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Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Women of the Word: Shelomith

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

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The book of Leviticus in the Bible is often referred to as the Book of the Law because it contains numerous guidelines and rules for how God wanted His people, the Israelites, to live and handle various matters. One such matter was what should be done to someone who blasphemed the name of the Lord. Leviticus 24:10-12 reads:

Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name with a curse; so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) They put him in custody until the will of the Lord should be made clear to them.

So what was the will of the Lord regarding Shelomith’s son? The passage goes on to tell us that he was taken outside of the camp and stoned by the entire assembly. This was to happen to anyone who cursed God or blasphemed His name. Even though she is mentioned in this passage, Shelomith is silent about her son’s behavior and she is silent about the punishment that took her son’s life as a result of his behavior. What can we learn from her reaction to this unfortunate situation? (more…)

Women of the Word: Ministering Women In the Tent of Meeting

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

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After leaving Egypt, the Israelites took part in the construction of God’s sanctuary, also called the tent of meeting, while they sojourned in the desert. So dedicated were the Israelites to the sanctuary that they contributed more than was needed for its construction. They gave so much that the craftsmen in charge of construction told Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” Moses then had to tell the people, “Stop! Do not do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.”

The book of Exodus gives a very detailed account concerning the construction of the temple and the men who were involved in its work. But men weren’t the only ones involved; women and children were involved, as well. Exodus 38:8, in particular, reads:

He [a craftsman named Bezalel] made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting.

From the verse above we see that these women not only ministered in the tent of meeting, but they also assisted in its construction by allowing the bronze basins to be made out of their mirrors. (more…)

Women of the Word: Shallum’s Daughters

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

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Nehemiah’s self-titled book in the Bible details how he and many others rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem after the city had been destroyed by its enemies. We have already looked at two characters who had a role in Nehemiah’s story. The first was the queen of Persia, who likely influenced her husband, king Artaxerxes, to give Nehemiah permission to build the wall. The second was the prophetess Noadiah who tried to hinder Nehemiah from building the wall by making him afraid. Now, we look at another group of women who had a role in Nehemiah’s story. They weren’t queens or prophetesses. They were simply the daughters of a guy named Shallum.

Nehemiah chapter 3 lists the names of some of the people who helped Nehemiah rebuild the wall. Verses 11-12, in particular, read:

Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.

We aren’t given the names or ages of these daughters. They could have been grown women with families of their own or they could have been rather young. The important thing to notice is that the work they did for the Lord alongside their father did not go unnoticed. (more…)

Women of the Word: Rufus’ Mother

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

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In Romans 16:13, Paul gives a shout-out to Rufus and his mother. He calls Rufus “chosen in the Lord” and identifies Rufus’ mother as a woman “who has been a mother to me, too.” The Bible gives scarce specifics about Paul’s family. We know that his father was a Pharisee. In Acts 23:6, Paul says, “I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee.” We also know that he had a sister who raised her son to be brave. No mention is made of Paul’s mother, so we can only speculate about who she was. Perhaps she died while Paul was young and he grew up without knowing his mother. Or perhaps she was a devout Jew who was proud of the Saul version of her son as he persecuted Christians, but was displeased when he became a Christian and changed his name to Paul.

This latter speculation is quite possible. Jesus often warned His twelve disciples (of which Paul was not one), that they risked losing everything – their lives, their friends, and even the affection of their families – by choosing to follow Him. When Paul gave his heart to Jesus the Christ, Paul’s mother may have disowned him, and Rufus’ mother may have taken him in and loved him as she did her own son.

Whether Paul grew up without a mother or whether he and his mother just weren’t on good terms, it is clear that he found a maternal figure in Rufus’ mother, from whom we can learn to care for others. (more…)

Women of the Word (Recap 13)

Monday, February 6th, 2017

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When God created woman, He made a very special creation. He made us beautiful and unique. He made us strong and resilient, gutsy and spirited, sassy and sweet. And He loves us. God really, really loves His girls. And the Bible is filled with many women – some good, some bad – all of who God made, who God loved, and who we can learn many lessons from.

So far in our Women of the Word series, we have looked at over 130 different female figures in the Bible. They all have something to teach us. So, (drum roll, please). Here is our thirteenth series recap:

View the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninthtentheleventh, and twelfth series recaps.

Women of the Word: Judith and Basemath

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

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Jacob and Esau were brothers, twin brothers at that, but they were as different as hot and cold. One area in which they were different was in their choice of marriage partners. Jacob married the daughters of his uncle, Leah and Rachel. Later, he was also given their servants, Bilhah and Zilpah, as partners. Genesis 26:34 tells us that Esau married Judith and Basemath. Judith was the daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath was the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Jacob’s wives were pleasing to his parents, Isaac and Rebekah. But Esau’s wives were not. Genesis 26:35 says that Judith and Basemath “were a source of grief” to them. Talk about a classic case of in-law discord. They were such a grief that in Genesis 27:46 Rebekah said, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women.” She was so disgusted with them that she didn’t want Jacob to follow his older brother, Esau, and marry one of them. Rebekah would not have considered her life worth living if both her sons married Hittite women. This is one reason why Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob away to Laban. They didn’t only send him away to keep him safe from Esau’s wrath. They also sent him away to keep him from marrying a Hittite woman or any Canaanite woman for that matter. Before Jacob left home, Isaac explicitly told him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.”

It should be noted that Esau later married another woman. When he saw that Judith and Basemath did not please his parents, he wed Mahalath. She was the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth. There’s no word on how she fared with Isaac and Rebekah. But back to the women at hand: What did Judith and Basemath do to cause such grief to their in-laws? We aren’t told. But we can learn from them to live in such a way that we are a joy, not a grief, to those around us. (more…)

Women of the Word: Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

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Three more women who Paul sends greetings to in Romans 16 are Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis. Verse 12 reads:

Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.

Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.

It is obvious what these women were known for. All three of them were hard workers for the Lord. As they were, so should we also be. (more…)

Women of the Word: Job’s First Daughters

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

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In previous posts, we wrote about four other women who were apart of Job’s life: his wife and his second set of three daughters, Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch. Now, we’re checking out his first set of three daughters who are namelessly mentioned in the Bible. Before a series of unfortunate events happened to Job, he had a relatively good life and a very large family. Job 1:2 says, “He had seven sons and three daughters.”

On their birthdays, Job’s sons liked to hold extravagant parties with a lot of food and drinks. They would invite their sisters to their parties and eat and drink for a long period of time. At one such party, which was held at the oldest’s brothers house, the brothers and sisters were eating and drinking and having a good old time when a mighty desert wind hit the house and caused it to collapse. Sadly, all of them died. What can we learn from the lives of three sisters who came to such a swift and unexpected end? (more…)

The Virtuous Girls E-Zine – Winter 2017

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

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The January – March Winter 2017 Edition of the Virtuous Girls E-Zine is out! View it HERE!

Women of the Word: Paul’s Sister

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

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The apostle Paul was often put in prison because he refused to shut up about his faith in Jesus the Christ. On one such occasion, while he was in Jerusalem, the book of Acts records that nearly the whole city went into an uproar after some people saw him at the temple. This angry mob tried to beat Paul to death. Some Roman soldiers who were nearby delivered him from the mob by arresting him. Paul then barely saved himself from being flogged and interrogated before he was taken before the Sanhedrin and, finally, put in prison.

While Paul was in prison, some Jews plotted to kill him. They were so dedicated to carrying out this evil plot that they refused to eat or drink until he was dead. They probably would have been successful too if it weren’t for Paul’s nephew saving the day. Acts 23:16 says:

But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.

When Paul was told about the plot, he called a Roman soldier and told him to take his nephew to the commander. This was done, and Paul’s nephew told the commander about the plot. He said, “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him. Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.” The commander believed Paul’s nephew and told him not to tell anyone that he reported the plot to him.

In this way, Paul was saved. Instead of being killed, he was transferred safely to Caesarea. Perhaps Paul’s sister deserves some credit for this just as much as her son. (more…)