For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:27-29)
Missouri pastor faces backlash after suggesting wives should lose weight, strive to look like Melania Trump / The Hill, March 5, 2021
Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri’s Malden First General Baptist Church said in his Sunday sermon that women should look to maintain their figures and lose weight in order to keep their husband’s attention. He also used a photo of former first Lady Melania Trump as an example of what women should aspire to.
“Ladies, it’s the way God made us. It’s the way we are. Men are going to look. He made us to look. You want them to be looking at you. Don’t let yourself go,” Clark said.
Clark has also reportedly taken a leave of absence from the church and is now seeking “professional counseling,” according to local station KCTV.
Brains of girls and boys are similar, producing equal math ability / Carnegie Mellon University, November 8, 2019
In 1992, Teen Talk Barbie was released with the controversial voice fragment, “Math class is hard.” While the toy’s release met with public backlash, this underlying assumption persists, propagating the myth that women do not thrive in science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) fields due to biological deficiencies in math aptitude.
Jessica Cantlon at Carnegie Mellon University led a research team that comprehensively examined the brain development of young boys and girls. Their research shows no gender difference in brain function or math ability. The results of this research are available online in the November 8 issue of the journal Science of Learning.
“Science doesn’t align with folk beliefs,” said Cantlon, the Ronald J. and Mary Ann Zdrojkowski Professor of Developmental Neuroscience at CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and senior author on the paper. “We see that children’s brains function similarly regardless of their gender so hopefully we can recalibrate expectations of what children can achieve in mathematics.”
90% of young women report using a filter or editing their photos before posting / City University London, March 8, 2021
Ninety per cent of women report using a filter or editing their photos before posting to even out their skin tone, reshape their jaw or nose, shave off weight, brighten or bronze their skin or whiten their teeth. Young women in the study also described regularly seeing advertisements or push notifications for cosmetic procedures — particularly for teeth whitening, lip fillers, and surgery to enhance face and body features.
About International Women’s Day / IWD, March 8, 2021
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women’s achievements or rally for women’s equality.
International Women’s Day is not country, group, nor organization specific. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network, or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. The day belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.
Marked annually on March 8th, International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to:
- celebrate women’s achievements
- raise awareness about women’s equality
- lobby for accelerated gender parity
- fundraise for female-focused charities
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” Marie Curie, physicist
There are almost 200 women mentioned by name in the Holy Bible. Women play a powerful role in God’s story of redemption throughout Scripture. In honor of them, we highlight 3 women of the Bible who contributed to God’s powerful work in the world and the advancement of his kingdom:
Deborah – Judge and Prophetess
The season of the judges was a tumultuous time for Israel. After Moses led Israel out of the land of Egypt and Joshua had led Israel into the land promised to Abraham to conquer the Canaanites, Israel fell into cycles of disobedience that prompted God’s wrath to fall on Israel in the form of slavery to the Canaanites.
In this time, God raised up judges to redeem Israel from political slavery and give them an opportunity to repent. Israel often did repent for a single generation, but fell back into idolatry and disobedience, prompting once again God’s wrath.
According to the Book of Judges, Deborah was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel and the only female judge mentioned in the Bible. She aggressively pulled on the moral bridle of Israel to return to worship of the one true God, and ruthlessly purified the nation of those evil actors who were interested in keeping Israel spiritually complacent and under slavery to the Canaanites.
She is known for her wisdom and courage and is the only woman of the Old Testament who is known for her own faith and action, not because of her relationship to her husband or another man.
The people of Israel had been oppressed by the king of Canaan for twenty years.
She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you: ‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men from the Naphtalites and Zebulunites? Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s forces, his chariots, and his army at the Wadi Kishon to fight against you, and I will hand him over to you.’”
Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
“I will go with you,” she said, “but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take, because the Lord will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.” So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; 10,000 men followed him, and Deborah also went with him. (Judges 4:6-10)
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Move on, for this is the day the Lord has handed Sisera over to you. Hasn’t the Lord gone before you?” So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. (Judges 4:14)
The Lord threw Sisera, all his charioteers, and all his army into confusion with the sword before Barak. Sisera left his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth of the Nations, and the whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a single man was left. (Judges 4:15-16).
Sisera himself fled to the tent of a Hebrew woman named Jael. She gave him milk to drink and covered him with a blanket in the tent. While he was sleeping from exhaustion, Heber’s wife Jael took a tent peg, grabbed a hammer, and went silently to Sisera. She hammered the peg into his temple and drove it into the ground, and he died. (Judges 4:21).
That day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. The power of the Israelites continued to increase against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him. (Judges 4:23–24).
Deborah’s prophecy was fulfilled: Barak won, Sisera was killed by a woman, and the Israelites were freed from their enemies.
Judges chapter 5 then records the song of Deborah and Barak, written to rejoice in God’s victory over the Canaanites. The song also gives some more detail about the supernatural victory over the Canaanites:
Lord, when You came from Seir,
when You marched from the fields of Edom,
the earth trembled,
the heavens poured rain,
and the clouds poured water.
The mountains melted before the Lord,
even Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel. (Judges 5:4-5)
The stars fought from the heavens;
the stars fought with Sisera from their courses. (Judges 5:20)
Queen Esther – the power behind the throne
The king’s command and law went into effect on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar. On the day when the Jews’ enemies had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them. In each of King Ahasuerus’s provinces the Jews assembled in their cities to attack those who intended to harm them. Not a single person could withstand them; terror of them fell on every nationality. (Esther 9:1-2)
The book of Esther is a drama about how Esther became the power behind the throne of Persia, and risked everything to save her people.
The events in the book of Esther occurred from 483 BC to 473 BC, during the first half of the reign of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I). The story is set in Susa, the capital of the Persian Empire (roughly the same area as modern-day Iran). Not long ago, the Jews were taken from their land to live as captives in Babylon for 70 years. God (via the Persian Cyrus) had brought a remnant of His people back to their homeland, but not everyone had returned. The Jewish people remained scattered across the Middle Eastern world.
The Book of Esther opens with a description of an enormous 180-day party thrown by King Ahasuerus in his 3rd year as king of the Persian Empire, ruling over 127 provinces. As the days of feasting draw to a close, he summons his wife, Vashti, to show off her beauty (by appearing wearing only her crown!). But Vashti refuses to come and the king, following his ministers’ advice, has her banished.
As time passes, Ahasuerus realizes the consequences of his actions and misses his queen. The deed, however, is done. Seeing that their ruler regretted the action that they suggested, the ministers propose that he find a new queen via an elaborate beauty contest of all the kingdom’s beautiful maidens. From all over the 127 provinces, beautiful women are brought to the palace for the king to select his new queen.
In Susa, the capital city, lives a beautiful Jewess named Esther (also called Hadassah). She is an orphan who was raised by her uncle, Mordechai, one of the leaders of the Jewish people in exile. When they come to take her to the palace, Mordechai, insightfully instructs her not to reveal that she is a Jewess or who her family is. Needless to say, after a 12 month process, Esther is deemed the fairest of them all. The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she carried charm and favor before him more than all the other virgins, so he placed the royal crown on her head, and made her queen in place of Vashti. (Esther 2:17).
Haman was a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites, who were ancient enemies of God’s people.
After Haman was appointed the principal minister of the king Ahasuerus, all of the king’s servants were required to bow down to Haman, but Mordechai refused to. Angered by this, and knowing of Mordechai’s Jewish nationality, Haman convinced Ahasuerus to allow him to have all of the Jews in the Persian empire killed.
The plot was foiled by Queen Esther, the king’s recent wife, who was herself a Jew. Esther invited Haman and the king to two banquets. In the second banquet, she informed the king that Haman was plotting to kill her (and the other Jews). This enraged the king, who was further angered when (after leaving the room briefly and returning) he discovered Haman had fallen on Esther’s couch, intending to beg mercy from Esther, but which the king interpreted as a sexual advance.
On the king’s orders, Haman was hanged from the 50-cubit-high gallows that had originally been built by Haman himself, on the advice of his wife Zeresh, in order to hang Mordechai. The bodies of Haman’s ten sons were also hanged, after they died in battle against the Jews. “All the enemies of the Jews” were additionally killed by the Jews, 75,000 of them.
Hidden under the drama of palace intrigue and politics, God’s hand is apparent. From the very outset, He stacked the circumstances so that as soon as the Jews would repent and pray, things would fall into place and the Jews would be saved.
Ruth – Loyal to the Lord
Although the Book of Ruth in the Bible is only four chapters, it is filled with much to learn and follow.
Naomi and her husband were from Bethlehem, but went to Moab to avoid the famine in their land. They left with their two sons, who married two women of Moab, named Orpah and Ruth. Naomi’s husband and both her sons died, leaving the three women alone. Naomi became bitter over what had happened, and decided to head back to her home town. She told both of the wives of her deceased sons to go back to their people.
Orpah went back to her people, but Ruth refused to leave her mother-in-law. Ruth chose to stay with Naomi not only because she loved her but also she made a choice to serve Jehovah, the One True God! She told Naomi, “I will go where you go, Your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
Israel has turned away from Yahweh God, the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, today, just as Orpah did then. Ruth, on the other hand, embraced the God of Israel, the God of her father-in-law Elimelech. (Elimelech means “My God is King”) Ruth chose to serve the One True God! She represents the Gentiles who become Christians and are devoted to Yahweh. She became a part of the family she married into, when she married her Hebrew husband. What she chose changed her destiny. What Orpah chose determined her destiny as well.
When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth went into the fields to harvest. In the land, the corners of the field and in the field, some of the grain is always left for the poor and the widows to eat. This was a law in the Torah. Ruth knew that there was a man who owned this field where she would glean and hoped to gain his favor. Naomi knew that this man was kin to her late husband and she could insist he take her in to his home and provide for her according to Jewish law, but she choose to send her daughter-in-law to receive the blessing instead of herself.
The blessing did come to Ruth even though she was a Moabite and not of the House of Israel. His name was Boaz and he was a wealthy landowner. Naomi sent Ruth to lie at his feet in the night. This was in no way sensual but was placing herself at a place of humility and submission to him and his protection. He understood this when he awoke and covered her with a corner of his tallit (prayer shawl) to show that he accepted her as his bride and responsibility. We also are accepted into the family of God through our acceptance of Christ and His covering us.
When she left the place where she had laid at his feet, he filled her shawl with six measures of barley, so that it was full to bring back to Namoi. Later in the day he made the arrangement to pay for the land that Namoi had for sale that was her husband’s property. In this way, he redeemed them back to the house of her husband, which included Ruth the Moabite. Naomi was no longer bitter, but was glad. Ruth married Boaz and she gave birth to Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. This is the line of Jesus, the Messiah, Yeshua. There were 77 generations from the Adam to Jesus, and Ruth will forever be included in the patrilineage of Jesus according to Luke (Luke 3:23-38).
Ruth’s obedience to God and her listening to her mother-in-law, brought great blessing to both of them and to Boaz who loved her, but even more so, it pleased the Lord.
Ruth was grafted into the branch, the chosen of God.
These strong women in the Bible held the line of faithfulness when many men in Israel were satisfied to capitulate to the paganism of Canaan, Persia, and Moab.
These 3 examples show that the Lord is always “putting women in their place,” even in these End Times. This is a place of honor for women of God.
These women represent not only the kind of bravery to which all Christians are called to in the face of suffering, but represent a uniquely powerful purpose which God has designated for women to achieve God’s plan which would otherwise be impossible.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior, now would be an excellent time to ask Him into your life. We each need a Savior! If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”
Very good article. Thank you for posting this. morningstar, March 19, 2021