Moments of truth
June 9, 2019
Moments of truth
June 9, 2019
“The Women Not Needed in the Church”
Over the past three weeks we have discussed men needed and not needed in the Lord’s church, and last week we discussed Women needed in the Lord’s church. We examined briefly 9 different examples, “the woman with the issue of blood and her great faith; women who teach their children the Scriptures like Lois and Eunice; Women who place hearing the Word of God above cooking and house work like Mary; Personal workers like Priscilla; Women who show hospitality to the servants of God like the Shunammite woman; Women who respect their husbands; women who know how to get along with their in-laws; Modest women like Vashti; and Wise and Brave women like the Woman of Abel. Today we look at the opposite, those “women not needed in the Lord’s Church”. We will examine 8 different examples found in Scripture of those women not needed in the Lord’s church.
We begin in Matthew 14:1-12 where we read about a cruel woman named Herodias who persecuted the preacher, in this case John the Baptist, for preaching the truth concerning marriage, “At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus 2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him." 3 For Herod had laid hold of John and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 4 Because John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." 5 And although he wanted to put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 6 But when Herod's birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. 8 So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, "Give me John the Baptist's head here on a platter." 9 And the king was sorry; nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. 10 So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” As with many who are challenged in their behavior by the Word of God, Herodias became angry and obviously lashed out against John the Baptist, she had him killed! The Lord’s church needs women who are receptive to the Lord’s Will and want to change. We don’t need any with the attitude of Herodias in the Lord’s Church.
For our next example we turn over to Acts 5:1-10. In this section of Scripture we read about a woman, who, along with her husband, misrepresented the truth. In this example we find Sapphira “lying”, “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. 7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?" She said, "Yes, for so much." 9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." 10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.” From this example we find Sapphira agreeing with her husband to deceive the apostles by giving an amount of money they had received from the sale of property. Sadly, they made it appear as though they were giving all the money they received when in actuality they were only giving a portion and kept back a part. Peter was able to discern this and both Ananias and Sapphira lied to the Holy Ghost as Peter said and they both died for lying. They told a “half-truth.” Ultimately, they misrepresented the truth. This is not the type of woman (or couples for that matter) we need in the Lord’s church.
As we continue with our examples this time, we turn back to Genesis 19. With this example we read about Lot’s wife and how she looked back towards Sodom when God told Lot and his family not to. Listen to Genesis 19:17, “So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." This is a clear instruction from God what they were not to do. Lots’ wife, however, did not heed this instruction as we read in Genesis 19:26, “But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” Why this example? you might ask. Well, for us today, as Christians, we have made a commitment to look forward to the high calling of Christ and not look back at our past sins. In this case, Mrs. Lot should have taken heed of God’s instruction and looked forward to safety and comfort outside of the city. Instead she looked back to a past life in a city so disgusting God condemned it and destroyed it. The Lord’s church needs women who are more interested in the things of Christ and a future in heaven than to look back at the past and a sinful life.
In the Old Testament, 1 Kings 21, we read about a woman named Jezebel. This woman was an instigator of wickedness. You see, Ahab, Jezebel’s husband desired a piece of land owned by Naboth for it was right next to Ahab’s land. When Ahab went to Naboth to purchase the land Naboth told him that the Lord had forbidden him from the inheritance of his fathers. This made Ahab angry. Jezebel spoke with Ahab about it and promised him that she would get him the land. She didn’t go about it in a pleasant way. Listen to what she does in 1 Kings 21:8-10, “And she wrote letters in Ahab's name, sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were dwelling in the city with Naboth. 9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and seat Naboth with high honor among the people; 10 and seat two men, scoundrels, before him to bear witness against him, saying, "You have blasphemed God and the king." Then take him out, and stone him, that he may die.” As we can easily see, Jezebel instigated a great evil in order to get what she wanted for her husband. She even utilized her husband’s name to make it so. Her goal was to have her way. She didn’t care who she hurt or that she made a bad name in the process. The Lord’s church doesn’t need women with the attitude of instigating wickedness.
We are all familiar, well, at least many are familiar with a man named Job. We know that God allowed Satan to take everything away from Job except his life. For our next example we want to recognize that Job’s wife sought to discourage Job instead of encourage Job. In Job 2:9 we read this, “Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!" We know that through all of this, Job did no wrong yet his wife tells him to turn from God. What an encourager! The Lord’s church does not need women with this attitude. For we are to encourage each other as we go through this life. We are to help each other strive to gain a home in heaven when this life is over.
From here we go back to the New Testament for our next example. In the New Testament we read about another Jezebel. This one we find in Revelation 2:20, “"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” In this verse we read our Lord and Savior’s admonition of the church in Thyatira. They were allowing a woman, who called herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce the Lord’s people to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. Tempting others to do evil in the sight of God is not something we need for anyone to do in the Lord’s church.
Now we turn our attention back to the Old Testament and Judges 16. It is in this chapter that we read about a judge named Samson. And if you know the story of Samson you are probably aware of the woman named Delilah who deceived him to get her way. Delilah had been recruited by the Philistines to help them destroy Samson. They wanted to know where Samson’s great strength came from so they could overpower him. This is because he had done so much harm to them. Listen to Judges 16:15-17 and how she deceives and pesters Samson till he could take it no more, “Then she said to him, "How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies." 16 And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, 17 that he told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man." Delilah was not in love with Samson as she portrayed herself. She was after a reward and The Philistines brought her money for finding out Samson’s secret. She was deceptive in her behavior. When it comes to deception, one who does this is only after getting what they want. We don’t need this type of woman in the Lord’s church. We are to look for the betterment of others.
For our last example we turn to the book of Philippians. In Paul’s letter he speaks of two, rather unknown ladies, who are quarrelsome. Listen to Philippians 4:2, “I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.” From Paul’s attitude in his writing, we can see a great deal of desperation on Paul’s part to get these two ladies to be of the same mind. Instead, we get the impression that they were quarrelsome. How many times have we come across not only women, but men as well who, while claiming to be “like minded” continued to be quarrelsome and disagreeable with their brethren. It is obvious Paul wanted these two to strive to be truly “like minded” or “united” in Christ. As we all need to be. The Lord’s church does not need women or men to be quarrelsome in the Lord’s church but to seek to do good to all men, especially with those of the household of God.
Well, there you have it, 8 examples of women not needed in the Lord’s church: Herodias, who persecuted John the Baptist the preacher, for teaching truth; Sapphira, who misrepresented the truth when she agreed to lie to the Holy Ghost with her husband; Lot’s wife, who turned back towards Sodom; Jezebel of the Old Testament who instigated wickedness; Job’s wife who sought to discourage Job with just a few words; Jezebel of the New Testament who tempted men to commit fornication; Delilah who was deceptive with Samson; and Euodias and Syntyche who were quarrelsome. In many of these cases, if not all, men as well can take on these attitudes and traits. So, this lesson is not just for women but for all who seek to serve our Lords and Savior Jesus Christ, to be faithful unto death, so that we may all receive that crown that awaits us.
Now, with all of these lists of men and women needed in the Lord’s church and the lists of men and women not needed in the Lord’s church, you’d think we would have covered every aspect. But, when it comes to the Bible, when you truly take the time to search the Scriptures, we know there are far more examples we can turn to. One that came to my mind at the conclusion of last weeks lesson on Women needed in the Bible is that of the Virtuous Woman found in Proverbs 31:10-31. She is a tremendous example in how she cares for her family. There are a number of things found in the attitude of this woman that many men today can learn. Listen closely, and remember, these are words of King Lemuel’s Mother, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household And does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all." 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.”
What an incredible lady! Let each of us learn all we can from her and from all the folks we have studied over the past 4 weeks. We need to examine our own lives and see where we need to make correction or improvements in our service to God and our fellow man.
Let each one of us make the choice to obey Christ as the apostle Paul explains in Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;”