As I have written, I am getting ready our next Bible study on women. I am relying on the Concordance on woman and God's direction on this. For years I have been perplexed by the role of women and the practice of slavery throughout the Bible. I know lots of standard answers to these questions but still, I find no acceptable answers. There is really no good excuse for the treatment of women and the practice of slavery. Why didn't God say not to do it? So I figured I'd study it. I am tackling women first since the ladies want to study women.
I was reading Wendy Blight's posts about women and they were wonderful, presenting women in such a wonderful place in creation. We completed God's creation, he made us last. Creation was not complete until woman was made. What a special place in history we have! We were made because of a need, to fill a lack. God saw it was not good for Adam to be alone and he needed also someone to work along side him. She was a gift, a wife made special for Adam. She would be his help meet, his spouse, a person to work along side him, she would bear his children and they were created in God's image. She would love him and he would love her, they were created to exist in perfect harmony. That was the intention.
But something went horribly wrong! The devil was able to tempt Eve first. The thing is that the bible says that Adam was right there with her. The KJV and the NIV both say Adam was with her. What was he doing, just watching the exchange and then waiting to see if Eve would die if she ate it and when she didn't he took a bite too when she gave it to him? I was always told Eve went and took the "apple" to Adam. The bible says he was with her.
After God has come down and talked with them about this first sin, Eve admits the serpent deceived her, Adam blames Eve and neither ask for forgiveness. God gives his judgement of woman at Genesis 3:16. This is where things get poopy for women.
Genesis 3:16 (KJV) Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thy shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Well, there you go. Her desire will be for her husband and he will rule over her. I have looked up some theories on this. Some translations for the word desire in Hebrew wording can carry two meanings. Desire as in a sexual longing, meaning unusual and striking or desire as in the desire to overcome and defeat another.
So, does God if you take the two translations that the Hebrew word for desire can mean imply that woman will long for her husband in a loving way and he will rule over her or does it mean that woman will try to overcome man (the battle of the sexes, woman's need to be equal to or better than man) and she will fail, man will always be the ruler of earth and the home.
Certainly worth studying. I have always wondered why God had allowed the treatment of women to be so harsh and demeaning. In the beginning he clearly had a desire for women to hold a special place of love, companionship and to work alongside of Adam. Travel a little further along in the bible and we see how little women mean to men. Two men are in a home with a wife and a daughter and the men of the village want the man who is visiting (with his wife) to be given over to them so they can all have gang sex with the visiting man. They villagers are banging on the door and are violently trying to get at the man. What do the men do? They throw out the wife and the daughter to be gang raped, violently slaughtered. How disgusting is that? What really infuriated me more than anything was where it says that when they got up in the morning and opened the door to see the dead woman lying at the front door. Um, they actually could sleep while they knew the wife and daughter were being violently gang raped and tortured? They should have been up all night tearing their hair out at their cowardliness!! They actually went to sleep. That was not God's intention when he created woman. So is this the place that he now wanted them? I can't imagine how, since God is love.
Our original sin placed this curse upon us. I have to believe that this was punishment for a time because journeying into the New Testament we see Ephesians 5 telling us to submit one to another and care for each other, to love each other. As time has moved further along we see men becoming less harsh and women coming closer to the original role God had intended. What a shame, as women are so special. Man and woman are both so special and we lose so much of what God intended for us by each trying to dominate or not be dominated. If we could get to that place of putting each other's needs more important or even just as important as our own we could find that special place where ruling or dominance are not words we even use. Leadership and respect should be key words.
But alas, that was the curse that changed it all. I want to spend some time looking hard into God's original purpose for woman, the curse and then the Proverbs 31 woman. What does all of this mean for the woman of 2009? What does this mean for the man of 2009? How should he view woman? How should he view his role in his home?
More to come....