Sometimes people think the Bible puts women down, but that just isn’t true. The Bible says that God made both male and female in His likeness and image. The Bible says that in Christ there is neither male nor female, for we are all one. One of the Judges and rulers over all of Israel was a woman named Deborah. God placed her in charge, and she led the men into battle and a great victory. Tamar saved the lineage of Judah, and Esther saved the entire nation of Israel from a complete genocide. Rahab helped give Israel its first victory in the Promised land at Jericho. Abigail brought peace through wisdom to David and his men. Priscilla was a teacher in the Temple at the birth of Christ and was the first to recognize him as the Messiah. She was preaching the gospel at church that day. Sara bore Abraham the child of the promise; Bathsheba bore David the heir to the throne and builder of the temple. Mary bore God the fruit of righteousness, Jesus Christ, and she did it without a man’s help. Ladies, God doesn’t treat you as second class citizens–He says you have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead. And He’s the one who made you.
In 2 Kings 4 is a story of a Shunammite woman whom the Bible calls “great!” She noticed the prophet of God was traveling through her village often, so one day she asked her husband if they could make a room upstairs for him, with a bed and a place to study and rest. He agreed, and they did. Jesus is our prophet of God. You see she had made room in her home for Jesus. How many of us are willing to make room for Jesus? And what room is it? Is it the spare closet? Or does He get the room in the highest place, above all and overlooking our lives. Jesus needs room in your life. He needs time with you and your family. He needs a position. Does He get what is left over at the end of the month? Does His morning with you at church sometimes get bumped because of rain or a basketball game or a late night? Or does He get the highest room? First place. I recognize that not everyone is going to give Jesus the highest place in their life, but maybe that’s what made this woman different. The Bible called her “great,” after all, which is a long way from normal or average.
In Luke 4:19 Jesus is making his debut appearance as an adult in the synagogue, and the first thing He is going to speak is Scripture. I mean, He IS the Bible–what will He read? In Verse 19 He proclaims the Year of the Lord’s favor. Now if Jesus says it is the year of the Lord’s favor, then it is. In Zechariah 12:10 God says, “I will pour out a spirit of favor,” and in 2 Corinthians 6:2, Paul says, “Now is the time of the Lord’s favor.” This favor is for us, the people of God. All too often it’s like we are waiting for something, for our ship to come in, or the sun to come up. But God says His favor is for right now. He has declared favor over you, even poured it out on top of you. You might be asking, “Can God make people like me?” Well, in Exodus 3, God tells Moses that He “will make the Egyptians favorably disposed towards the Israelites.” You will be the one that gets that promotion. That teacher at your school favors you. That client could have picked another business, but they chose yours. You have the favor of the Lord.
In Judges 15 Samson is crazy thirsty having just knocked out 1000 philistines with a donkey jawbone. He was weary. He asks God for some water, and the Bible says that God split the seal and water came bursting from the hollow of the jawbone. If you read this closely you can see there is a metaphor. At the entrance to the jaw bone is a seal we call the mouth. What comes out of the mouth can be refreshing water, or it can be just empty and dry weariness. The water is God’s Word and His Spirit. What comes out of our mouths? When we are tired, we often further weary ourselves with our words. We say things like “My job stinks” or “I’m so tired” or “I hate math”… complain, complain, complain. It just makes it worse. God is showing us here to say what He says. Use your mouth to say that you are righteous and holy and that you can do all things through Christ. Let God’s truth about your health come out of your mouth. Say “I am healed.” God says that you are blessed coming in and going out. Say what He says, and let the water of God quench your thirst, refresh your soul and renew your energy.