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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Because They Feared and Obeyed God Above All

Thousands of years before the women’s liberation movement, or anyone ever heard of Gloria Steinem, the ancient biblical stories in Scripture never stereotyped or portrayed women as weak. Yes, we know that the average woman is weaker physically than men, but they are not weaker spiritually, mentally, or emotionally. Think of Deborah, Jael, Esther, or Ruth. Think of Mary (any one of the Marys will do), Martha, Priscilla, or Philip’s four daughters.

This past year, the highest rated commercial shown during the Super Bowl wasn’t one by Go-Daddy or Budweiser. It was a commercial that asked the question, “What would it look like to do something ‘like a girl’?” Several young people were filmed doing the first thing that came to mind when asked to “run like a girl, throw like a girl, fight like a girl.” It wasn’t too surprising when they jogged daintily in place, or flailed their bent wrists in a lame fight, or awkwardly flung their arm to throw an imaginary ball. All of them deliberately looked silly, weak, distracted.

Look at the heroic women in Scripture—their examples of integrity, bravery, and wit. Read the gripping story in Exodus of Moses’ mother, Jochebed; his sister, Miriam; and the Jewish midwives Shiphrah and Puah (their names forever recorded for us to honor).

Exodus 1:17 tells us that because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the king’s orders. They were women who would stand to defy the commands of Pharaoh of Egypt and save a son, who would rescue a nation, which would bring us our Messiah, who would save the world. Because they feared God, they were strong mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
It is worth noting that Pharaoh’s decree was, “If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live” (Exodus 1:16 NLT). In his eyes, letting every daughter live would never be a threat to his kingdom. He had no concept of female bravery or empathy. Little did he know that to fight like a girl, stand like a girl, think like a girl, would be the beginning of the undoing of the might of his Egypt.

To fight the good fight and run the race set before us—whether we are in the kitchen, in the classroom, in the boardroom, in the courtroom, or in the mission field—means we are not insignificant, nor an afterthought in the mind of God. My dear sisters, mothers, and daughters: Pharaoh may have misjudged women, but let’s not misjudge ourselves.

Let every daughter live, and run, and fight, and love, and live like the girl God made you to be! Don’t think the Bible is about men, for men, while women stand by in cute outfits and cheer. It is about women as well, and the part we have to play in this great unfolding drama.

These words from the great apostle Paul were written to Timothy, a young man who first learned the Scriptures—not at his father’s knee, but on the lap of his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8).

Remember, Israel’s first deliverer was not a man in flowing robes and a long beard. It was a slave woman, a mother named Jochebed, in average clothing, shedding tears, and showing miraculous courage.

Today, the world, the church, and the family need the influence of women who will fear and obey God above all.

"When did doing something 'like a girl' become an insult?" - By Cathe Laurie

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