle everyday and every difficulty.” Pg 7-8

We will sit down together and discuss their remarkable stories just as we would sit together in your kitchen and let the Bible teach us the lessons that many young women may have never been taught while growing up, but God our Father is a living Father, and He is always available and our best instructor.

Here are the women we will be looking at:

Eve – Remarkable Creation

Sarah – Remarkable Faith

Rebekhah – Remarkable Journey

Jochebed – Remarkable Mother

Miriam – Remarkable Leader

Rahab – Remarkable Grace

Deborah – Remarkable Wisdom

Ruth and Naomi – Remarkable Devotion

Hannah – Remarkable Sacrifice

Esther – Remarkable Courage

Elizabeth – Remarkable Walk

Mary – Remarkable Life

Mary and Martha – Remarkable Love

Dorcus, Lydia, Priscilla, Phoebe – Remarkable Servants

I hope you can join us as we journey with them and find the hidden treasures God has had written down for our learning and instruction.

There is also a study guide to go along with this, “The Remarkable Women of the Bible Growth and Study Guide:  And Their Message for Your Life Today (Growth and Study Guides)”, but this isn’t necessary.

Your Comment Are Important To Me!

For additional women’s edifying bible studies and articles from our church library, please click here.

The Manna From Heaven ~ Part 2

b2-1

We have seen in part one that God has given us His word to be nourished spiritually by.  It is truly the breakfast of champions, the manna from heaven.  Christ not only had the Bible written for us to understand but He actually gave us an example to follow in overcoming through utilizing this sharp two-edged sword.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two=edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” ~ Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12 Two Edged Sword

Let’s look at the showdown between Christ and the devil in the wilderness, and see how powerful the words of the Bible are, so that we can take heart in the midst of our own trials and battles overcoming sin in our own lives by utilizing His words.

After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, immediately there came a voice from heaven “This is my Son, who I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

Wilderness of Judea

The showdown begins:

“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” ~ Matthew 4:1

Let’s notice Jesus was led into the wilderness.  The ancient Israelites were also led in the wilderness, but instead of partaking of the manna from heaven God provided, Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights (perhaps symbolizing the 40 years the Israelites traveled in the wilderness).  He did not eat physical food because this was to be a spiritual battle.  While He was in the desert, I’m certain that He was meditating on God’s word, he took of the spiritual manna from which He drew His strength.

Let’s look at what He used to overcome Satan:

Temptation 1:

“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”                             ~ Matthew 4:3

Christ’s Defence:

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. ~ Matthew 4:4

Strength from spiritual manna, God’s words, taken directly from the Old Testament Deuteronomy 8:3

Temptation 2:

 “Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you are the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He will give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.”  ~ Matthew 4:5-6

Christ’s Defence:

“Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”  ~ Matthew 4:7

Strength from spiritual manna, God’s words, taken directly from the Old Testament Deuteronomy  6:16

Temptation 3:

“Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them and said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”~ Matthew 4:8-9

Christ’s Defense:

“Then said Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” ~ Matthew 4:10

Strength from spiritual manna, God’s words, taken directly from the Old Testament Deuteronomy 6:13.

So, we see here how important it is to continually be partaking of His word daily, as the model prayer states, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This daily bread is not only physical but most importantly spiritual.  Don’t neglect such a wonderful whole food that is readily available to strengthen our hearts and give us the weapons of warfare we so desperately need in these end-time days, when Satan is the god of this world.  If we read or listen to God’s word daily and apply it to our lives, we have a spiritual arsenal.  We indeed will begin our day with the breakfast of champions. This will give us the confidence we need to face life’s challenges.  When Christ returns, He too can say of us, “This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased.”

 PRAYER:  Father, as your daughters, we pray for your daily bread, not only physical but spiritual.  We desire to journey through our own wilderness to your Kingdom with confidence, knowing that Your Son is leading the way, even when things may be difficult.  He is ever ready to help in time of need, as He was the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day; He also gave physical Israel in the Old Testament help and confidence.  We thank you that you have provided such a blessing in the printed word.  Help us to digest it and make it a part of our every thought, that we may be strengthened thereby.  We love You and ask this in Jesus name.  Amen

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

 To read about our festival of the Days of Unleavened Bread, please click here.  To read more concerning God’s word, sharper than any two-edged sword, click here.  Have a blessed day! 

If you would like, you can read Part 1 of the “Manna of Heaven” here.

Published in: on March 8, 2014 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment