Tag Archive: Woman


Sheerah’s in the Bible!!

Day 119 1 Chronicles 7-10

Ya’ll know I kind of had a childhood thing for Sheerah so I was thrilled to find her tucked in the middle of Chronicles! 

1 Chronicles 7:24  His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah.

OK so this chickadee didn’t wield swords… No she built cities!!  She left a legacy that could not be ignored.  Cool.

Ruth

Day 97 Ruth 1-4

In the Fall of 08 two books changed my life, Ruth was one of them.  My husband had just returned from a four-month trip that summer and dragged us to church.  I was reluctant at first.. this place was weird, there were bikers dudes everywhere,  and I knew no one. But you start to make friends and get connected.. I knew one way to get to know folks was bible study so I signed up for the Wednesday morning Women’s  Bible study which was studying Ruth and Esther.  I kept the bible study book, and just  now went over the notes I had jotted down. 

    You see God had planted the seed of adoption in my heart and He was going to use these two women in the Bible to make that seed sprout into a full blown reality by October of that year when we sent in our adoption application.  So it’s fun to go back and look over just how that process started to happen in my heart.  It was Ruth’s willingness to “go out on a limb for God” though she barely knew Him that inspired me, it was Boaz’s willingness to do what was right for ALL not just what was right for himself that moved me, I learned that fear need not play such a big role in my life.

    My life is in a totally different place right now.  My daughter Esther,  adopted from Ug*nda  joined my family over a year and a half ago, yet my husband is  now choosing to leave me.  I am afraid.  So when rereading Ruth and rereading what I wrote down in my bible study I still find myself inspired, but in different ways.  When reflecting on Naomi’s change from the beginning of the story when she was so bitter to the end when life was clearly looking up I wrote, “When we are feeling like all is lost God has the most room to fill us up! He can put us in the right place at the right time!” 

When reflecting on Ruth’s heritage as a Moabite and how according to Deuteronomy 23;3 that excluded both her and her descendents from being a member of the congregation of Israel I wrote, “It’s not about where you come from,  It’s about where your heart is.  When it’s true service to the Lord, You’ll receive His Blessings.” 

Now in closing, after reading Judges (ugg) Ruth is such a breath of fresh air… and here is why: THIS WOMAN ROCKS!  Israel over and over again forsook God and turned to Idols, HERE is a gentile woman who turned away from her people’s customs and turned to the one true God, she did so out of Loyalty and LOVE for another: “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God”  All God was asking for was Loyalty from His people and they failed, miserably!  From a foreigner came a beautiful example of what TO do.  Just as Boaz was Ruth’s Kinsman redeemer, Christ is ours.  We need to put our trust in Him, good times and in bad times.  bad times..  I keep thinking if this is as bad as it’s going to get, then life ain’t that half bad.   I know where my trust is.

 Loyalty, Love, Trust and Faith.  Here is a hero I can look to (sorry Samson you’re out!).  Ruth you are my hero in the good times, and here I can now safely say you are my hero in the bad.  She’s moved me, yet again.

She-Ra

Day 90 Judges 3-5

  When I was a kid none of the “good” cartoons were girl cartoons.. Sure there was Jem and Strawberry Shortcake but come on.. the novelty of  an actual girly cartoon wore off pretty quick and the clichés were a little much for the seven-year-old me to handle.  I prefered my brother’s cartoons, He-man, Thunder Cats, GI Joe.  The plots were better, albeit violent, but the chicks on the boy cartoons ROCKED… They were tough as nails, sometimes tougher than the guys in that post feminist early 80s kind of way.  from Teela, Sheera, Cheetara to Scarlet they satisfied my child mind’s image of what I wanted a woman to be in a way that Barbie, Jem, Rainbow bright and Smurfett didn’t. 

     I knew Deborah was in the bible and I knew that she was one of the Judges but I’m I embarrassed to say I had never actually read about her.  This is one of the perks of reading the bible cover to cover, I’m filling in all the gaps I’ve missed out on.  I was floored.  Now I knew she was one of the leaders of Israel but, wow, she was just really cool, a regular Warrior princess.  And Jael!!  Why had I never heard of her?! I cracked up when at the end they were singing about her:

27 At her feet he sank,
   he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
   where he sank, there he fell—dead.

                                                                 poetic drama.. yeah we got it, he fell.

  These passages were so graphic it’s shocking at times, between Jael driving stakes into king’s temples and fat Moabite kings being run through with swords, pooping himself so his servants thought he was just going to the bathroom instead of dying… well we have a regular block buster blood and guts hit on our hands.  Call Hollywood! 

 These women were awesome! I feel the same way about them as I do about my after school cartoon heros.  I love women warriors, I love stories about women who rise to the occasion when the needs arises.  I am SO not that woman.. why is that?

    When faced with a battle it is my nature to run and hide, ignore the problem hoping it will go away, or procrastinate.  There was a time when calling the pizza delivery place scared the ever-living daylights out of me.  Fight or Flight?  This Fraidy cat usually chooses flight.  But when it comes to God, when it comes to the needs of my family I feel the need to take a stand and fight.  I need to fight for what I believe in, a Creator who loves me personally and supports me.  I need to fight for this little family I will soon need to support in a way I’m not used to… This Domestic debutante will need to be a bit more of a scraper to make ends meet for my kids.  The desire to do this on my own, reminds me that I have to be strong in my belief in God and in myself… and what I’m capable of.  No I’m not going to fight any epic battles, but I’m going to conquer some pretty amazing challenges in the years to come.  There is an inner Sheera, an inner Deborah in me somewhere.  It’s time she come out.

The Law

Day 37 Exodus 22-24

The law… recently someone said to me, “I’m so glad I live under the grace of Jesus Christ and not under The Law.” But as I struggle through reading these, and I have to warn you folks we’re going to be resting on this subject for MONTHS, I can’t help but think.. Can you imagine life without the law? It would have been a disaster. When I say I struggle, I mean I STRUGGLE, even when I try and think of some of this stuff in context of the time I still am a little taken aback at the brutality, and inequality.  I have to say though a nation of what was only a few months ago slaves would certainly need laws, and I think strict laws would work better for this bunch rather than flexible lenient laws.  I can only assume under the Egyptians the brutality of a judicial system for slaves would make Mosaic Law look pretty mild and fair.   This body of broken children of God called Israelites needed God’s love and as a good parent knows that includes discipline.  Are our kids perfect? No. Do they get punished? Yes.  As to the severity of some of these laws, well I have to trust that God knew what was best for back then.  He knew down to the individual what laws needed to be dictated, and He knew they would ultimately fail…

The Got Questions Article “What is The Mosaic Covenant?” really helped me digest some of this, Especially the following: “The Mosaic Law would reveal to people their sinfulness and their need for a Savior, and it is the Mosaic Law that Christ Himself said that He did not come to abolish but to fulfill. This is an important point because some people get confused by thinking that keeping the Law saved people in the Old Testament, but the Bible is clear that salvation has always been by faith alone, and the promise of salvation by faith that God had made to Abraham as part of the Abrahamic Covenant still remained in effect (Galatians 3:16-18).”

     Lord, I ask as I sift through these ancient laws that you soften my heart.  Help me to understand the why behind it all.  Lord some of this makes sense.. some I really struggle with.  I want to know why women are so poorly treated… I can only guess that through your laws their lot in life is improved.  Always remind me that I do need You, there is no doing this on my own and earning my way to heaven… only Your grace, forgiveness and guidence. I Love and thank you Lord.

Manipulation

Day 22 Genesis 30-31

  Boy Howdy if we thought family dysfunction started in the 20th century one needs only to read the book of Genesis!  I scoff at the notion that life was ever any easier “back in the good ol’ days!” Us humans sure do know how to screw life up… and yet God still wants a relationship with us.  I’m thankful God isn’t Human, he would have thrown in the towel on us long ago.

   Rachel and Leah’s attempts to manipulate Jacob’s affection towards them was interesting… Did bearing Jacob many sons help increase his love for Leah?  And what was up with the mandrake?  Why would sex with their husband ever be available for trading in exchange for mandrake… aren’t those the screaming baby plants in Harry Potter?  I’m aware they are real, but if they are THAT good why then don’t we go buy mandrake bars instead of candy bars? Clearly they had yet to discover chocolate, now that I might understand.

   All joking aside, I think affection from our spouse is a touchy issue.  Any attempt to manipulate the person to give affection just makes it that much less genuine, and the need that started the manipulation in the first place grows and grows till it’s really dysfunctional.  Why do we, especially women, have to be so emotionally tied to adoration from our spouse?  Why should our happiness be so linked to being appreciated?  I don’t think manipulation is a solution to the problem.. figuring out where our happiness needs to come from instead might be a better step in the right direction.   Leah was unable to attain Jacob’s primary love even through manipulation, or God blessing her with the ability to bare children.  Was Jacob’s love for Leah what God’s goal He saw that she was not loved and allowed her to conceive?  That’s not the impression I was getting..  I’m working through this in my head but I don’t think I’ve come to a solid conclusion… I do not envy Leah.

On a side note:  reading about this polygamous family does not really sway me to think polygamy is a walk in the park.  Sorry Sister Wives.. I still don’t think more than one wife is a great idea.

Hagar speaks to me

Day 18 Genesis 19-21

   Shesh!  What an interesting read we had today.. Lets see we’ve got an attempt to sodomize angels, an offer of daughter’s to rape in their place, cities destroyed, wives turning to salt, daughters raping their father, and Abraham pimping out his wife again.  There were nice things too.. like Sarah giving birth to Isaac.  .  . but what spoke to me most of all was yet again Hagar.   In contrast to the way man was treating women in these passages take a look at how God treats Hagar.. although He allowed her pain by allowing Abraham to send her away, God tends to her and her son Ishmael. “I’m going to make him a great nation.” Ishmael is widely considered the father of Arabs… Thus making Hagar, the woman who God tended to so lovingly, who named our Creator “the God who Sees me,” she is the “grandmother” to the Arab world.  I am impressed with the softness with which God treated this slave woman. While in her grief and turmoil God speaks to her, reassured her and opens her eyes to a source of water which will save her life.

   Hagar was at the end of her rope, had utterly given up and cried out in sobs and it is in this moment she is receives the blessings of the Lord.  sometimes in the midst of our most difficult times  God’s voice rings out to us as if he’s calling us on a direct line from Heaven.  Those are the times God opens our eyes and we can see clearly what we need to survive one more day, and provide the same for others.   God  shows us the water and from it we take “long cool drinks.”

  I remember once as a teen foolishly going on a hike with a friend named Michael in the mountains and bringing no water.  We were high in the hills when our thirst hit and by the time we were half way back down the mountain we were talking about the water that was waiting for us at the visitors center.  My hiking buddy pointed out how the water we’re about to drink was going to be SO GOOD because we were absolutely desperate for it.  Because of my thirst, that drink of water  was as good as  Michael said it would be. . .it was a drink of water worth remembering.

   When I am in a hypothetical desert in my life, finally willing to give up, crying out.. my God, the God who sees me, the God who tenderly calls out to me will provide a well of water so that I will survive one more day.  From this well I will take long cool drinks and it will be water worth remembering.

El Roi

Instead of many gods, I have one God with many names. Each name highlights a different aspect to our Lord and for the last few years my favorite has been El Roi, the God who sees me.
Hagar was in a terribly lonely place, Again I struggle with Sarai and Abrahams choices… and “helping” God’s promises along according to our timeline never really works out to our advantage. But Hagar was REALLY mistreated as a result, and my heart is just torn for her. But God seeks her out, and she has the honor of being the first woman God speaks to.

      God follows me into my deserts, He speaks to me and He SEES ME unlike anyone else.