Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blessed among Women

The Bible raises a few women to look upon as an example of 'Highly Favoured', 'Richly Blessed', 'Woman of Faith' and I find myself a bit skeptical. They had hard lives, all of them. 

In ancient Israel, women and children were relegated to the fringes of Jewish society. If that wasn't bad enough, being out of sync with the norms i.e. unmarried, widowed, childless were considered curse or punishment by God. 

It was a hard life for a woman...much less one who was considered despised and abandoned by God.

Sarah was seven times widowed when we first meet her in the Book of Tobit. Seven in Jewish lore is considered a full, complete number. Sarah had drunk deep of her cup of sorrow so much so that it came to be even her servant-girl did not scruple to abuse her. The ancient community would have have denounced her worse. She was ready to take her life when she remembered her beloved father, and then turned to God.

"Lord, I look to you for help."
                                             -Tobit 3:11-12

Beyond coincidence and chance, came Tobit and the sorrows of two families came to an end. 

Then there was Rachel, Sarah, Abraham's wife and Elizabeth, Mary's cousin. Bereaved in their childlessness; yet hoping when all cause for hope was over.

Judith the young widow faced with a despondent nation and Ruth, the foreigner who chose love and loyalty over home.

"Then God remembered..."
                                - Gen 30:22

But where there is Christ, there is always Hope and (this) Hope does not disappoint. 

God will fulfill the desires of your heart, because he himself put it there. He is glorified in your joy as he glorified in your patient obedience.

When all seems bleak and the promises seem late in flowering; remember...

"For nothing is impossible for God"
                                - Luke 1: 37