Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Most of our discussion of Genesis 19-21 focussed on 19: the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We lamented Lot's lingering, his plan to send his daughters out to the rapist crowd, and his eventual fathering of Moab and Ammon, perpetual enemies of Isreal, who eventually get destroyed in the end anyway. I would also like to point out that Moab and Ammon would have grown up like wild inbred hillbillies based on their isolated homeland in the hill country! I wonder how often they went back to check on their mom.

We discussed how living in a town like Sodom would make you the lingering type. The people of Sodom had gone so far wrong that they had the gall to accuse Lot of being judgemental for not letting them rape his houseguests. They were a liberal and progressive city unencumbered by the prudish morals of their forefathers!

We also talked about Abraham and how he must have felt after he saw the ruins of Sodom smoking in the distance only days after his bargaining with God in hopes of their salvation. Did he feel disappointment, resignation? As far as we could tell, he had no news of Lot either, so would he assume Lot was destroyed as well? I imagine he had a hunch that Lot was headed down a bad path and was quite worried about him.

Later our discussion moved to the recurring Old Testament theme of treating women like dirt. Abraham tells 2 major leaders that Sarah is his sister, saving his life by leaving her to their lusts. Lot offers his virgin daughters to the crowds. It's amazing how prior to the fall, men and women equally walked with God, and then the curse allowing men to rule over women sent things to such an awful tailspin. Praise God that in Christ there is now no Jew or Gentile, Male or Female, Slave or free. The curse is broken.

Finally we discussed the blessing of Ishmael the supposed father of the Arabs and Islam. The fact that God blessed Ishmael presents an interesting problem: if both Isaac and Ishmael are blessed, could all the religions of Abraham be blessed? We didn't really want to go there, but it got us thinking. We'd love input if you have some!


Marty said...

First comment - more later
interesting that Lot is called by God a righteous man and God resscued him 2 Peter 2:6-8.
Like you pointed out before - Abraham and Lot lives are not without some questionable actions - but God called them righteous...

Marty said...

Second comment
Re Women and the curse. What do you do with 1 Corinthians 14:34 or about Paul’s instructions in Timothy or Titus about church workers? Or the family?
Is the bible inspired by God 2 Peter1:20 or 2 Timothy 3:16
Is it for today ?
Or are we to pick and choose what we want to obey – believe -?
We must remember God does not change He is the same today – yesterday – tomorrow. Hebrews 13:8
God is an awesome God – Yes a loving Father – but also a devouring Fire
Hebrews 12:28-29 Deut 4:24 and Jealous
Luke 12:5 Fear God--- Jesus said this.
And yes Hebrew 13:6 says do not fear – but only (my words) if we are right relationship with Jesus - but still brings us back to the role – view of women…
The curse may be broken but the side affects are not and will not be until Jesus returns – so do we put the horse before the cart
By the way what do you do with Jesus Words that he did not come to bring peace but a sword? Matthew 10:34 and on….

Marty said...

Off the top of my head..
..could all the religions of Abraham be blessed.
Well lets just read Acts chapter 7 for a summary …
Well we are told God chose Abraham – given covenant of circumcision
Father of Isaac who fathered Jacob who became the father of the 12 patriarchs.
V17 time drew near when God would fulfill his promise to Abraham
Moses was born – grew – murdered – fled – Called by God – Obeyed..
Descendants of Abraham left Egypt
Under the leadership of Joshua conquered the land
King David in time was born and chosen of God to be King
From David we have the Lord Jesus Christ – God eternal….

Romans 3: 25 God presented Jesus as the sacrifice…
Romans 3:26b God declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus
Romans 5:21 and Romans 6:23
**ROMANS CHAPTER 9 talks of the promise and other children of Abraham.
Verse 7 I will start at but please read before and after verses….
V7 – Being descendants of Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children. For Scriptures say “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted, though Abraham had other children too. This means that Abraham’s physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham’s children.

I hope this helps…

todd said...

I agree, marty, the curse is broken but the results are still there. I think we as Christians need to go out and claim more ground for this freedom from the curse. I also see your point that men are still dominating, even in the church... Maybe we need to get some work done raising women up!

Marty said...

The Curse!!
I need help of where in Scripture it states that the curse is gone.
Reality – I look around me in nature and see death and decay.
I know my father, my brother have died.
I know of several strong / true Christians who are at rest (bodies have died)
I know of some family now who are in the grips of deaths hold
I look at my body – there is a curse still in place….

True part of the curse is broken – I am alive with Christ forever more.
I am Gods child – John 1:12
I belong to God 1 Cor 6:19-20
I am a saint Eph 1;1
I am free from all condemnation Romans 8:1-2
I am born of God 1 John 5:18

In this the curse is broken --- Jesus Christ is man / God eternal. Praise Him with all that is within me.

Woman – We need to take off our 20 century glasses of femism….when reading Scripture
Do not try to blanket all the Old Testament with poor woman… how did you put it??? “Later our discussion moved to the recurring Old Testament theme of treating women like dirt.”
( I do not have my resources handy – storage and moving again.. BUT)
Woman like Ester – Ruth - Hannah (Samuel) Rachael, Rebecca, Rahab
The widow of Zarephath (1Kings 17:7)
The rules Moses (God) gave fro protecting women in Deut or Numbers

The list could go on and on – yes you have some woman being mistreated, but you have that all through History – God did not cause this – sin and it’s consequence has. But man is first – man is head of the woman as Christ is head of the church who has Father God at the top.

Marty said...

Question Todd - about your comment about raising women up - what exactly do you mean??
Should they be Pastors?
Should they be elders?

Chelsea said...

Marty, I think what Todd was trying to say is that in history, (and as you mentioned, due to the Fall) women have been treated poorly by men (ie: Lot sending his daughters out to a rapist crowd). The Old Testament, as a record of actual history, records many cases of "women being treated like dirt": by men, and also by other women (ie. Sarah and Hagar).

Todd was not implying that it is God's intention for women to be treated this way, nor that the Old Testament records this as an example for us to follow. It is a record of things that happened in the course of actual history, things that we are meant to learn from and not neccesarily emulate. In Christ we are free to live as though the Kingdom is here, we are free to treat each other as beings made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27: both male AND female are made in the image of God). The curse is still relevant, but just because we're sinful doesn't mean we have to throw up our hands and say "oh well, we can't help but repeat history", therefore justifying oppression or abuse of women. In the power of Christ, we can do better than in the past, we can treat women (and men, and anyone different from ourselves) with dignity, respect and value, because we are all made in the image of God, and are EQUAL in Christ (Galatians 3:26-28).

And certainly, there are cases of women in the bible who are passionate about God, who are faithful, who do daring and heroic things because they trust God. And Jesus is an excellent (perfect) example of how to treat women (he respects and dialouges with the woman at the well, he saves and shows grace to the woman caught in adultery, etc). But you still have to admit that Lot sending out his VIRGIN daughters to a bunch of rapists pretty much amounts to treating them like dirt.

As to whether or not women should be pastors and elders, who cares? Why should that even matter, as long as women are learning about and growing in Christ? How many churches do you know of that function without women? What about women missionaries who share the gospel? What about women bible study leaders? What about women leading sunday school? What about women speaking on spiritual topics at conferences? What about women like Mother Theresa doing important ministry all over the world? Are these women doing something wrong by getting involved in ministry and passionately sharing, teaching and maybe even preaching on what Christ has done in their lives? Why do we need to split hairs about what women should and should not be "allowed" to do? In the early church, women were involved at every step: (Acts 1:14, 2:18, 5:14, 8:3, 8:12, 16:13, etc etc). Maybe if Christians stopped bickering about these kinds of things we'd have alot more freedom, grace and love flowing in our churches.

Chelsea said...

Also, many of the Old Testament women that you mentioned as examples of not being "poor women" (Ruth, Esther, Rebekah, Hannah, etc) are not particularly good examples, since their reason for being mentioned in Scripture is that they were married off to key men, and had babies who turned out to be important people. Their main role is to have sex and bear children: not that this is a bad thing. Having kids is an important role God has given to women. And some women in the OT do get to do important things, but it usually has to do with having sex with the right person or bearing children.

It just doesn't prove anything about how women should be treated, or thier standing before God.

Marty said...

Old Testament post-creation views
The Bible is the only literature in the world up to our century which looks at women as human beings, no better and no worse than men, according to classicist Edith Hamilton. She writes that the Old Testament writers considered them just as impartially as they did men, free from prejudice and even from condescension.[7] However, it cannot be said that the society and culture of Old Testament times were consistently favorable to women.

The status of woman in the Old Testament is not uniform. There is a male bias and a male priority generally present in both the private life and public life of women. However, it never becomes absolute. In the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) of Exodus 20, both male priority and gender balance can be seen. In the tenth commandment, a wife is depicted in the examples of a neighbor's property not to be coveted: house, wife, male or female slave, ox or donkey, or any other property. In this perspective, wife along with other properties belongs to the husband. On the other hand, the fourth commandment does not make any distinction between honor to be shown to parents: "father and your mother." This is consistent with the mutual respect shown for both parents throughout the Old Testament.[3]

Double standard and male priority can also be seen in Moses' orders on what to do with the captured Midianites: "Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves" (Numbers 31:17-18 NASB). The women of Israel were most honored and influential within the family. They gained considerable respect on the birth of her first child, especially if it was a male child (Gen. 16:4, 29:31-30:24). Even here, she was honored because of her function of providing a male heir, not because of her value as a person. On a positive note, Proverbs 1:8 tells a son not to reject his mother's teaching, and Proverbs 31:10-31 eulogizes the ideal wife, even though she is idealized for her hard labor for her family. The laws of inheritance favored the male. A male Hebrew slave was freed after six years of servitude, while a different set of rules covered female slaves (Exodus 21:1-11). If a man rapes an unbetrothed virgin, he must pay her father 50 shekels of silver and then marry her(Deut. 22:28-29). Judges 19 records a most degrading use of a daughter by her father. "The gruesome story of his using his concubine to protect himself defies imagination." Infidelity to God is portrayed as an "adulteress," not an "adulterer."[3]

The Bible portrays Rebekah, Rahab, Deborah, Jael, Esther, and Judith and their contributions to the nation of Israel with faithfulness and extreme candor. These women are represented in the Old Testament as multidimensional human beings – self-reliant, resourceful, influential, and courageous – but at the same time capable of resorting to morally questionable means in order to accomplish their ends.[8]

Distinctions were usually made between men and women during the Old Testament period. Only men were required to attend the annual festivals (Exod. 23:17; Lev. 23) though women were permitted to attend if they chose to do so (1 Sam. 1:9, 21-22). The Mosaic Law recognized women’s responsibilities at home as wives and mothers. However, this did not prohibit women from all religious service. Women served at the door of the Tabernacle (Exod. 38:8). Both men and women contributed their valuables for use in the building of the Tabernacle (Exod. 35:22, 25, 26). The Laver for ministry in the court of the tabernacle was made of brass from the mirrors of the women only.[9]

Marty said...


Marty said...

The Old Testament presents strong female role models, like the Judge Deborah, Judith and Queen Esther, who were depicted as saving the Hebrew people from disaster. In the book of Proverbs, the divine attribute of Holy Wisdom is presented as female.[10]

Deborah was a prophetess who actually ruled Israel (Judges 4:4). When the Israelite men were too afraid to assume leadership, Deborah shamed Barak, the military commander of Israel’s army, for failing to assume his God-given leadership. Ultimately, he refused to advance against the enemy without Deborah’s presence and commanding influence (Judges 4:8).[11]

Huldah, a married prophetess (2 Kings 22:13-20), found the Book of the Law that the previous generation had neglected. She was trusted by Josiah, king of Judah, to be the one to verify the authenticity of the Book of the Law. Huldah’s husband was keeper of the wardrobe in the court.[12]

Marty said...

mkydApostle Paul on Women
Forbidden to teach or speak in the church:

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
Bishops and Deacons must be men:

"This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach"(1 Timothy 3:1-2)
"Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well."(1 Timothy 3:12)
"For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly."(Titus 1:5-6)
The head of woman is man:

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."(1 Corinthians 11:3, 5-9)
Full submission to one's husband:

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." (Ephesians 5:22-24)
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."(Colossians 3:19)

[edit] Apostle Peter on women
Submission to husband:

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.."(1 Peter 3:1)
Women as weaker partner:

"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."(1 Peter 3:7)