Tuesday, 24 August 2010
This may seem like a very strange choice of woman to write about, but there is something very special about her and she so reminds me of many other women like her in our society.
Zilpah was the concubine that was given Jacob when Leah thought her childbearing days were over.
It is noticable that The Bible does not mention how Zilpah felt about being "handed over" as a concubine, but there is one amazing thing that we do know about her, she named her first son Gad. Now Gad means good fortune or "a troop". From this it appears that her outlook is positive even though her lot must have been precarious and difficult.
It appears that Zilpah really delighted in her children, we can assume this because she named her second son Asher which means "happy". In amongst her joy there were many marital contentious issues which brought a lot of sorrow.
My heart was saddened when I read that when Jacob returned to his homeland it was Zilpah and Bilhah (also a concubine of Jacob) who were put in the front of the caravan. These women were just not loved.
Like Zilpah so many of us lead imperfect lives. The challenge that this woman offers us accross the pages of The Bible is to check what we focus on, the negative aspects of our lives or do we rejoice in the gifts, like our children, the blessings that Jesus sends our way.
What are you going to choose today, are you going to live a life of being joyous and grateful or a life of complaining? Which one will make you happy?
Remember Jesus and I love you
Friday, 6 August 2010
I will be discussing over the next few weeks some of the women of The Word. We will discuss their strengths, sometimes their weaknesses....
Join me as we journery forward together and discuss one of my favourite women called ABIGAIL.
1 SAMUEL 24:3
His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman,but her husband, a Calebite,was surly and mean in his dealings.
This is surely one of The Words most mismatched couples! Since it was the custom in those days to arrange marriages, Abigail had probably been wed to Nabal because of his wealth, definatly not for the love between two people. Abigail was a faithful and very wise woman who knew how to use her head. Nabal's name meant "fool" and his actions certainly matched the meaning of his name.
The Word speaks very highly of Abigail and records the mean-spirited. Abigail had faith and her husband had no time for God - certainly his attitudes and actions were not those of a faithful believer!
One of the things I love most about Abigail is that her and her husband's relationship could not have been easy, she did not allow bitterness and resentment to take root in her heart and crush her spirit. Instead she uses her many gifts and graces to bring the best to her household.
At a festive time greedy Nabal offended King David. Abigail recognised the danger, and one of the servants knew who to approach. He reported the situation to Nabals wise wife. Immediatly Abigail understood her husbands foolishness and the danger it would place them all in.
Abigail did not spend time going and arguing with her husband, instead, she went and prepared food for Davids men and set off to approach their leader and make peace.
She met the King on the way intent on exacting retribution.
Abigail knew her husbands attitude had risked all his holdings and placed her in a very difficult position-yet she demonstrates her position lay not with her husband but with God.
David immediatly appreciated Abigails faith and good qualities and praised God for her quick actions. If Nabal did not know how to recognise his wifes good qualities the King did. Her turned aside his wrath because of this faithful womans response.
While Abigail worked out a peace plan her husband partied. She returned to find him drunk! Only the next day could she discuss her actions with him! Nabal literally had a fit - perhaps experiencing a stroke. A few days later he died.
David saw Nabal's death as God justice and immediatly sought Abigails hand in marriage. In a moment faithful Abigail moved from being the wife of fool to being the bride of a KING!!
In Abigail we see so many examples of her faithfulness and her refusal to turn into a bitter hardened wife who complained and was miserable in herself and made the life of those around her terrible. Instead she endured, was graceful to her household, was wise in her dealings.
Humility clothed Abigails strength. She stood in the Peace of God. We know that it is only God that can bring strength and peace into broken relationships and it is only God that can bring tranquility into broken lives, Abigail experienced that and my beautiful sisters so can we!!
I encourage you today to be an Abigail to stand clothede in the strength and love of God.
Remember Jesus loves you so do I!!!!
ref: Pamela McQuade