Women of War

To all you feminists out there, get ready for a biblical wild ride. Long before there was Quentin Tarantino and that long legged blonde from Kill Bill. God had some real sisters, of His own. Some people would have us believe that God just don’t care about certain woman’s issues. Or, for that matter, He has some sort of issue with strong women, wise women, mothers, weeping women, wailing women and ruthless women.  Some of these women are deemed invisible, vilified, not appreciated and marginalized by society. Well, with God, it ain’t so. Just read His Word.

There are two women in the bible that need a little mention. I mean, if these stories got just a little more attention, say on National Woman Day, Mother’s Day, and even good’ ol Secretaries Day it would at least shed a whole heap of light in that dark minded place.

Well, the Prophetess Deborah, told Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the LORD has gone out before you.” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.”

They chased Sisera’s army to the edge…and over the cliff but Sisera got away. This guy ran up the hill and down the mountain trying to save his life. Just then, he runs into Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. There had been peace so Sisera asked to stay in the Jael’s tent.

“18Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me! Do not be afraid.” And he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. 20He said to her, “Stand in the doorway of the tent, and it shall be if anyone comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there anyone here?’ that you shall say, ‘No.’” 21But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died.”  Judges 4:18-21

Next scene, Barak shows up at  Jael’s house and it goes something like this, ‘Hey Barak, that guy you’re looking for, he’s in here. Clearly, Jael is a ride or die kinda chick.

Now some women just won’t put up with nothing disturbing their peace of mind and their families. And, that’s what happened here. Back story, there happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant: “Down with the dynasty of David! We have no interest in the son of Jesse.”

So right there we know there’s a fight cause David, he just don’t play. Anyhow, Sheba’s people start drama in this town and when Joab arrived he took a battering ram to the door of her fortress, in Abel-beth-maacah.

“16 But a wise woman in the town called out to Joab, “Listen to me, Joab. Come over here so I can talk to you.” 17 As he approached, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?”

“I am,” he replied.

So she said, “Listen carefully to your servant.”

“I’m listening,” he said.

18 Then she continued, “There used to be a saying, ‘If you want to settle an argument, ask advice at the town of Abel.’ 19 I am one who is peace loving and faithful in Israel. But you are destroying an important town in Israel.[e] Why do you want to devour what belongs to the Lord?”

20 And Joab replied, “Believe me, I don’t want to devour or destroy your town! 21 That’s not my purpose. All I want is a man named Sheba son of Bicri from the hill country of Ephraim, who has revolted against King David. If you hand over this one man to me, I will leave the town in peace.”

“All right,” the woman replied, “we will throw his head over the wall to you.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off Sheba’s head and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the ram’s horn and called his troops back from the attack. They all returned to their homes, and Joab returned to the king at Jerusalem.  2 Samuel 20: 16-22.

A tent peg to the head or toss his head over the wall…either way…gotta love a sister with a good arm.

And, a God that loves a woman who at all costs will protect her family, community and her nation. So much so, He included her victories in His book.

An Enemy in the House

16 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.”

But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.                          1 Kings 3:16-28

So let’s see, enemies can be closer than we think, we still have prostitutes, prostitutes  still have children, and some still live together,people are still trying to steal other people’s babies, and the same people then turn around and try to hurt the baby; naturally, mothers will forever shed tears over their children, and sadly mom’s still fall asleep on their babies, and cry even harder for the child that has passed, but keep the faith God is a present help…and He still helps prostitutes just as much as He did before.

 

The Cost of Sexuality

Woman – one word that conjures so many visually explosive thoughts. A word where the very essence of sexuality can make a man millions. Yet, a woman caught in the wrong situation it can cost her everything…even her life.

I really didn’t know too much about the back-story just some rumors and rumblings. She was single…no husband just a string of men – some single, some married, and some liars. The women that met at the community center on Wednesday mornings would whisper about her. They were consumed with her life. Each week they added-up how many men she had but none of them counted what it cost her. None of them heard her scream in the dark when those men roughed her up just a little-tiny-bit trying to have some fun. While, she did, what she did, cause only God knows why.

My husband has always been a skeptical man…timing and convenience will always bother him. I can only share my part of this story: First, I saw him come up the back alleyway dressed like he was going to work.  I think he was merchant…you know a salesman. Then, early afternoon around lunch, I was hanging the laundry on the line in the backyard. That’s when I heard the Pharisees, soldiers and the horsemen. They raced up the alley through the back gate and stormed her house.  Adultrous woman

The soldiers caught her in the very act…and dragged her half naked body out of her house. They wanted to display her DNA. They waited for her…while she waited for him! What if there was Periscope, Instagram, Twitter…or a simple cell phone video? The hits, the tweets…the vines…her life would have gone viral…like a disease.

When that back door busted open and I saw the helmets of those guards, the rage on their faces and the thirst for blood in their eyes, I hid under the table the one we use to press olive oil.  I listened for the sound of ‘Her Man’s’ voice but I only heard her screaming, ’You’re hurting me, you’re hurting my wrists!’

When their voices became faint, I got the courage to stand up. When my husband came home, he wanted to know if they took the guy. I told him no. When the soldiers left her house, ‘Her Man’ ran in the opposite direction praying he could fly. Later than night people were still talking, no news…no word on the street…no one returned to her home. My husband mutters when he speculates and he knew this was not over…she was set-up…maybe it was the man she was with…who knows? I would never let it slip that it was the Pharisees or one of the scribes.

“Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.” There was a situation up-in the temple! She would be stoned. My husband was right. They kept that woman all night and waited for Jesus to come in the morning …kill two birds with one stone…trick Jesus and kill the woman.

Anyhow, my husband went down to the temple the next morning. He had to  see for himself. He wasn’t surprised that ‘Her Man’ wasn’t there even though the law speaks of the death of both the man and the woman that were involved – justice, grace and mercy had left the building. How could the woman get a fair trial…when she wasn’t in the bed by herself!

“Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.”And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

My husband came home praising Jesus…he knew, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water” (Jer 17:13).

Jesus met the woman at the well…and He wrote the names of the other men in the dust for all to read. My husband knew their faces from running out the back gate but now he knew their names names as the left scattering their stones.

Life Changes…Keep the Faith

Bible for blog

The woman with no name is the woman I admire. She is the person you need in a flinch. A neighbor, a best friend, a sister, a cousin, a prayer partner…she’s my girl. She’s been dead forever now. And, still don’t hear much mention of her but she had death defying faith.

Other than Jesus, Lazarus, Mary and Martha these three are the standard reps for death defying bible stories. But, my girl’s life changed because she put God first. If it were today, she would be a “Baller.” She was quite wealthy, had a nice house and loving husband that the bible says was old. When she suggested to the husband that they build a room for the prophet, Elisha that always came to Shunem Town, he said sure. Time came…as it always does when you put God first.  And, ‘The Shunammite Woman’ received the prophet’s reward…the desire of her heart. God gave the barren woman a son…a seemingly simple story.

When the boy grew, he went to his father, who was in the fields, complaining of a headache, ‘My head! My head!’ The father told the servant take the child to his mother. As a mom, she didn’t take child to his room or her room for that matter. Instead, she took her one and only son to the prophet’s room. She knew something! But said nothing.

And, there, she held her son in her lap till noon…when he died. Then, it would seem ever so calmly, she laid him on the bed and shut the door. Not one sound. No mention of tears, weeping or moaning.

Like a good cowboy movie, she saddles up her horse, tells her husband she’s going into town to run errands…he doesn’t understand why because it’s not a New Moon or the Sabbath. She just assures him, ‘It is well’ and she rides on…he trusted his wife.

Nothing is standing in her way, she instructed her servant, ‘Don’t stop or slow down unless I tell you.’ I’m sure it was one of those rides that seemed like forever, till she reached Mount Carmel. Her hearts desires were on her mind.

The story goes, all she said was, ‘It is well,’ no matter whom she encountered. She never said the child was dead…not even to his father…not even to herself! I mean really. Not even to the prophet’s servant, Gehazi when he asked her.

Elisha knew something was wrong when he saw her coming, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.” It would seem to me…that God just wasn’t having anyone mention the word death or dead. Not a thought. Not one word.

When she reached Elisha, she clenched his feet in submission and reminded him, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?” When Elisha prophesied, in all fairness she did object, ‘No, my lord!” …Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!” In the movies, this is the part where the play the intense music and your heart races…just raw emotion…we have all been there…by the phone or at the hospital.

It would seem like they turn around and ride back into Shunem Town a.s.a.p. There had to be commotion and a lot of dust. No recounting of where the husband was? Did he go into the room and see his son? How far away was Mount Carmel by horse? So many questions.

Anyhow, they all get back into town and Gehazi he tries, but he’s not the man for the job. Elisha goes in his room, shuts the door, lays on the boy, “mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.”

Elisha called for the boy’s mother…and she humbly falls at the prophets feet. Then, she holds her son once again…in her lap…and I believe she assured him, ‘It is well.’ Three words…in case of a faith emergency.